Sunday, September 24, 2006

It's the weekend, I should post here. The problem is, I have been so busy with working in the glass studio and meeting my ever-mounting commitments that I haven't had much time for life outside of work. If I were still single and childless, there would be no need for this blog at all. I would literally eat, sleep, and work. But I am married and I do have a child and for the child, at least, just because Mommy is busy doesn't mean the pace of her life slows down.

Jessie is in Pre-K now. Her birthday is after September 1 so she did not get to move on with her original classmates, she was held back in the 3 year-old class. Now she is in the first official year of school here in Georgia--the year before kindergarten. She must be in class by 8:30 or she is tardy and Dave has to sign in for her at the office. If she is late more than once a week she can be asked to leave the program. If she misses school more than two days in a row she can be asked to leave the program. Do I really care if she is in the "program"? No. The only reason she is is that the pre-school she has been in for the past two years does the official Georgia thing at four instead of continuing private school.

Besides the... rigorous... approach to tardiness and attendance, there are other new rules to follow which relly have me questioning how much my life needs to be regulated by my government. Lunches, for example, are strictly controlled. We are required to bring a box lunch every other week for field trips. There may be no cookies, animal crackers or "treats" of any kind. No grapes unless they are cut, no sliced carrots. Juice must be 100% juice. You cannot water it down to cut the amount of sugar they get. There are more rules than this but all I have been able to get is a garbled list from her teachers (nothing written) and stories from other parents of inappropriate foods being taken away.

I did try to make logical sense of the rules. If they are not concerned about sugar in the juice, I asked, why can't they have sweet treats? The answer is two-part: they ARE concerened about the amount of sugar, and other kids might who don't have sweet treats would, I don't know, feel bad or something because they don't have a cookie. I replied, isn't that the way it is in life? Everyone is different and everyone has something different. Why would we try to project anything else? What really frosts me on this is that we don't do the cookies and cakes thing, I just want to be able to give her teddy grams for a dessert treat. DENIED.

Shoes are also an issue. They have always had this no-open-toed-shoes rule because they might get wood chips in their shoes on the playground. This year that was extended to no Crocs. Why? Because they slip off and provide no support and, well, because it says so in the handbook! No, it does not, I looked. But does that matter? No! Denied!

So that gets me through this year's petty little issues. Jessie is *four years old* and the school system is already a pain. Next year we have to pick a kindergarten. Easiest choice? The public school one block from our house (right around the corner). Never mind that she would be the only white child in the class. We moved to this neighborhood for diversity. I did NOT want her going to the all-white Laura Bush Elementary in Austin either. There we planned to send her to the Lycee Francais d'Austin and have her bilingually educated in French and English there. The closest thing to that here, The Atlanta International School, is neither geographically proximate nor financially realistic ($14K per year for ELEMENTARY school? I don't THINK so!).

We could petition to send her to the Decatur school system, and that would get her through third grade. Then they don't accept "tuition" students. We already pay Dekalb County AND city of Atlanta taxes To send her to Decatur we would have to petition AND pay almost as much as we would for a private school. So what to do?


A month passes...


I think we have found a solution! The Waldorf

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