Somehow, you are three. Somehow, it is time to start thinking about preschool beyond the amazing Kidville University two-hour dropoff program we've done this year. Somehow, we must make a real, adult decision about where you will spend the next year or two prior to Kindergarten.
In trying to decide between a private option or the free public preschool option in Hoboken, we've had the opportunity to do a lot of research, have a ton of conversations about what will work best for us, for you and (really, most importantly) for Dina and finally, to go on open houses / meetings / interviews.
Oh, the interview.
Our "backup option" should we not get a place in the public preschool program that Hoboken offers, which is quite possible due to overcrowding in Hoboken, was Hoboken Montessori. It's expensive, yes, but it's also RIGHT across the street. I've learned a lot about the Montessori method at work recently, and really believe in its philosophies and techniques, so went for an open house. I thought it was great and that it could be a good option for you - and then we brought you in for your interview.
My baby girl, it was the proudest I've been of you in your entire life yet. You were unabashedly yourself - pretending to be characters, expressing yourself willfully and not letting anyone tell you what to do. I don't think this is the type of child they were looking for - but it is the one I am in love with and am so proud to have!!
It began when the preschool director walked by prior to your interview and you said a charming hello - she asked your name, and you identified yourself as "Amanda." I laughed and let her know that wasn't your name but my niece's, and asked you to tell her your real name. "Ryan Baker." was your next response. Again, I laughed and shook my head, glancing over at The Daddy who was also already laughing. This was going to be interesting, we could tell...
They invited you into the room, and we accompanied you because you didn't want to go in alone. I should mention that this was after we had to wake you from your afternoon nap, so you weren't the happiest girl - but I digress. We entered the room and you looked around at all the toys - the teacher asked if you wanted to do one activity, and you responded with a definite and defiant "NO." You wandered around a bit and declined other activities, then found the easel, where you colored for a minute or two before moving onto another activity. You walked over the the tower of block cubes, and swiftly knocked them down with one swipe. The teacher attempted to show you how to carefully pick them up and restack them, and you did so for a moment. You missed one larger block when restacking, and she asked what you thought would happen when you tried to balance it on top of the other, smaller blocks. I swear, Bex, you stared her right in the eye, put that larger block squarely on top of the smaller ones and it balanced perfectly, and then you swiped and knocked them down again. The Daddy and I were stifling laughter at this point, staring at you going through this classroom like a bull in a china shop. You made messes that you refused to clean up, did some activities and abandoned them moments later, and generally were... you.
Once the teacher said, "I think I've seen enough," she asked if you had a nice time - you looked back at her, said a final, "NO." and left the room. The Daddy and I profusely thanked them, continued to giggle, and followed you - our brilliant, vivacious, imaginative girl - outside.
You got rejected a month later.
Shortly after this interview, The Daddy and I went to the Open House for the public preschool option that Hoboken offers. The classrooms were filled with toys, colors, pictures and projects that the children had done. They exuded warmth, playfulness and excitement, and I could immediately imagine you walking the halls and seamlessly fitting in. We applied a few weeks later - fingers crossed we get a spot!!
I love you and all that you are, just the way you are, baby girl!