Thursday, March 22, 2012

This Post Will Self-Destruct in....

There are a couple reasons that this post will probably be deleted.  First, it reveals that I was texting while driving, which I cannot stand.  In my defense, I was caught in HORRIBLE traffic, not moving.  Also, I was dealing with a stressful situation and felt like I needed to immediately tell someone about it to release the pressure, but I could not speak about it on the hands-free speaker phone or discuss it with my only passenger at the time, Georgia, for reasons you will soon understand.  All of that said, I have since banned my phone to the depths of the center armrest console thingie, because, well, you know why so I'll spare you the preaching.

The other reason I may eventually delete this post is that I don't want Georgia to come across it and read it unless it's like 20 years rather than 2 years from now.

So, here's the sitch.  We don't really know where Georgia's going to kindergarten next year.  It's a complicated decision for most city dwellers.  Public? Private? Move to suburbs? Lottery school? Selective enrollment school (i.e., school you have to test into)?  Anyway, I won't bore you with the details but I did spend a few days last fall schlepping around to some public school open houses with a newborn baby strapped to me.  UGH.  Good times.

I honestly have no idea what we'd choose at the moment even if the magic fairy waived her wand and said we could have our pick of the litter of schools, houses, etc.  Even though I'm fond of saying, "don't sweat the small stuff," I often think I am better at the insignificant details (does the sippy cup have BPA? is the vinyl in her backpack poisoning her?) than the big picture stuff like where we should live, what job I should pursue (if any), and where the kids will go to school.  

So anyway, for you out of towners, there's this kindergarten public school entrance exam for 4 year olds that most people here choose to have their children take, just to throw their hat into the ring of getting one of the limited seats in a really good public elementary school.  (There are other schools where seats are selected purely by lottery.)  If you know anything about Georgia's separation anxiety issues, you'll understand why we signed Georgia up for the test assuming there was at best about a 50% chance that she'd actually walk down the hall with the proctor and take it.  (Which I see as a positive in this case, because we had no expectations going into the whole thing.  Zero pressure.)  Since Georgia LOVES doctors and all things medical, but would loathe the idea of starting up at a new school next year if she caught wind of that possibility, our devious plan was to lie to her and tell her that she had a special doctor's appointment with "talking doctors" that just needed to ask her some questions and play some games, rather than look at her body with instruments.  We waited until the day before to even mention the "appointment", and she bought our story hook, line and sinker.

And then...

Well, then we almost missed the whole thing because of traffic.  The test was at 1:00 p.m. on a Sunday.  There should not have been any traffic!  We left PLENTY of time to get the testing location on the south side.  Except apparently we didn't. 

I was so stressed out I thought my head would explode.  But why?  I didn't even care if she took the test.  As I said, odds were not good that she was going to go through with leaving my side to go take it.  And I don't know if we'll send her to one of these schools even if she gets in!  But I just couldn't face the possibility of calling my sister and saying, "Well, she didn't take the exam.......because I failed to get her there on time."  Seriously?

But of course, I couldn't say a word to Georgia about the situation, because I didn't want to stress her out.  I was trying my damnedest to act as though this were a normal doctor's appointment - you know, one that would not cause my head to explode were we to arrive five minutes late.

Joe was at home, probably stressing and cursing our tardiness as much as I was, but dutifully playing the role of calm, reassuring texter. (Warning: apparently I start swearing like a sailor under pressure.)


Oh, that reminds me. I forgot to mention what the letter notifying us of Georgia's test time advised (in multiple places) regarding punctuality:
"Arrive at least 15 minutes in advance for registration."
"Please arrive at least 15 minutes early for check-in."
"Be on Time: Please plan to arrive 15 minutes early for check in. Remain cognizant of weather and traffic conditions and plan accordingly. The test time indicated on your appointment letter is not the arrival time, but the time that the test is scheduled to begin. To ensure an optimum testing experience for all students, we are unable to admit late arrivals." 
"Rescheduling:  Due to the number of students being tested, and the limited number of testing dates, we cannot guarantee that we can reschedule if your child is late or otherwise cannot attend the scheduled test date."  
Now you can see why I was panicking about going through the Hubbard tunnell downtown at 12:50 while trying to get all the way south to an exit near Sox park. 


Through all of this I remained outwardly cool as a cucumber, not uttering a word to Georgia about it, that is until we got close enough that I thought we might have a chance. Ever so casually I mentioned to her that we might be running just a wee bit late, so it would be super nice if she could be extra cooperative with getting out of her carseat and out of the van when we arrived - a seemingly simple process that can drag on for 5 minutes when she wants it to. At around 12:58 we found parking, made off without paying for it, and then ran hand in hand to the testing center.  Oh yeah, that's what they recommend for setting your child up for a successful exam experience, don't you know? Seriously, other families walking past us in the other direction were visibly laughing!

But we made it.  And she took the test.  And I have no idea how she did, but in our book it was a huge success.


Results letters are being mailed soon, but don't expect any news here. We're just really proud of her for trying.


Mindy said...

Hmmm....when you were telling the story of Georgia testing at Beth's dinner, you did not mention this part of the story. :> Big, big deal for Georgia to go in for the test, and kuddos to you for not totally losing it in front of her.

Danni said...

Reading this made me really stressed out. For fuck sake (just thought I'd say that since you're deleting this post and to join in the chorus of profanity) it probably doesn't matter at all where Georgia goes to Kindergarten. I went to Kansas City public schools through 4th grade, which are terrible, or were at least back then, and by normal standards turned out to have a successful life :-)

Aunt Kathy said...

Hey, Kate,, Don't worry about it--as someone who does academic screenings, believe me, I've seen a lot worse. At least the kid didn't try to stick things into an electrical outlet, which I've had happen more than once.

Georgia will be fine wherever she ends up. There is good and bad with all schools.

Beth said...

More importantly, how do you save off a screen shot of your texts like that??

katandkarl said...

i applaud your usage of the 'f' word under stress. ;) My blood pressure only rose a little while reading! Glad you made it!