New Frontiers

The Hobbit has been attending PreSchool since he was 2, which makes him an old pro at the school thing. But now we are embarking on the first stage of the big leagues:  Kindergarten Registration.

Our district offers a (somewhat) online registration process.  I say somewhat because even though I can fill out the form online, I still have to print it out and put in an appearance at the school and prove we live where we claim to live and have all the proper forms of identification.  Basically, all I’m really doing is some data entry for the school district. I’m not sure how that makes it better, but whatever, anything I can do without leaving the house I’m gonna do.

We have applied for a district program that takes place at a school outside our attendance area. I’m cautiously optimistic about it. We were the first to apply for the next school year, and how soon a student’s name is submitted has a bearing on their acceptance. It shows we’re keen. Very keen. Frankly, I will do just about anything to avoid having my child attend the school he’s supposed to attend based on our address. BUT, because of red tape, this is how we’ve always done it, blah, blah, blah, I still have to register him at the undesirable school. The classes for the program we want won’t be determined until April, and the district needs its projected attendance numbers to get all that lovely federal aid. I got ready to jump through some hoops.

Yesterday, I took my printed form (you’re welcome, school district) and all our official identifiers, and headed over to the school to complete registration.  It’s an old school. I don’t mind old schools, I went to a few myself, and with old schools you get Tradition. But this is an old, rundown school. Even the pavement on the street outside the school is in bad shape.  It’s nothing but a patchwork of digouts and bucketfuls of hot mix quickly stamped into place. It’s a sad, cracked, peeling school that falls at the bottom of test scores and ratings for our district. I felt depressed just walking up to the office. (I know test scores aren’t everything, but it’s a pretty good indicator for a great many things.)

I had everything in order and the school secretary was absolutely thrilled that I’d done online registration.  I was the very first parent to ever do so for their school. (Oh dear.) Everything was kosher, except for one teeny, tiny thing. The Hobbit still needed some vaccinations. Sigh. I was told he’d have to be vaccinated before starting kindergarten, not before I could register him for kindergarten. Sigh. This meant a trip to the doctor. And shots. And bribery.

After PreSchool, I broke the news to The Hobbit, that he was going to have to get stabbed by a nice nurse before we could get him registered for school. But I gave him a choice, we could either do it today or wait until tomorrow. It’s done on a walk-in basis, but our mornings are full of PreSchool, so it would have to be in the afternoon. He cried a little. Then he had a counter-offer to my bargaining:  no shots. Gotta give the kid credit for trying.  I sympathized, like one is supposed to, apologized, and then told him if we didn’t get this done someone might call CPS on me.  Ok, I didn’t really.  That was my back-up plan if he gave me any grief.  I was, amazingly, able to apply logic.  Then bribery. He decided to go ahead and get the unpleasantness over and done with, and we headed to the medical office after lunch.

Once The Hobbit made up his mind to Do This Thing, it was smooth sailing. He didn’t get upset, didn’t drag his feet, and didn’t have any anxiety at all. He did bring along his blanket, just in case, but it wasn’t needed. The nurse who got the short straw and was on Jabbing Duty was absolutely gobsmacked at how still and calm he was. He hardly winced. No tears. No crying. Three shots, two stickers and we were outta there. Then he got the toy I’ve had stashed in my closet for over a year, waiting for this fateful day.

I’m hoping the rest of this registration hoop jumping goes just as smoothly as the vaccinations, but I think once it’s done I’m going to be giving myself a new toy for making it through.

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