Thursday, July 7, 2016

So Much Stuff. For Preschool?!

what you need for preschool
He's been labeled (with personalized stickers, natch)
The Muffin Man started preschool (again) on Tuesday.

I know, I can't believe it either.  Excuse me while I take a moment to cry a little.  

After all the time and stress that's gone into finding the right school for him, you'd think I would be more prepared for this day, but, true to form, here we are with the first day of school behind us and I'm still scrambling to get everything organized.

Remember back in the 70's, when the only thing you had to bring with you for the first day of school was a box of Kleenex and some powdered TANG? 

Oh, how the times have changed, my friends.


THEN
NOW
Every kid got a name tag – nothing fancy, just one of those cheap stick-on ones from the drugstore – and a teacher wrote your first name on it.
Each student has a dossier that includes not only the child’s first name, but pictures of him as a baby, photos of his family, information about what he likes to do and where they prefer to vacation.  These binders full of all the important information about your child are a “wonderful project for parents to complete with their children” which ultimately means attempting to get your hyperactive toddler to decorate his "about me" page, while your spouse yells at the kid to pay attention, and which will culminate in an exhausted, over worked mommy filling in the rest of the thing late at night after everyone has gone to bed. 
Parents in the 1970’s didn’t label anything.  That’s just crazy talk.  They were too busy waiting in gas lines, smoking a Virginia Slim, and drinking TAB to label their child’s stuff.  Besides, isn’t preschool about learning to share? 
Every single item that your kid brings to school must be labeled.  We’re not talking about just writing your child’s name on stuff with a sharpie and calling it a day; that would never do.  Custom labels, in varying colors and designs are a necessity, and include iron-on labels for clothing, and dishwasher safe ones for your child’s lunch supplies.  The cost of the labels alone is more than the yearly tuition of the neighborhood nursery school you attended back in the 1970’s. 
Nobody kept extra clothes at school.  If you peed on yourself because you were too busy to use the toilet, then you were stuck having to wear urine-soaked clothes for the rest of the day.  Of course none of your classmates wanted to sit next to you at snack – you smelled like pee!  I bet that was the last time you didn’t stop playing to use the potty, amiright? 
A bag full of extra clothes is to be kept in your child’s cubby at all times.  It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that the bag of clothing remains fully stocked.  Each item must be labeled with your child’s name, and the selection of clothing should include appropriate attire for every single season.  Despite the fact that it only rains in Los Angeles two days a year, it is imperative that your offspring have a waterproof jacket and rain boots in his bag of extra clothing, because children are highly sensitive and it could be damaging to their psyche to be wet for half of a day.
There were no special nap mats or cushy pillows stored at school.  When it was rest time, your kid simply picked out a spot on the dirty rug, lay down, and went to sleep.  If you needed a soft mattress and a sound machine and any other special gear in order to sleep, you were not ready for preschool and you needed to stay home with Mommy because you were a BABY. 
Nap gear is required.  But don’t bother sending some old, ratty sheet and an extra pillow from your sofa.  NO.  Your kid needs a nap mat, which is basically a piece of fleece with some cute designs on it, for which you will end up paying more than you spent on your child’s crib.
Your lunchbox (if you had one) was a rickety metal thing with a picture of Charlie’s Angels or ET or Star Wars on the front.  It came with a thermos, that was supposed to keep your milk cold or your soup hot but which mostly “kept” any food inside of it at the perfect temperature to encourage bacteria growth.  Your sparkly lunchbox was purchased for a few bucks at the local drugstore, and usually looked like it had been run over by a car after a week of use.

The lunch contained within usually included such culinary delights as bologna on Wonder Bread, some cheese doodles, and a bruised apple.  Each of these items were placed inside a plastic sandwich bag.  Anything that wasn’t consumed was tossed in the garbage can along with those plastic baggies that are probably still taking up space in your old neighborhood’s local landfill. 
The lunchbox of 2015 is a fancy bento box type affair, that costs approximately ten times as much as your Barbie lunchbox of yore.  There are carefully portioned compartments for various healthy foodstuffs, none of which is labeled “cheese doodles”.  Parents are expected to prepare lunchtime meals that are healthy, appealing to a three year old, and pretty enough to post on Pinterest. 

This fancy lunchbox needs to be placed inside a temperature controlled lunch bag, which is a separate item also costing ten times more than your Transformers lunchbox.  The lunch bag has handles to make it easy to carry, but it also has a compartment inside to hold an ice pack so that your child’s lunch never reaches a dangerous temperature which could lead to a food-borne illness.  This is especially important since your child’s lunch often contains artisanal raw cheese or yogurt, sushi, and sprouted organic grains. 
Nobody had food allergies.  That’s just crazy talk ginned up by some wacko hippies in Berkeley.  Peanuts are delicious, no one even knew what gluten was, and any kid who didn’t drink milk was an under-nourished freak. 
Don’t even think about sending your kid to school with a nut product.  Peanuts are practically weapons of mass toddler destruction.  You better not put good ol’ wheat bread in your child’s lunch, or everyone will accuse you of pumping your child full of poisonous gluten.  Also, you may want to rethink sending your son to school with milk, because cow's milk is terrible and it is entirely possible Junior will be a social pariah since no one wants to be friends with THE MILK DRINKER.   

Honestly, I'm thinking of sending some cheese doodles for snack just to f*ck with them.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go get my Xanax prescription refilled. 

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