So, after getting used to the idea of Ingrid not going to school this year, we ended up getting into one. It's not our first choice, we have to drive there, but it's Montessori, it's free, and it's close even though it's not walking distance.
I have issues with the school. I'm not sure what the deal is, but it's an old middle school that they have split into the Montessori downstairs and a high school upstairs. Ingrid's room is bright and cheery, but you have to walk down this tunnel like corridor in the basement to get there. The teachers are all really nice, but frazzled. When I picked Ingrid up at lunchtime yesterday I could barely say hi to the teacher. It was just a madhouse! This morning when we dropped her off, there were about ten billion crying kids, which just broke my heart. Like not just whimpering, but full on bawling and screaming mama. And we were in the lunchroom so it was like echoey and loud and Ingrid just looked at me like "you are going to leave me here???" I stayed with her until they lined up for class.
She is happy there, she is smiley when we walk in, she didn't cry when Otis and I left, she seems happy to be there. I just don't like the chaos. I am so used to our leisurely mornings, it is a little jarring to go to this loud clusterf**k at 9am. Hopefully things will calm down as the school year goes on.
But it got me thinking of the other school runs I've done in the past and how very different they are from this one. When I was a nanny I would walk the kids to school and pick them up. I did it for a couple different families, and they were all at the same school in the same nice neighborhood in a suburb of Milwaukee. The school run there is moms that don't work walking over or driving their luxury SUVs. The moms chat about whatever while waiting for their kids, the kids come out in their expensive clothes and go to their after school activities.
Ingrid's school is in the Mexican part of town. It's bilingual so everyone speaks Spanish. There are a handful of white kids there. School starts at 9am but there is a subsidized breakfast program that most kids take part in, so that's why they start out in the lunch room. There is an afterschool program, too, so kids could theoretically be at school from 7:45am until 6pm. Because their parents have to work. They have nothing else to do with their kids. It's so different than what I'm used to!
We'll see how the next month or so goes. If Ingrid starts acting like she doesn't like it, I will take her out. She can go to the neighborhood Montessori next year for K4. I love the three hours she's away and Otis naps, but I love having her home, too. Either way...