Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Pre-school Moms - The Junior Leaguers (6/29/06)

Today is Thursday, and it's a pre-school day. Yippee! I look forward to pre-school days not because I want time away from my son, but because I can usually be slightly more productive. Eric looks at Tuesdays and Thursdays as the days when I get a "break." I think that's very funny, and I'm sure all of you moms out there can relate. However, I've decided to find it charming. That's my new thing - trying to laugh about things instead of letting them annoy me. Pre-school is a perfect example of this.

It's not easy for me to leave my children, even if it is only for a few hours in the care of qualified professionals at a church daycare. In fact, the only time I have ever been away from Eli overnight is when I was in the hospital giving birth to Georgia. I know, I know, it's time to cut the cord. I'm working on it. Pre-school is one more baby step! And I remain constantly entertained by the people at Eli's pre-school.

Anyone who lives in this area knows that Johnson County is one of the richest counties in the country (so I've heard). I think at one time, it was the third richest in the nation, but I don't think that is currently the case. Within Johnson County, however, we know where all of the money is, and it's not in Overland Park, where I live. It's in Leawood. Unfortunately, with the money, comes a lot of snobby moms, or as my friend Heather #2 (not to be confused with Heather #1 who is getting married) calls them - the Junior Leaguers (JLs).

Why am I telling you this, you may wonder. Well, you'll need the back story, since the pre-school my son attends is Leawood Baptist. I chose this pre-school because it came highly recommended from a friend who used to teach there. Eli has been attending since last September. The regular session ended in May, and the summer session just started last week. The summer session only lasts a month. It's two days a week - Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 - 2:30, and cost $240. The prices just about kill me, but I was willing to pay it to have some extra productivity time, and to have something more for my son to do than to sit in front of the TV and watch Bob the Builder.

I fight with that enough the rest of the week. Yesterday, I finally turned off the TV and put Eli out back with a bucket of water and a paint brush and told him to paint the deck. That actually kept him entertained for awhile. He did run the hose so much refilling his bucket and watering the plants, that I'm sure our water bill will be outrageous. And he had to change his clothes four times because he was completely soaked, but he was getting "fresh air." Isn't that what our parents always told us? We needed to go outside and get some "fresh air!"

But I digress. Even though my goal was to get Eli away from the TV, guess what I found out this week's activities are at pre-school? Movies and popcorn! *sigh*

Most of the people I come into contact with at pre-school are very nice, with a few exceptions. The director, Miss Nicky constantly looks at me like I've got an extra head growing out of my shoulder. I haven't quite figured that out yet. I finally quit trying to make conversations with her because I can't stand her looking at me so strangely and not laughing at my jokes. I do have a nervous habit of making jokes when I'm uncomfortable. I'm sure my inappropriate sense of humor just causes her to look at me even more strangely, so I just can't win.

Then there are the other moms - the JLs - who show up to drop off their kids in their Lexus SUVs and their Infinitis, and have their make-up on and hair done, complete with designer sunglasses. Many times, they talk about going shopping on the Country Club Plaza while the kids are at pre-school. It's not that I don't go shopping, too, while Eli's at pre-school. I just do it at Aldi and Wal-Mart. I do have another mom friend whom I met the first day of pre-school last September - Nicola. When I walked in and saw her looking out of place with her hair in a pony tail and visible tattoos, I knew I had found a friend. She's a bartender at The Point, and I just love her. I'm missing her this summer. Unfortunately, they're not in the summer session.

Luckily, Eli's teachers are great, and the kids aren't old enough yet, I don't think, to worry about who's wearing what or who has the coolest backpack. (When does that start, anyway?) So, things are going well. I think if I just get over my insecurities, everything would be fine. Yes, I spent $30 on Crocs for Eli at the mall, when I could have bought the knock-offs at Payless. And he has a Buzz Lightyear backpack from the Disney store instead of a cheap one from Target.

Why is it I feel like I'm 13, still in competition with the cool kids? Does that feeling ever go away? Just when I think I'm getting better, the other moms knock me down a peg. Last month, the kids had a "mom's day." It was around Mother's Day, and the moms got to go in and spend an hour with their kids. A few days before that, one of the other moms came up to me and smiled, "Just a tip," she said, "They take your picture on Mom's Day." I just said, "Okay," not quite getting it. She responded, "So you might want to wear make-up or do your hair." Then she quickly said, "I'm telling all the moms so no one comes in looking like they just rolled out of bed." I politely thanked her and walked away, thinking, What the f*^# does that mean?!!!! I can't possibly look that bad in the mornings.

But like I said, I've decided to find things amusing instead of annoying, and being a writer - well, everything's a story!

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