Thursday, December 15, 2011

first world parenting problems

I went to public school.  

E went to public school. 

My mom taught at a public school for 39 years {thus ensuring her sainthood... or at least a lot of European vacations after retirement}. 

We are Public School People. 

Public School People who happen to live in Dallas Proper where you don't send your kids to public school unless illiteracy is your jam.*

*HUGEASS Over-Generalization Alert. But, for the reals, the schools in our particular neighborhood are total shit.

So now we get to fret over where to send our not-yet-born child and half our paychecks. 

Apparently this decision - one that won't go into effect until 2017 - is one we should have been contemplating back in 2006... sometime after our initial meeting in the library but before trying to impress one another with our well-developed beer palates at Cricket's. 

That was not a euphemism for "we made out in a bar on our first date," by the way

Although, if memory serves me correctly, we did make out in a bar on our first date. 


Thus far, our highly-scientific research consists of walking around the neighborhood and checking out the yard signage and bumper stickerage for the folks with nice-but-not-too-nice cars who also recycle.  

We also like to pull up school websites, exclaim over the extreme cuteness of all the neat, jumper-clad, multicultural kindergarteners finger-painting in harmony, before glancing at the tuition tab and quickly clicking the browser back to A Safe Place... Facebook, Reader, Google Searches for "Cabybras Wearing Saddles," etc.

Kidding aside, I don't think I could be more unconcerned about this rigamarole, much to the chagrin of Those Who Know Better About These Things.  The kid will learn the ABCs.  Maybe not in Aramaic. But what can you do.  

 I have bigger fish to fry, frankly.  Like "hmmmm, perhaps we should discuss purchasing either the crib mattress or the pack-n-play... just in case we actually ever want her to sleep when she comes home." 

But every now and again, an email exchange will once again stir up the Private School Debate... and  subsequently tickle me to the point that I just have to stop and have a chuckle at this "How in the Hell Did I Get Here" wonderful, crazy life...

11:03 A.M.  I love [Fancy-But-Not-Too-Fancy Private School Full of Families Who Recycle].  It's so cute.  That's where I want [Quesita] to go.  But it says for the admissions process, she will be evaluated in a classroom setting and on the playground.  Wow.  Intense. 

11:20 A.M.  What if she can't do the monkey bars?  I could never do the fucking monkey bars.  Does she get points deducted?  WILL THERE BE A RUSSIAN JUDGE WHO IS A STICKLER FOR DISMOUNTS?


  1. Oh wow I feel you! I live in the Dallas city limits as well but work at a law firm in the ‘burbs and everybody talks about when I have kids I either have to (a) move to the ‘burbs for public school or (b) pay for the kid’s tuition for the Dallas private schools. It stresses me out and I don’t even have kids yet. I grew up in Idaho and we didn’t even have a private school option so all of this hullabaloo of private school is baffling to me.

  2. Hubs went to public school when there was only one in his town and now there are four. Now that there are several in one district you have to make sure you live in the "right" zoning so they get to go to a "good" public school. Thankfully the new house we're moving to has a great inexpensive private school nearby or I'd be in your shoes at some point. Good luck with it, you'll find something that fits your family :)

  3. we're stuck between the two husband, being of public school and me, being of private school. none of the schools in the area are amazing unless you want to drive forever AND pay a fortune. we've decided its a decision to put off for now.

  4. The city where I grew up had the same problem. My dad still tells me stories of wining and dining our school administrator neighbor to get me into the right PRESCHOOL. I actually vaguely remember my kindergarten evaluation- lots of games! I'm sure Quesita will do great.

  5. Good luck with class of 2017! I love the fact that you are checking out bumper stickers as research - actually a very intelligent plan!

  6. As a fundraiser for a private school in Louisville, KY but a product of the public system in Henrico County, VA I can relate. Louisville's public system - you've probably read stories about it - still does busing that until a year or so ago was based on race. Your child could be on a bus for 45-60 minutes to be sent to a downtown school, its crazy. Thus we have a TON of Catholic schools in the city! Where I work its a campus with preschool starting at 1, k-8 and high school. Even as an employee I had to register my unborn child for March 2013 classes once they turn 1 to be sure to reserve a spot in the preschool. Its craziness! Luckily, our game plan is move back home to VA before the little one goes to K or I'd be staying put in my job FOREVER - 50% tuition discount for employees!

    Good luck! I will say, being in the private school world, Ursuline Academy of Dallas is regarded as one of the best, but I'm sure with an alum like Melinda Gates its probably one of the most expensive too! Figure out how to work there and get a discount ;)

  7. My husband went to private school and I went to public school. My parents moved into a nicer part of town just so I could get a better education for free and I loved my experience growing up! It is always a debate on were our kids will go but I feel like we know, once we know their personalities and what the state budget looks like in 3 years. Yikes!

    Isn't it crazy how we have to decide all these things before we even meet our precious little one? People told me to sign up my daughter as soon as she was born for the charter school in our area. There is a wait list which I think is crazy. In Colorado, private schools are okay. The thing is, we have just as good public schools here but they have a waiting list to choice your child into it.

    As a former assistant principal of a great public school, my advice is to save some money as an option for private school. Get her on a waiting list. At the right time, you will know whether or not you want to send her there and if she qualifies or not. If you decided to go public, use that money saved up for college.

  8. People are already asking us if we'll be moving to Southlake or Colleyville to be near the right schools. My husband went to private parochial schools, but in Louisiana it's a must, whereas I grew up in public schools. Such a first world problem!

  9. As someone else who was born and raised in public schools, and I'm now serving my 5th year on the front lines of public school, I too want to send my future child to private schools or a homeschool co-op. The direction that public schools are heading scare me. Standardized testing and teaching certain obscure topics because someone who knows nothing about children and education says we should....I don't like it. I think the schools are great and doing the best they can, it's the people higher up who are controlling them that scare me.

    ...and that's my two cents for the day!

  10. Same thing in Houston. But husband and I both did private school. Only problem is that the school that I went to, now costs a car (not a car payment) a year. And most everywhere has a multi-year waiting list. TOO. MANY. IMPORTANT. DECISIONS.

  11. Have you looked into Montessori schools at all? Some of them are free. Anne at Crafts and Cardigans is a Montessori teacher, and it sounds fantastic!

  12. You just moved there - you must have thought about this when you were shopping for houses, no? Is whatever you were thinking then not a possibility anymore?

  13. Of course we considered this when we moved. And we've always planned to go the private school route in this neighborhood (or in just about every other Dallas Proper neighborhood). It's the trade-off you make to live in the city as opposed to the 'burbs. I'm not all "woe is me" about it... just trying to poke fun at the situation... because, while it's reality, it's also ridiculous.

  14. It's sort of ridiculous how early you have to focus on this isn't it? When we were in Savannah, we knew which private school BG was headed too from birth. I'm a public school girl but the hubs is private school raised and insists she do the same. Since schools these days scare the hell out of me, I jumped on board. Then we moved to SC where all schools kind of suck. So that's fun. Maybe I should just homeschool?! I mean I can teach her the differences in types of cheeses and beers... that's perfect prep for college ;)

  15. I'm in Fort Worth and it's the same song and dance over here. People were asking me where I was sending my kid to school as soon as we had the first sonogram - WTF?!? Our oldest is almost 3 now, so I figure I still have 2 years to figure it out. :) And make everyone else guess at what we're going to maybe go to public school (gasp!)

    p.s. Both me and the hubs went to public all our lives.


happy little comments!