Paul Starke: Of all the surreal things that have transpired during 16 months of fatherhood, the most surreal occurred earlier this week, when I made an appointment to tour ... a PRESCHOOL. Again, Luke is 16 months old. He's barely mastered walking without falling, and as far as I can tell, his most impressive skill is his ability to stick several fingers into each of his nostrils simultaneously. From what I've heard, said skill will not go over well at the preschool interview.
Apparently, in New York, Luke must enroll in an expensive "2's program" for next fall (2010). Failure to do so means that not only Ivy League but also community college will be out of reach for him, and he'll be destined to spend his life wrapping Chalupas while attending town hall meetings screaming about socialism. We can't have that. So, not only do we have to enroll by next fall, but we also have to APPLY by this October! And part of the application process for these schools is some sort "American Idol"-style baby audition, where Luke interacts with other disinterested toddlers while educators take notes. I do hope that Luke doesn't sound too "pitchy."
In all honesty, I'm not too concerned about how Luke will go over with the preschool panel. He's quite charming and funny and he's stopped grabbing his balls all the time (unlike his father). No, I'm more worried about my wife and me. Our sense of humor (see "balls" joke above), can be a bit -- sophomoric. That's what I love about my wife, and what people usually hate about us. I don't know if I can avoid making jokes about glue sniffing while on the school tour.
But who knows, maybe being labeled as "undesirables" won't be such a bad thing. The thought of spending thousands of dollars on a few hours a week of toy-throwing and pants-s***ting seems like kind of a waste of money. I know I didn't start school until I was 4 years old, and look how well I turned out? Horrible example. I guess what I want to know is -- are "2's programs" really that vital, or can Luke get by on Sesame Street and old Sports Illustrated issues (our version of home-schooling) until Pre-K? I want Luke to get a great education, but have I been drinking the Kool-Aid on these programs? Please advise -- and any tips for seeming "grown up" during the interview process will be most appreciated as well.
In the meantime, I have to go to the bathroom for a "2's program" of my own (See? I couldn't help it. We won't be getting accepted anywhere...)
|Paul Starke is an Emmy-winning TV producer, and a co-writer of the #1 New York Times bestseller, "An Inconvenient Book."|