Last spring as I began the process of enrolling Anna in the public preschool program, I realized that my fighting for the girls to all be in the same classroom would be problematic for the school administrators. First off, the number of students per room is small (12 to 15) and half of the class needs to be open for students with disabilities. The school keeps the same kids in the same rooms each year (most kids attend for 2 years until they turn 5) so that there is some consistency, which means limited openings. Spots are also left open so that kids turning three years old can enroll in the middle of the year.
About a month ago, we received three letters confirming the girls' teachers and rooms along with a date and time for orientation. As I do with most things that are not urgent or occurring in the current week, I tucked the date and time into the back of my dusty brain. I do remember thinking, "Crud, 10:00 to 11:00 is a horrible time. I think the next train to Boston is after 12:00."
About a week before, we began to plan for that day. With three adults (Grammy included), there would be an adult present in each of the rooms. I kind of felt that this was important as I wanted (mainly) Allie and Em to be comfortable with their teachers and new environment. Rich had marked the time on the calendar for orientation as 9:15 to 10:00. "Hmmmm," I thought, "I must have messed up the time."
Do you see where this is going?
A few days prior to orientation, Rich informs me that he just discovered that there is an HR meeting at work that he HAS to attend and he won't be able to make orientation. And then there were two.
Okay, okay. Shake it off. I can do this. I'll bring Allie to orientation since I sat in with Emily during her testing and I kind of feel like I got a good sense of her teacher during that process. Grammy can bring Emily and Anna into Emily's orientation, I'll leave Allie's early and meet them there and then pop into Anna's room. (Anna had already attended preschool for two and a half months in the spring, which is why I decided that speaking with her teacher wasn't as critical.)
I sat down at 8:40, 35 minutes prior to orientation, in my kitchen in an attempt to eat a bowl of cereal so that I would not vomit from starvation during orientation. I happened to pick up the original letters sent to us by the school and discovered that, yes, Allie's orientation was at 9:15 but ANNA'S AND EM'S WAS AT 10:15. HOW AM I GOING TO SWING THIS? I NEED TO BE ON A TRAIN AT 10:15. GRAMMY NEEDS TO BE SOMEWHERE WITH THE GIRLS AT 11:00 AND ANNA NEEDS TO BE CATHED BEFOREHAND.
Calm down. Calm down. (That's what Allie whispers to Elmo when he gets upset.) I decide to just pack up everyone and head over the school. Maybe I can find the other teachers after I meet with Allie's teacher and then still have enough time to make it to the train station.
While waiting in line to get into the school, we discovered that half of the students in each classroom had orientation at 9:15, while the other half was at 10:15. The secretary knows us now and said, "Oh, look. It's the triplets," when we walked into the building. I asked Grammy to wait with Anna and Em while I took Allie to her room. After meeting her teacher and getting the run down on what paperwork to fill out and what to pack in her backpack, I pull Allie out early and rush down the hall.
Well, it turns out that after the secretary found out what had happened with the times, she told Grammy that we shouldn't have to wait and went to talk to the teachers about the situation. By the time I arrived on scene, Grammy had the packages for Em and Anna and both munchkins were playing in Em's classroom. Disaster diverted. Train caught.
Please note that although I would LOVE it, they will not be dressed this cute for preschool on a normal basis. They have to wear play clothes and sneaks. Well, they don't HAVE to. It just makes life easier for everyone.