August 18, 2008

If Preschool Were Heaven, It Would Be Rainbow Lane!

As I christened my new fancy schmancy birthday skillet last night, my cell phone was glued to my ear. As always. Lyndi and I were discussing some random tidbit from our alternative universes when my cell phone beeped, an unrecognized number flashing on the shitty Motorola screen.
It was Sara(h) Fryman, of the Rainbow Lane fame. Now, for those of you non-Western Oklahomans frequenting my blog, I know Rainbow Lane is gibberish to you. You probably think it's a swinging gay bar and, considering my flare for hot dudes in mini-shorts, I can totally see why you would suspect that.
However, Rainbow Lane isn't a bar and the only thing "gay" about it is the pure mecca of happiness that it is. So, for all you wordsmiths out there, it is like 19th century gay, not 21st century gay. Like hundreds and hundreds of other Western Oklahoma kiddos, I attended the miracle-working pre-school a little over 20 years ago. Long before I started breeding, I imagined my little angels (angels in my dream, I know no one puts that description on Ridge and Rolan unless they are asleep. And then it's only, don't they LOOK like angels.) be-bopping out of Rainbow Lane's doors as they eagerly told me of their eventful day.
Before Rowdy swept me off my feet and into the barely inhabitable wilderness that is now my home, I lived right behind the Rainbow Lane. In the spring, I would sit in my backyard and watch the gleeful children bouncing on the playground. I would even pour my beer into a colored cup in order to not corrupt their tiny minds. Noble Peace Prize, word?
Like most local parents, I called the private super school's owner when the boys were itty bitty to get them on the list, but the demand for the expertise of Rainbow Lane is no smaller than the organ transplant list. Seriously, you can get in line for a kidney and get one faster than you can sneak your child into Rainbow Lane.
Rainbow Lane is a preschool, so the time a kid can go is limited. Even though Ridge has been on the list for a pretty minute, as the school year approached and I didn't get a call for him, I buried my disappointment. There's always next year, right? Fingers crossed!
But then I got the call last night, just like the one when some strapping 19-year-old baseball player gets called to the majors from the farm team.
It turns out some foolish parent blew off this opportunity of a lifetime to have their kid in affordable private school, to give them a jump start on their education and now my baby boy is going to reap the benefits of their procrastination.
As Mrs. Fryman told me of the open spot, I could hardly contain my giddiness. Then she said the two words every late riser dreads: MORNING CLASS.
The school is 30 miles from our house, so the AM learning comes a little earlier for us than it would for the other students. And under any other circumstance, I would have grumbled a decline, but I was too freakin' excited to even consider that.
I asked Mrs. Fryman if I could talk about it with my husband and she graciously said yes. Considering that she has a list of other waiting kids who would jump on this slot like a midlife crisis on an impressionable young girl, I thought that was particularly nice of her.
So then comes the hard part, convincing my tight ass husband that this venture will be worth not only the monthly class fee, but also forking over gas money to make the nearly 60 mile round trip. Thank goodness for President Bush's global warming plan of making all fuel so damned unaffordable that folks are too poor to leak harmful emissions. I hope the Nobel Peace Prize people don't hear about this. That prize is mine, bitches!
I walk into the living room, my husband is kicked back in his chair and I go into the sales pitch.
I start by telling him that if he would have gone to Rainbow Lane, as I did, that he would know how much Ridge has to gain from this. Before I spoke to him, I had already snuck into the other room, calling my aunt to see if I can help in her cafe while Ridge is in school. Take that, gas prices! So, I lead the sentence with knowing how expensive the fuel would be, then explaining that's why I already lined up a little money maker while I'm in Elk City.
As I made my case, I told Rowdy of two of my friends opinions.
My friend the homeschooler who won't send her children to public schools because she feels the education is inadequate sends her kids to 2 years of Rainbow Lane. She's pretty cocky about her ability to teach her children. Rightfully so since she's a genius. And yet she feels like the master teachers at the Rainbow Lane can educate her kids as well or better than she can. Not only do they lay a solid foundation for their elementary education, but she says the experience taught her children manners and independence.
And then second story I told to Rowdy was of my educator friend who not only sends her children to Rainbow Lane, but also says she can see a difference in kids that got to go in her classroom.
Rowdy listened intently, but I could tell he was still on the fence. I mean, Ridge is almost 4 and Rowdy has visions of exploiting child labor dancing his head. Knowing what a lazy ass I am in the morning, I knew he would be impressed if I was willing to rise earlier enough to have Ridge in Elk City, over 30 minutes away, at 8:30 in the morning.
We discussed it a little more, me continuing to explain to Rowdy that the whole purpose of one life is to advance the genetic position for the next link in the chain. I could see he was warming up this idea. He is all about world domination, so that idea warmed his ambitious heart.
He decided to call his sister, who sent her two children to Rainbow Lane as well. I think maybe he expected her to say that it was a good experience, but not quite the life-molding event that I was painting it to be. So, it totally rocked my face off when she started praising the child-teaching methods of the Rainbow Lane staff.
I called Mrs. Fryman and accepted the open slot. Yes, I wish it was in the afternoon and God knows I should be growling like an attack dog by this time tomorrow afternoon. I am a bit nervous about my farm boy, Tom Sawyer, all wide-eyed and excited as he tells his new friends about cutting out and then eating calf balls. I hope he doesn't ask for the bathroom's location by announcing to one of his teachers, "Hey, I need to shit." When I take Rowdy around city dwellers, they normally circle him as though he is some relic in a dusty museum. Ridge is his little mini-me, so he will most assuredly bewilder his classmates.
I know I'm suppose to be all misty-eyed at the thought of my oldest boy starting school. I mean, he's never even been to a daycare. But, at least at this moment, I am not. I'm just too pumped about all the fun he is going to have.

Oh, stop by one of my favorite blogs, The Noble Pig, and enter her super cool giveaway. She's awarding not 1, not 2, but 11 prizes. I realize directing all of you to it is poor strategy, but Cathy is a culinary genius and I think you would like it. Plus, like any good momma, I put you, my chicklets, above myself. Right!

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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I love reading your blogs. They make me happy. I seriously check several times a day hoping to see that you have posted a new one. You should be famous for your writing. AND like I posted on your myspace, the call from Mrs. Fryman made our decision of whether to move to Dallas or not when Casey already had two job options.

Anonymous said...

If I was a lezbo... I'd be in love with you. You're about as cute as a speckled pup pulling a little red wagon (Ok, so I totally stole that line from some dude who used it on me 20 years worked for the weekend anyway).

Shonda Little said...

Okay, well, now I'm kinda in love with you.

Anonymous said...

WOW! 30 miles away and first thing in the morning! My sister was in a similar situation with her girls and their school that she got them into was so far away from her house also. She was so happy to get them into this school but it did take its toal after a little bit. When she collected them later in the day to bring them home they always slept the whole way. But it worked out in the end and they got a fab education. The things we do for the kiddies :-) you are one fantastic mom!

Shonda Little said...

Awwww.....thanks Romach!

Mayberry said...

WOOO! Great news! I love preschool. I mean, I love preschool for my kids. Well, I loved preschool when I was a kid ... oh, never mind.

Anonymous said...

You go right ahead, Butter Bean, USE me...! XOXO

Martie of

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