The Kindergarten Registration that Never Was

This past week was Kindergarten registration week. I’m not sure how I knew enough to look for it in advance, but I knew it was coming and had it on my mental radar… until I didn’t. Half way through the week, a friend posted about her son’s prep for Kindergarten and by then there were only two days’ left. No problem. We set aside time on Friday to head over to the school and get everything in order.

Friday morning, in between getting dressed and getting the kids ready for swim class, I went downstairs to get Bug’s birth certificate. It was on the desk in my office with my birth certificate and Lady Bug’s birth certificate. Only it wasn’t. Panic ensued. I called Big Guy. He didn’t have it. I tried to remember if we had used it for something else. Nothing came to mind. I called the school who told me to go to Town Hall. For some reason, it never crossed my mind that I could get Bug’s birth certificate here since he had been born in a hospital in a different town. Panic muddles your brain, people. Just say no.

Packed the kids up and headed out in torrential rainfall for swimming class. Lady Bug’s sweatpants were too long and were soaked before she even hit the car. On the way into swimming, she tripped, skinned her knees and got her sweatpants even more wet. Not a good start.

During swimming, I made a frantic call to Town Hall to ask about the birth certificate. My phone has awful reception in that building, so I stood in the entryway (I can’t leave in case one of the kids needs a potty break) and hoped my signal wouldn’t go out. The woman at Town Hall was incredibly nice, took our info, and promised that the birth certificate would be ready when we arrived. Phew! Swimming class went well, but the kids were SO SLOW getting dressed afterwards. All of the other families were gone a good 10 or more minutes before my kids got their clothes on. I don’t entirely understand why they are so slow (maybe because I have two and am not dressing them myself), but it was an exercise in patience for me. Lady Bug’s sweatpants were still soaking wet.

We hit McDonald’s for lunch, which is a special treat for the kids. If you’re going to leave a note about how I’m killing my kids with McDonald’s, don’t bother. I will simply reply with a snarky remark and won’t change my opinion at all. McDonald’s went well… the kids each got the prize they wished for on the way in and we squeezed into one side of a booth together in one cozy lump.

After lunch, off we went to Town Hall. The kids thought it was a grand adventure and wanted to explore, but we nixed that one right away. $8 later, we had a birth certificate with a fancy gold seal. MY birth certificate doesn’t have a gold seal…

During our journey, Bug was worrying. He was worrying about leaving his friends at his current school, he was worried about whether he’d ever see his friends from his last school (that he left TWO years ago), and he was worrying about going to school five days a week. I’m not really sure what to do with all of the worrying. I reassured him as best I could, but I also want him to understand that change happens and that it can be a good thing, too. Either way, he doesn’t change schools for another six months, so he has plenty of time to get used to the idea.

At the new school Bug suddenly remembers the testing he had done there ages ago. Will they ask him lots of questions? Will he see the friends he made last time he was there? Sorry, guy. Nope. Just paperwork. Or not. Because it turns out that homeowner’s insurance doesn’t count at proof of residency. It was entirely my fault, because it wasn’t one of the things on the list (none of which we have readily available), but that was a downer. I decide I’ll head home, because certainly we DO have one of those things, but Big Guy tells me I’ll have to print them. Assuming that it’s going to be a pain to find the documents on his computer and not entirely convinced they’ll take a print out, I decide to head back to Town Hall.

Town Hall part 2 is just as nice of an experience. The kids each get Dum Dum lollipops and we meet an FBI SWAT team member who is applying for a fishing license. Turns out that you only pay half price when you hit 65 and it’s free when you turn 70. FBI agent tells her that he’s turning 70 in July, but no dice. He’s still got to pay a fee. It also turns out that we were supposed to get a form from the school, which she didn’t give me because I insisted I was going to go home to get the paperwork. The woman in charge (the Registrar?) prints out a copy of our voting registration and notarizes it, stating that we do, indeed, have residency.

Back to the school and the clock is ticking toward the end of the school day. We get introduced to the head teacher, who is incredibly nice, and helps set Ethan’s fears about switching schools to rest. She then tells me that my new document is still not on the list and won’t suffice. I make some joke about how hard it is to get into Kindergarten and she reminds me that they are protecting my tax dollars. Except that they are protecting my tax dollars from ME, but I don’t say that. I mean, I get it, but we have homeowner’s insurance and we’re registered to vote here. That seems like an awfully elaborate plot just to get into a school system. Whatever. Rules are rules.

We confirm that I can bring a printed copy of our recent taxes or mortgage bill and that I’ll return next Wednesday morning to actually register my child for Kindergarten. I hope. As for Lady Bug’s pants? They were dripping by the time we got home. Yuck.

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