Further Signs That I'm a Bad Parent

Emmeline's school has this thing called "happy grams." You're supposed to send notes to school occasionally, talking about something great your child did at home, which the teacher then reads aloud and posts on the blackboard. I think it's a great idea, and E really loves it when I send her to school with a happy gram--it's the least I can do, seeing as how I can't afford the tuition to send her to a school where she would by now be fluent in Mandarin or something.

Anyway--this week, I sent a happy gram to school, praising Emmeline for the fact that she had set the table all by herself one night this week. She was thrilled. Then, yesterday, when I went to pick her up from school, I stopped off at the bulletin board to peruse the happy grams. And there was E's note, praising her for setting the table, right next to the note that one her friend's mother wrote. It said something along the lines of "Sally is doing very well in the extra coursework we assign her at home. She can now count to 223, and, when using the abacus she got for Christmas, she can add sums up to 30." Our children are four. Am I supposed to be doing calculus with her at home now? How inadequate am I?

To further add to the mix, we got a notice in the mail today saying that the magnet schools in Jefferson Parish are accepting applications for next year. Kenny and I go back and forth on this idea--we're happy with her current school (my misgivings about Catholic education aside) and we don't necessarily want to move her. But, at the same time, $800/month for where she is now versus ZERO/month for a magnet school certainly makes it worth thinking about.

We applied last year, trying to get E in there this year for pre-K. We took her in for their required testing, and they said she did well. When the test scores came back, we were hopeful--she scored in the 96th percentile. Still, we knew that there were only 40 available slots for 400 children, so we weren't counting on her getting in and weren't surprised when we got the your-child-has-been-wait-listed letter.

Long story short, I called them today to see if we should even bother re-applying. I wasn't certain as to how the selection process went, as you have to score in the 75th percentile to be considered. My thinking was that if they put all of the kids' names who scored 75th percentile and above into a hat and just pulled names out until they'd reached their quota, it was pretty much impossible that she'd ever get in. But--but--if they were selecting kids based on their scores, maybe we had a chance. So, I called. Turns out, they do select kids based on their scores. But the woman said they didn't go any lower in scores than the 99.7th percentile, because the kids in the applicant pool were Just. That. Smart. So if E scored 96th percentile and they had at least 40 kids who were in the 99.7th percentile or above...yikes! Apparently, everyone but Emmeline got an abacus for Christmas last year. I don't know what we were thinking buying her that Sleeping Beauty outfit and Santa coloring book instead....


Pistolette said...

Oh I hear ya. I hate that crap. My first baby is 19 months and I send her to preschool, and they keep asking me to participate in stuff. I always forget or send the wrong thing because I only get 18 frickin' hours a week away from my toddler, and that time is usually spent one-on-one with her infant brother or godforbid some actual grown up work. I don't think I'm a bad mother, just one that refuses to jump through hoops to keep up with the yuppie-ass Jones'.

Kelly said...

Move to New Orleans. You know you want to. Factor that extra $800 a month into a mortgage ... do you think that we don't have crack dealer neighbors this far down the river?