Decisions, decisions

31 Jan

One of the most problematic aspects of raising a kid in Park Slope is that the pressure around ‘success’ starts early, persists in expected and unexpected ways, and continues to pick and poke at you throughout baby’s childhood. Pressure for your baby to get into the right schools, participate in the right programs, play-dates, activities, it is a relentless gorilla standing on the chests of aspiring parents.

Now, two things about this phenomenon. First, your kid gets involved with cheating, or else dabbles in performance-enhancing drug use. And as a parent, you become more annoying than dangerous – one of those ‘well, my daughter is deciding between Harvard and Trinity College (oh, the one at Cambridge, not the one in Hartford, I know, a silly mistake that Americans make). I mean, Harvard is Harvard, sure, but we just think that an international sensibility just makes more sense in this globalized world. Don’t you agree?’ The high-performing but high-pressure educational world is just out there, waiting for you! Grab an apple, enjoy the show!

Second, just because something exists doesn’t mean that you have to participate in its least appealing aspects. This is precisely the pernicious problem of living in Park Slope. The social environment invites and rewards compliance. It’s one of the more convincing, sociological truths about culture and hegemony. So if you’re not going to care, that’s fine, but it’s going to make you an asshole at dinner parties. Not that we’re going to many dinner parties.

This is all a prelude to saying that baby was accepted to the tot-preK-preschool whatever program at the temple across the street. Yay! And the only other place that we ‘applied’ that I was enthusiastic about is the Montessori school in the neighborhood. But we have to decide about the synagogue school before we are going to know about whether he’s going to get into the other school. Bird in hand, etc.

I think we’re just going to just kind of say fuck it, we’ve never heard any bad things (on the contrary, we’ve had only good experiences with the temple so far) about the temple school, so we’ll just do that. And then if we’re unhappy, we’ll ask to be considered for Montessori next year. The thing is, I’m actually on board with Montessori methods. But compared to a sure thing that’s a 2-minute walk away, it’s hard to imagine not just participating in the temple school. I mean, he’s going to be frickin’ three next year, it’s not like they’re going to be learning calculus or something.

Anyhow, prepare yourselves for my being that asshole parent. I may become it despite my own best intentions.

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One Response to “Decisions, decisions”

  1. Davin February 1, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    (cough) Queenz (cough)

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