Secrets of Bacon & Sanity

Do you like to maintain your sanity while having young kids?

Do you seek out ways to avoid having a stroke when getting said kids out the door?

Do you like bacon in the morning?

Yes? Yes? And yes?

Then, please, allow me to share a rare nugget of parental wisdom with you.

Let’s call it: In Defense of Afternoon Kindergarten.

Oh yes — deep, deep thoughts over here.  Try to stay with me.

I remember it well. The madness, last Spring, over who could get a slot in the public morning Kindergarten. Or, said another way, how not to get stuck in the afternoon class.

First, I’ll state the semi-obvious and say that Kindergarten in our town is not full-day. It’s just a half-day program. And, by “half-day,” I mean shorter than pre-school. Pretty much, it’s enough time to get groceries and curse out the Board of Education while rushing to get to pick-up as your frozen items thaw in the car.  I like to file it under Absurd Things That I Can’t Control But Still Piss Me Off.

For logistical reasons I won’t bore you with, we needed PM Kindergarten.  I went so far as to request it, which was met by some hybrid of utter disbelief, the sound of crickets, distinct euphoria and borderline-gift-giving by the Kindergarten office. It was like they’d seen an alien: “You, want to, uh, request PM Kindergarten? Well, I think we can accommodate you. And love you forever.”

{That last part might have been in my head. I’m not sure.}

People around town would look at me with pity.  They would wince with sympathy.  “Oh, you got PM?  Oh, I’m sorry.  What are you going to do?”

I’d explain that we requested it.  Then they would pretty much blink audibly, walk away and write me off as clinically insane.

So, look, I know I’m only three weeks in here, but I think I’m kind of in love with afternoon school (except for the mind-numbing drop-off logistics).  I believe I’ve happened upon one of motherhood’s best kept secrets.  It’s like winning a small part of the Sanity Lottery.

Let me break it down for you.

  • My kids are best behaved in the morning.  They’re rested.  They’re fed.  They haven’t had time to build up any irrational rage toward me or each other yet.  People, why give that behavior to the teachers when I can keep it all to myself?
  • There’s something to be said for not giving oneself the early stages of a stroke trying to get the kids out the door in the morning.  We’re not sleeping in over here, but pajamas stay on for a nice long while.
  • I have time to make bacon.  Need I say more?
  • PM school breaks up the day pretty nicely.  Like I mentioned, the kids are relatively well-behaved in the morning.  So just when they are approaching their breaking point — Oh, look, it’s time for school!  They come back at 3:30 and we’re in the home stretch for the day.  With morning school, everyone is home by noon.  For the day.  That leaves something like 319 hours before bedtime.
  • Did I mention the bacon?

Let me sum that up for  you:  Good behavior.  Breaking up the day.  Pajamas.  Bacon.  No stroke symptoms.

I may live to eat these words as the school year goes on, but for now I can’t — because my mouth is full of bacon.

Yes, there are drawbacks, like being the social pariah in town.  Who wants to meet me for coffee at 1pm?  Nobody, because their kids all just got home from their morning programs and they are trying to keep them busy for the 319 hours leading up to bedtime.

That’s OK.  I’m very comfortable in my pajamas right now.


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  1. Teri says:

    I love your accuracy when it comes to the countdown to bedtime. And your love of bacon

    Great post!


  2. Beth says:

    You had me at bacon.

  3. Jen T. says:

    Em got “stuck” in the pm class when she started preschool, but I ended up loving it. I did end up putting Ryan in the a.m. class, though, b/c I figured if we had to get up and out anyway, then we were all up and out. And b/c then I had an excuse to go out to lunch when I picked him up, which meant I didn’t have to cook and it was nap time when we got home.

    • fordeville says:

      That makes sense. I get it when people have older kids who are out of the house in the morning. But here at Bacon Central, PM it is.

  4. I’ll meet you @ 1. I have long been a social pariah in my town. Mostly b/c I don’t keep my mouth shut about the absurdities, but that’s another story.

    I’m down w/ afternoon schooling. I’ve always sent my kids to the afternoon session of preschool. (We only have morning K here). I was the only one to do so, but I could never understand why. Why would anyone want to get their kid up & dressed & rushed out the door at 8 just to have them back by 11:30. And then what? What can you do for the next 15 hours? I felt the afternoon school helped to break up the day.

    I have also left a full cart of groceries at Shoprite after I’d done all my shopping but didn’t have time left to check out b/c I had to race back to pick up my kid from school. I was late anyway & then I had to trek back to the Shoprite & see if my cart was still there – it was!- and then check out.

  5. Tamara says:

    This is brilliant.

  6. I think this post should serve as your application to Mensa.

  7. We requested PM back in the day, too – I have no idea how the AMers get little kids corralled that early?!?! By the time the next kid was in kindergarten, they’d mercifully switched to full day. Then I had another baby and I’m back to a no bacon situation. Gah.

  8. Erin S. says:

    This post is hilarious and well argued! After reading this, all moms are going to want a PM spot. I’ll have to keep this in mind when dealing with kindergarten in a few years. Side bar – the bacon shortage is such sad news. Turkey “bacon” and tofu “bacon” are just not the same.

  9. Meredith says:

    This post made me feel so much better! We still have half-day kindergarten in these parts too, and I was all worked up over how I would get my son in the morning slot, but I now realize it might be cool not to! Thanks for opening my eyes and love that you’ve freed me from being one of the audible blinkers 😉

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