Tuesday, February 07, 2006

My Own Private Groundhog Day

I had something a tad more poetic to post today, but this day of insanity definitely trumps any artsy words I might have, so I'll share it instead.

Today, MomCat did the ritualistic dance of the desperate SAHM...the tango to get her darling toddler into a Mother's Day Out program next fall. That's right, for next August, you must register and pay NOW.

I should explain that I live an over-crowded suburban land of too many kids aged 5 and under. Our neighborhood really resembles a free-roaming wildlife park, just substitute kids for those wild animals. And, yes, they WILL bite if you try to feed them from your car, so please be CAREFUL when you're driving through!

But, I digress. So, I was giving the number and date of a phone-in registration at a choice preschool. Calling in? No long lines? No waiting for hours at the crack of dawn to get in, like at a lot of places in our area? ALRIGHTY, then! Now we're TALKING!

I knew this would be tricky, but I had no idea how tricky until I experienced it. I came as close to experiencing my own personal Groundhog Day, as Bill Murray ever did in the movie. My morning went something like this:

7:50 a.m. MomCat waits with son at bus stop, pacing and neurotically checking her watch.

7:55 a.m. Bus shows up late. Son gets on. Momcat waves, blows kisses, and then HIGHTAILS it to her house.

8 a.m. MomCat immediately dials, getting...wait...what is that? A ring? No busy signal? On my FIRST TRY? Are you kidding?

8:03 a.m. DRAT! Their machine picked up! They must not be answering yet. MomCat hangs up and calls again.


Receptionist: "XYZ Early Childhood Center, may I help you?"
MomCat: "Why, yes, I was told I could call to register my daughter this morning."
Receptionist: "Last name?"
(MomCat gives the last name.)
Receptionist: "Alright, you're the second in line. Please hold and the registration desk will be with you shortly."

MomCat does her best imitation of Steve Martin's dance in The Jerk. Toddler peers at her from behind her toast with a concerned look.

Every 2 minutes...for about 15 minutes.

"Please hold."
"Please hold."
"Please hold."

Suddenly...a dialtone. What the @#$%!

8:25 a.m. MomCat frantically dials back in...FOR 10 MINUTES STRAIGHT. Busy signal...after busy signal. FINALLY, she gets through.

Receptionist: "XYZ Early Childhood Center, may I help you?"
MomCat: "Yes, I was on a very long hold to register my daughter and I got cut off."
Receptionist: "Last name?"
MomCat gives the last name again.
Receptionist: "OK, you are on the list. Please hold for the registrar again."

Every 2 minutes...for about 12 minutes.

"Please hold."
"Please hold."
"Please hold."

Suddenly...phone is transferred to the regular church office phone number and I get an answering machine. Oh, NO! You have GOT to be @#$%ing KIDDING!

8:45 a.m. MomCat frantically dials back in AGAIN...FOR 15 MINUTES STRAIGHT. Busy signal...after busy signal. FINALLY, she gets through.

Receptionist: "XYZ Early Childhood Center, may I help you?"
MomCat: "Yes, I have NOW been cut off twice holding for the registrar?"
Receptionist: Last name?
(MomCat gives the last name again trying to muffle the sound of her teeth knashing against one another violently.)
Receptionist: "Oh, yes. OK, let me get more information. You are on the list. Daughter's name and date of birth? Phone number?"
MomCat gives the information.
Receptionist: "OK, I have your information and the registrar will call you right back."
MomCat steams with frustration and smirks, "Yeah, we'll SEE."

2 hours pass. No call.

MomCat decides to go to a kickboxing class, to let out her frustration. Upon showing up to the gym, she discovers the class began 30 minutes earlier than she thought. Unfortunately, she doesn't get out enough of her aggression. Driving home, she starts to feel a sinking feeling and
calls back to the school. The receptionist puts her through to the registrar...no holding.

Registrar: "XYZ Early Childhood?"
MomCat: "Yes! I have been holding and cut off twice and have been calling since 8 a.m. this morning. I was told my daughter was on the list for registration, but I did not hear back from you and I wanted to confirm this.
Registrar: Name?
MomCat rattles off her daughter's name.
Registrar: "Um, no... you're not on my list. Hmmm...let's see if we have an opening...."

MomCat, pulls the car over and parks, aware she is no longer fit to drive. Steam is shooting from her ear canals, her head is beaded with sweat. She is no longer the MomCat. She is a ravenous lion, ready to rip someone's head off in a second if her daughter does NOT get into this preschool THIS VERY INSTANT.

After several minutes of delay,the registrar comes back on.

"Date of birth?"


"Yes, she was born yadda, yadda, yadda...as I had told the lady BEFORE."

Several more minutes while the registrar shuffles papers and sighs.

Registrar: "Why yes, we have a spot for her right here in a Tuesday/Thursday class with several other kids with spring birthdays."

The mountain of steam begins to simmer down...MomCat polites takes down the information she needs with another confirmation that her daughter is INDEED going to be in their program in the fall. She then drives to a local bar and procedes to drink 12 tequila shots and a rum and coke to soothe her nerves.

(OK, that last part is not true, but I did consider it! Instead, I went to the grocery store and spent too much money.)


Blogger Tamara said...

Too funny. I am working on a post that details two bizarre telephone conversations. Although the ignorance in my tale is all on my end... Doh! Keep an eye out!

2:35 PM, February 07, 2006  
Blogger Erin said...

Ugh! How frustrating!! I'm glad you got it worked out, but those shots do sound good!

4:06 PM, February 07, 2006  
Blogger Masked Mom said...

Sometimes living in a teeny, tiny town in the middle of nowhere has its advantages. We have more programs than we've got kids, but I have the feeling the commute from Texas to here would cancel out any benefits. :)

6:34 PM, February 07, 2006  
Anonymous Angela said...

Oh my gosh, how insanely frustrating!! And seriously, register in early February for August classes? Wow... who knew...

I sure hope there's some kind of manual for this motherhood thing!

6:58 PM, February 07, 2006  
Blogger Chrixean said...

Yes, that will definitely drive me to the nearest bar to down a few bottles of beer, a pack of cigs to smoke, and then eventually lead me to the mall to splurge on clothes that will eventually not fit in a few months. :-P

9:18 PM, February 07, 2006  
Blogger Viamarie said...

That frustrating experience is enough to ruin a supposedly beautiful day.

5:56 AM, February 08, 2006  
Blogger Vanessa said...

Those daycares have you right where they want you and Ithink they enjoy messing with your minds. Glad you got through, however!

6:42 AM, February 08, 2006  
Blogger Tyra said...

Glad you got her in after all that, you might've come through the phone at the lady if you didn't, lol.

7:32 AM, February 08, 2006  
Blogger Lazy Daisy said...

You go girl...great restraint for not using the receptionist head as a kick boxing tool. Sorry to tell you this..it only gets worse as they grow older!

7:50 AM, February 08, 2006  
Blogger daysgoby said...

We have the same no-brainers running the daycares here - think they're related?

I actually had this gem the other day:
Daycare worker: Your child's name?
Me: Rosemary.
Daycare worker: Umm.. is that a boy or a girl?

I managed, barely, to not let my jaw hit the floor. I did, however, make sure she wasn't going to be teaching my...ummm...girl.

10:42 AM, February 08, 2006  
Blogger Lisa said...

What an ordeal! I'm glad you were able to get it all sorted out though. Hopefully during the school year you won't have any need to call the school.

3:40 PM, February 08, 2006  
Blogger Shelli said...

That totally makes me laugh my a$$ off! I am sorry. If you had to experience it, at least you can make people laugh at it, right?!

9:18 PM, February 08, 2006  
Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

Oh, I know the feeling. Those mothers day out groups are hard to get a space in, aren't they? Everyone in my play group is on a waiting list somewhere.

Of course, the beauty of having two older girls is that I don't need a morning out. I get a few hours off every afternoon, when baby visits the girls while they do their homework in the playroom. Woot! Bring out the Chardonnay! ;)

8:51 AM, February 09, 2006  
Blogger Sassy said...

You had me at hello. Good gawd...I LOVE being oh hold and cut off and on hold and cut off. Very funny!

1:42 PM, February 09, 2006  

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