Going through the Kindergarten Registration packet is a little less daunting the second time around, but no less annoying.
First and foremost, the amount of repetitive information is staggering. You know, there is this change management rule that says you have to repeat something seven times before it really sinks in...I don't think that should apply to this packet situation. Just the one page with important dates would have sufficed. Don't keep throwing out random dates on other pieces of paper that I have to reconcile to the Important Dates page. (Because, yes, I'm an auditor, and I reconciled them.)
Also, you may think it is 2013, but filling out this paperwork is like stepping back into 1980 before they invented computers, dot matrix printers, and the Internets. I had to write our address EIGHT times. THREE times on the SAME paper. I had to write MY name TWELVE times (not counting signatures). This better be part of the modernization program our taxes are going towards this year. Seriously, it's easier to pay taxes than to sign your kid up for kindergarten.
Also, the rest of the world has gone paperless, we don't get "utility bills" anymore for proof of residency. Okay, I do. But I'm sure there are people that are more green than I am.
Mixed messages. On one pages it lists all the things you MUST bring with you in order to register, but then two more pages in it gives you the same list, in a different order and using different terminology and then tells you to just have it all in by August 9th.
Note to first timers: This August 9th thing is helpful for the health and immunization records. In case you are like me and have kids with late spring/early summer birthdays and your insurance won't cover more than one well-visit in the same 12-month period, it doesn't make sense to have the doctor fill out all the paperwork now, just to have them update it again in two months when you actually go in for a check up.
In contrast to the overload of repetitive information, there are little tid bits that lack any clarity. For instance...Birth Certificate. Okay, is that a copy? A certified copy? Do I have to go stand in line at Vital Statistics for an official duplicate? Hint: None of the above. You have to bring your original and they make a copy of it while you are there.
Now here is where I admit the number of times I started to write my name instead of Zoe's...three. And the number of times I mistakenly marked her as "male"...one (in my defense, the lines were confusing). There's no prevention for user error.
Number of times I felt guilty...when they asked when my child reached certain developmental milestones and I had no fracking clue because she is my second child and therefore there is no record of ANYTHING. You have my best guess, people. All I know is that she took twice as long to talk and half as long to ride scooter as my oldest. But my oldest spoke early and still has no large motor skill coordination. So if you average it out, it's average.
Sidebar: I'm mildly offended that they always ask for the father's information first when you know damn well it is the mothers that are filling it out and we are the first ones (with exceptions) that are going to get a phone call if something goes wrong.
Okay, so it took less than a lunch hour to get it done, so who cares? (Well, me obviously, because I could have been reading Entertainment Weekly's recap of Once Upon a Time or sending more links of puppies to my husband.)
But just in case you have everything ready and get through this week and think you are in the clear...rest assured you will get another packet of information at the Kindergarten Open House (not an Open House) in which you will need to write down your address and phone numbers at least three to five more times.
And, oh shit, I completely forgot about Safety Town. (Which may explain why my kids and I rode our bikes to the playground yesterday without helmets.) I seriously need a carpool situation for that one. Calling all SAHMs that want another kid for two weeks.
FYI - to any BV moms going through this for the first time...the alternative transportation sheet is stapled to the back of the transportation packet...get it in early so you know you get your correct bus information this summer.
Now all I have left to do is convince the school I need to be in AM Kindergarten when I clearly live in the PM zone. Oh, and convince Zoe that she does, in fact, want to attend. No problem.
Lighten it up with some Girlie Things
2 days ago