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Yo, [Preschool lady], I’mma let you finish, but…

5 years ago

1430 words

So, two things happened on Wednesday after I finished my post that have stuck with me all week and both were annoying and funny at the same time.

First, on Facebook, I ran across this horribly written article by Shawn Bean, executive editor at Parenting magazine. This open letter to Mr. West was written, I think (I hope?) to be sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek, but I’m going to go ahead and speak out on it for a second. Let me first say that, though Kanye has a few featured songs on my “psych-up” playlist, I’m not going to call myself his #1 fan. I’ve never really gotten the appeal of Kim or her sisters or her mother, and I don’t understand why they get so much media play. Famous for the sake of being famous is a little trite to me. So the big announcement about the Kimye baby and the fallout that ensued has been more annoying than interesting. The only reason why I’m writing about this thing is because it brings about a few pet peeves for me that need to be addressed. 1) People overcompensating for their non-coolness by over using Black lingo (in this case the wheezy/peezy/Kanyeezy crap). Yes, it does make you sound desperate and racist all at the same time. 2) us deciding that it’s ok to judge other couples and being like “ohhh, you’ll be such great parents” and being all insincere.  and 3) bringing up the race of the parents and thus the baby and then also linking that to potential parenting. Maybe I’m oversensitive because I feel like my interracial marriage seems to be a thing wherever we go.

It really was the yeezy/wheezy/fosheezy crap that really bothered me. Remember when Snoop coined the shizzle stuff in the 90’s (or was that early 2000’s? I was in high school…) and then Black people had to remind everybody else that “Nizzle” was off limits? And then everyone just kind of dropped it anyway? Yeah. You aren’t a down-ass white boy when you write yeezy in your article. Especially when it’s for what is considered to be a major magazine. And also when you are doing it to plug your book about fatherhood. And also I have a little bit of a problem with White men deciding that they need to comment on Black Fatherhood at all. You can go ahead and butt out of that one.

Now, I feel like I’ve outgrown my subscription to Parenting magazine anyway. I was particularly all set when Parenting did a major feature on the lovely Michelle Obama, and the Editorial Director decided to write the feature article in “girlfriend” mode–complete with “OMG” and extra exclamation points. Ick. The constant features on extravagantly expensive celebrity baby stuff is also a little annoying. But then in the same magazine, they’ll write up articles on ridiculous parenting products. Um, don’t tell me about $250 diaper bags and then tell me that a $15 electric aspirator is ridiculous (um, it’s freaking awesome). When I was pregnant with Ursa Major and scared out of my mind, I found that magazine to be helpful for the first few months. Now that I’m reading it as a not-crazed educated person (and now reading it with a critical eye), I’m kind of like ewwwww to everything that I’m reading. But that Shawn Bean article, in particular, really made me angry. Not professional, totally racist, and let’s just say it: reeking of desperation.

But here is how I wrap Kanye into the rest of my tale…

Ursa Major got into a preschool this week! A great little preschool that I’m very excited about. It isn’t necessarily my top-choice, but it’s a good one and one that my husband and I agree on. We can afford it, we think we’ll make friends there, and he’ll get a good start on his journey to college and beyond. Did I mention that we can afford it?

When we started the application process a few months ago, we were told that applicants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. So basically, if your kid is on top of the application pile, you win. We were behind the 8-ball, so we rushed in an application before seeing the school. The admissions lady said that she would call us to invite us to the school for a tour at a later date. That was October. They took our application and our $50 check, but we never heard from them. Every so often, my husband would be like “We’ll hear from [the preschool] any day now..” and I would be like “if we hear from them, the answer will be no.” I mean, they never met us, we clearly weren’t on their radar, and every time we called we didn’t get an answer. I was all set.

So here I am about to settle into a nap (a nap that was supposed to be my Zumba DVD…), and the phone rings. It’s admissions lady! Whaa? So I answer, ready for the “we’re so sorry” call. Well here she goes with the “we’re delighted to tell you that we have a spot for [Ursa Major]” speech. Really?  Yay!!!

But then come the details. “We do have a wait list,” she tells me, “so we need an answer from you within the next 3 days.” ……mkay…. “and then we need a $500 deposit within the next 7 days to reserve your spot.” For real? I’ve never seen this school! You already took $50 of my (husband’s) money and didn’t call me for 3 months! “So please make a decision quickly.” She says to me. “Do you have any questions?”

“Yes, actually.” I say to her. “I understand that if I have a parent duty day, you all don’t want me to bring my other children with me. My youngest will be 1 1/2 by the time we start, and I’d probably need to have him with me.” The parents run the preschool alongside the teachers. I actually really, really like this and it was the reason why I was attracted to this preschool. But that’s a problem, because we don’t have a nanny or a daycare or anything like that.

There is a dramatic pause and an annoyed sigh. “So we ask for parent participation…” and she continues with a long explanation  and then gets to the bottom line “…so yes, we do ask that parents not bring younger siblings with them when they have parent duty. You might want to consider this before you confirm. And I just want to say again that we have a wait list, so we need your answer soon. ”

Lady, I done heard you the first time.

“Is that something that you’ll have to take into consideration?” She then asks.

I mean, yeah, otherwise I wouldn’t be asking after it! “I’ll need to speak to my husband about arrangements we’ll need to make.” I say gracefully.

“Ok, well, we’ll look forward to hearing from you. And, like I said, we do have a wait list, so it’s essential that you get back to us by Monday.” <—This is probably where I would have had my Kanye moment. Like “I’mma let you finish, but there are other preschools that are out there that are better than your’s!”

Yo. I’m not deaf. I heard you. 3 damn days. “Thanks so much. We’ll confirm with you as soon as we can. Thank you again for the offer and have a great day!” I say, pleasantly.

Immediately upon hanging up, I get on the computer. She e-mails me the acceptance letter, I forward it to my husband. I’m probably half-way full on  my Angry Black Woman meter. I include in the e-mail the unpleasant feelings that I had during my conversation. He, pragmatic, tells me that we’ll talk about it when he gets home.

Long story short, the next day he goes to see the school. Loves it. Admissions Lady is cool and apologetic. I’m still dubious, but we’ll see how the ball bounces.

So anyway, that was fun. And I’ve pretty much spent the rest of the week mentally preparing myself for spending time with my stupid damned in-laws. Did I mention that I’m not a fan of my in-laws? Not a fan. I have to be all happy because we’re throwing a big 2nd birthday party for Ursa Major. His birthday is really on Tuesday, but the in-laws invited themselves up for the weekend, so I guess we must have they party on the days that they appointed. Right? Right. Hopefully I’ll have a fun post about that on Monday!

3 Replies to “Yo, [Preschool lady], I’mma let you finish, but…”

  1. Great post, as always. Though I am a bit concerned. We call my son Jpeezy (JP aka Jameson Perea). Do we sound racist and desperate? 🙂

    Congratulations on the preschool acceptance and good luck with party (more so the in-laws)!

  2. Thanks!

    And absolutely not! 🙂 There is a difference between pet names at home and publishing stuff in a magazine just to get attention. If you read the article, it’s just oozing with insincerity. I really, really hate that. As I used to tell my students “context matters!!!! Always, and then again, ALWAYS!”

    Jameson, by the way, is a great name. I’m loving the original names I’ve been encountering. Why wasn’t *I* that creative when I went naming MY sons???

    Anywhoo, hopefulyl I’ll have something juicy for my Monday post. Hell, if those two piss me off, I might be writing on SUNDAY.

  3. I wish I could take credit for my son’s name! My husband actually named him (with my approval, of course). It means ‘son of James’ and James was Chris’s father who is no longer with us.

    The article WAS badly written, also slightly confusing. I wasn’t sure the point he was trying to put forth. He sounded garbled and out of touch to say the least. Maybe everyone has outgrown Parenting Magazine outside of the teen mom sect. 😉

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