Wednesday 9th June
Life on the Waiting List: The Interview
by Sonja Seawright
I was in the Milwaukee Airport last week when my phone rang. Due to a particularly bad connection, I heard something like this when I answered, “This is …. from the Waldorf …Ool …. I’m a kin … garden … eater…” and then the line when dead. I turned to my partner and said, “I’m pretty sure that was someone from the Waldorf School. I think she likes eating either her relatives or fresh produce. Although maybe both.” Neither of us were perturbed by these ideas because they’d both crossed our minds from time to time. Our three year old nephew looks particularly yummy, even more so if accompanied by some cherry tomatoes and spinach.
The next day, finally at home in Philadelphia, I received another call from WSP. This one was from a kindergarten teacher, inviting us and our two girls to an interview on June 9. (We’re still not sure if the two calls are related.) Needless to say, we jumped at the opportunity.
Elsie, our oldest, will be turning 5 this August. Quinn came along hot on her heels, only 10.5 months younger, and will be turning 4 at the end of June. Both girls have been home with me since birth, never having gone to daycare nor preschool, so this would be their first “interview.”
As I got Elsie and Quinn ready this morning, I felt like football coach Steve Spurrier who once said that he was going to “coach up” his players. I definitely wanted my girls to put their best foot forward, so some “coaching” tips came to mind unbidden. To Quinn, I felt the urge to offer the following advice: “Let’s not talk about Dora, okay? And maybe tell them that you like broccoli. Yeah, and something German!” My advice for Elsie would be limited to one thing: “How about you don’t put your sister in a headlock, just for this one hour, all right, sweetums?”
In the end, though, I was afraid that the power of suggestion would win out over the message of prohibition, so as I unbuckled their carseat straps in the WSP parking lot, I left it at, “You both are good kids.” They nodded sagely in agreement.
The interview I had been worrying about turned out to be nothing more than a play date with four other nice kids and their parents. Quinn made herself at home quickly, playing with the dolls at first before branching out to the stuffed chicken family and then the wooden farm animals. Elsie spent most of her time close to me with brief forays to check in with Quinn. We got to meet three of the kindergarten teachers, and in the end, I can only hope that they were as charmed by us as we were by them.
When the hour was up, we helped pick up the toys and said our goodbyes. Back in the parking lot once more, I buckled the girls back into their carseats and told them again, “You really are good kids.”
“We know, Mom,” they said.