Sometimes Mr. Robertson talks mothers out of enrolling a child at all. "We'll call them with a spot that's opened up and they can't do it because every single day they have two or three things. I tell them, 'I don't think you need another class.' "First, this is possibly insane, but I can also see how three classes at age one might not really be that overwhelming an experience for the kid. And frankly, All Souls Church IS the it-church of Carnegie Hill, so whatryagonnado?
Still, some parents won't be dissuaded. Mrs. Doyle, who had her son wait-listed from the maternity ward, said she had second thoughts about his being in three classes at just one year old. But she did it anyway.
"My husband thought it was way too much, my mother thought it was way too much," she said. She now spends $5,000 to $10,000 a year on mommy-and-me programs for her son, who is now 2¬‡, she said. "I think it's ridiculous, but at the same time I'd do anything for my kid."
But I was talking about this very "I'd do anything for my kid," "give my kid an edge," mentality with a friend from the Disney days who now runs a company that does classes based on this rigorously researched developmental curriculum--I mean, to watch the classes, it just looks like very fun, enriched play--and even he can't put his finger on the precise meaning/motivation behind this parental mindset. Is it actually, seriously just about getting into the "right" feeder pre-school to get into the "right" school?
[ps. there is not a single dad mention anywhere, just this one husband reference. is that significant?] [correction: DT reader Marjorie reminded me that the "edge" quote came from a dad. Of course, what I meant was, there's not a "single dad" mentioned. Yeah, that's the ticket, yesss... ]