Luna waitingWelcome to wait list country. That sounds like some bad pick-up truck ad. But it’s true; Seattle is known for mountains, water, coffee, grunge, rain, evergreens, and the Space Needle. And then as it turns out, wait lists. I know what it feels like being stuck on a list. Hip deep stuck. Somewhere between the Andersons and the Steins just above the Grahams on page 6. Buried with no chance for arrival or survival.

The wait list: are you on one of these lists?  Is your equivalent w-e-n-d-y-s-u-e-s-w-a-n-s-o-n spelled out and nestled nicely on some school, pool, or horseback-riding list? I think about these lists a lot more now that I have two kids. I generally let all people involved (the kids, the husband, the babysitter/nanny, the MIL, my own mother) down due to my inability to follow through and get on the list, let alone get off the list. Any list. I know you turbo moms and dads out there are really good at this. For me, it’s usually well after the list is formed, a true tardy, and only with 3 people telling me about an activity, that I get on the list. Precisely why I’m at the bottom, I suppose.

Being late to get on one of these lists is just another rung on the self-deprecating “bad mama” ladder for me. I know we all seem to climb these ladders in our dark moments, late at night. Part of the, “What did I forget to do today?” stomach flip that happens in the chaos of working, living, and raising kids. I’m no type-A about lists; they terrify me. Maybe because there is no way to control the outcome? Except for the march of time. I’m type A about plenty in life. Just not those lists. For list signing-up, I likely get a type-B or type-B+. As an aside, it should be known to all that B+ is the kiss of death grade. It’s nearly an A but well into B territory. Think Intro to Bio, Kenyon College, first semester, freshman year. Whoops. So close and then so far away, from A. Clearly, I’ve remained scarred.

Wait lists are big in Seattle. I mean, big. I also mean big in the density sense. Think phone book. F just got off his daycare/preschool wait list after waiting for nearly 3 years. The husband did a good job getting us on the list in the first place. If it had been up to me, we’d still be years away from the top. But he’s off to start school next week. Un-listed and enlisted, a mini triumph here on our front. Just to be clear, it isn’t one of those high falutin try-out-type-what does your vegetable garden look like-type preschools.  Just the preschool we thought worked best for all of us with a great reputation and convenient to our home.  We declared last week after his 2 hour “visit” or warm-up, that yes, “He’s going to Hollywood!”  Translation: he gets to attend school next week, Idol style.

So we’re off the preschool list but of course, linger on some others. Before we had kids, we joined an outdoor pool wait list near our home. We’re sitting around number 687, the bomb-shelter depths of the list. All this, after over 5 years on the list. We’re in the 400’s (that’s encouraging) on another list for the only other pool in our area. We’re told about 60 families get off each of the lists, each year.

Ummm, multiply and carry the one; when F goes off to high school it’s possible we’ll get the call.

This week this reality leaves me with just one big question: should we be careful what we wish(wait) for?

Earlier this week, the press took interest in an article about increased risk of bronchiolitis in children under age 2 who swam in a chlorinated pool for more than 20 hours. Researchers declared it was still okay for infants to swim, but the babies who did swim, were more likely to suffer from long standing long irritation. It sure left me wondering. Then confused. I didn’t know what to do personally and what to tell parents who ask about infant swimming.

I’m getting to the bottom of it. Sign up for the next blog entry wait list here. I’ll explain my thoughts on infant swimming with the help of a lung specialist. Just who will be first in line?