The past two weeks have just been insane here at the Tan household – or at least up here in my head.

With work ramping up at the preschool and the girls winding up for the coming school year (Sky will be in the preschool I’m setting up; Rae will be going to kindy, which is just as nerve-wracking), it’s a sad realisation that the lazy days of summer are almost over. Although ‘lazy’ is probably the most inaccurate word to describe our summer.

I would like to make a clarification here to my Malaysian friends – I don’t TEACH at the school. God, no. I just work with other parents to set everything up; hire the teachers, get the supplies and furniture, do an amount of paperwork that should be considered illegal especially here in Washington. That, in many ways, is worse than teaching.

And boy has it been a rollercoaster ride. One day we are jumping for joy over a donated storage cabinet that does not infringe some insurance clause. The next, we are tearing what’s left of our hair out when a parent pulls out because ‘she did not read the part about work commitments properly’ (I hope she read that her $100 registration is non-refundable). Do these people give a sod that a lot of work and effort has been put on work schedules and committee assignments, that last-minute changes of heart (because really, joining a cooperative is more heart than mind, which is why all this is so bloody heart-wrenching for me) inconvenience not just those of us mental enough to have volunteered but also all the other parents who’ve signed up? Not so much.

Still, the whole thing is kind of thrilling. We have an amazing team of people who seem determined to see it through. Of course, this being a small town, the humiliation of the whole thing falling through is probably why we’re working our collective arses off. Can you imagine? Nobody would ‘touch me with a ten-foot pole’, as the Americans like to put it, as though failure to launch is a contagious disease. And me being in everything makes it worse. Will they still want me as Services Projects co-chair at the local Mothers group? Probably not. Lokes and I will just have to move.

See what I mean by insane?

“Look at it this way. You can publish a small booklet called How To Set Up a Cooperative Preschool and Still Maintain Your Sanity by the time you’re done,” says Lokes.

Ah yes. I can already see that on the New York Times Bestsellers list.