Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Preschool Search is On

So the infant/toddler day care facility where Miss Ceeya frolics during the week has an age cap of roughly 2.5 to 3 years old. At that point you must get your kid the heck out of there. They don’t care where you go but you can’t stay with them—sort of like closing time at the bar, so to speak. (Not that I would know anything about that. And if I did, it was so long ago that it seems like a lifetime ago. Not that I’m old or anything. Wait, what was I saying?)

A couple of months ago, the lead teacher at the day care asked what our plans were as far as moving on. She gently mentioned that a couple of other kids around Ceeya’s age were already shopping around, and indeed, a couple of weeks before Ceeya’s birthday, two of them left for preschool. I started calling around and discovered to my shock that we are now at the point where there are already waiting lists. WHAT?

Well, you might say, why not just send her to Viva’s old preschool, and you would be right, except you don’t have all the facts, so you’re actually wrong. (I know, I know. Don’t get so upset, I can’t bear it.) Viva’s old preschool would be perfectly acceptable if: (1) we had two incomes; (2) it was anywhere near our current life, not a trek completely out of the way; and (3) Ceeya were a slightly different type of child. Viva loved preschool, but her preschool was very structured and traditional. Sweet Dub and I have been talking it over and thinking maybe we have to go Montessori with Ceeya. Not sure.

But you might say, why does Ceeya even need to go to preschool if her dad isn’t working? Can’t he look after her all day? I will say this to you: if I wanted him to never work again and also at the same time completely lose his mind, sure, he could be a stay-at-home parent. But I would like him to (1) have the option of taking a job should one arise (which actually looks imminent*) and/or (2) continue working on the film projects he has been doing while he is unemployed, because he is extremely talented and one of his projects is almost done. We are very nearly at the point where he could sell it and get distribution. This means he needs his days free so he can finish his project, work on the other projects he has in development and pre-production, and take meetings with people who can finance his production company. Following up on the numbered list from earlier in this paragraph, I would also like him to (3) be happy when he sees his family at the end of the day. He doesn’t do domestication very well. By this I mean he can do it—he cooks, he cleans, he changes diapers, and he kicks ass at all of these—but if he doesn’t have a creative outlet he goes cuckoo bananas.

I went on a preschool tour this morning at a place about 5 minutes from Ceeya’s current day care. It is a nice place, with a nice mix of kids (with our multiracial family, diversity is a plus and I am always looking for a place where one race doesn’t predominate). The teachers seem genuinely caring and the kids appear to be happy. They incorporate art, music and education throughout the day (basic numbers and letters), and the older group (age 4 and up) does simple cooking and computers once a week. They even have field trips occasionally. Monday through Thursday is a similar routine and Friday is a bit less structured. On Friday afternoons after nap time they watch TV because the main classroom is off-limits. The preschool is located inside a church, so they have to clean up that room as it is used by the church on the weekends. I am not clear why they can’t just do some other activity and I didn’t ask what they watch on TV, but once a week wouldn’t kill her, I guess. The monthly tuition is half of what I pay now, and less than half of what I would pay at Viva’s old preschool.

It was okay, but I didn’t LOVE it. I put our name on the waiting list as a safety and I’m going to keep looking. I have a tour with another preschool scheduled Monday. Stay tuned…

* Another conundrum, because he doesn’t particularly want a desk job, but in this economy, and with his film project not yet in the can, he is feeling pressure to cave and go back to working for The Man. While a regular paycheck is a lovely thing, I don’t want his soul to shrivel up and die. You see the problem.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Let's Go Ride a Bike

Recently Viva was riding her bike around the neighborhood with her dad and she was coming down a hill and got nervous as she was going too fast. Instead of braking, she put her feet down, nicked one heel on a bike pedal, and then in reaction, leaned too far in the other direction and pretty much ate it on the tree she was trying to avoid. They were a couple of blocks away, but her leg was scraped up pretty badly and she wanted Sweet Dub to carry her home. (Oh, there were tears! And moaning! And he was so mean because he would not just carry her!) He reasoned with her that they couldn’t just leave their bikes on the street, so she had to tough it out until she got home. She recounted the whole episode to me while I washed her wounds, put her feet up on a pillow, and treated her to a Popsicle and uninterrupted Disney Channel viewing.

A couple of days later, Sweet Dub had her go back to the same spot and ride down the hill again. She didn’t want to do it, but he insisted that was the only way she would learn to navigate the situation. She came back very proud of herself for having conquered her fear of the big hill.

So you know when you've been away from your blog for a while and you don’t even know what to write about? You think, I just have to get back on that bike and write something, anything, any damn random thing. And then you do and you even connect it to something else that actually happened in your universe and you’re all like, well, that wasn’t so bad. And then you realize you’re kind of talking in the second person and that’s kind of annoying. And then you’re a bit peeved at yourself. And around we go.

I’m going to put it out there: I’ve been a bit depressed lately. And when I’m depressed, I tend not to write about it, because that makes me dwell on it and that is no good for anyone. And I hate using my blog as a dumping ground for this kind of thing.

And there is this thing, this NaBloPoMo? Which all of us who have been blogging for a while are well familiar with? If I were participating I would have posted something every day this month so far. I thought about writing something cheeky and subversive like, “I declare this to be NoBloPoMo” but what sense does that make, it’s really just an excuse to be lazy, yeah?

I’m officially back on the bike and I’m not making any excuses for myself. Hello, Internets! What’s happening out there?