Archive for June, 2009

School schedules

June 30, 2009

Before we left on summer vacation (pictures to come, sometime), Jesse and I finally got the application in for our first-choice school. (Yes, we’re early. The application was for Fall 2010 early decision.) I was excited and relieved that it was done; it was the only private school I really connected to, and I do hope he gets in. It’s philosophy (and price) fit our family. Honestly, I wish I could go there.

However, I recently saw their schedule for next year. In addition to school holidays (a Christmas break, a winter break, a spring break and a summer break), the first week of school starts in mid-September, with a few days that end at 11 am. Every first Friday the kids get out at 11 am for a teacher work day. On the days of parent-teacher conferences, the school is closed. And, of course, the school day ends at 3:15 pm.

For all those breaks and after school, there are some options–camps, classes, paying for a grandma to fly up and play with Charlie, maybe drop-in care at his current school for the first year. But what about all those half days, and weeks when camps aren’t open? What about when he ages out of his current daycare or they don’t have space for drop-in? How do working parents acquire appropriate child care for all of those random times?

I have some vacation, and some flexibility with my part-time schedule, and still the amount of off-time seems daunting. Here’s hoping not all the families in the small school have a stay at home parent; maybe they’ve figured out some tricks to make it all work.

Who knew that daycare, with its 9-6 hours and only-closed-on-major-holidays schedule was so luxurious? I guess I’ve been spoiled and didn’t even know it.


Parent-teacher conference

June 30, 2009

Yesterday we had a meeting with Charlie’s daycare teachers, who are amazing. They have a great chemistry in the room, and manage to keep twelve three-year-olds running on schedule while having fun.

Logically, I know it shouldn’t matter one whit whether Charlie is “good in school.” Not everyone is, and the pressure of school was always really stressful for me. There is more to everyone than academics, or even good relationships with teachers.


When his teachers talked about finding him lovable and entertaining, how he is the life of the party and always ready to sing, how he cares deeply about his friends’ feelings and well-being, how his vocabulary is taking off, how he can now pedal a tricycle and is usually consistent with using words instead of screaming or crying (at least at school where they have an organized and predictable schedule)…well, it did make me proud.

And a little bashful for feeling so proud. After all, he’s doing all the growing and learning, I’m just helping him along.

Potty training

June 11, 2009

He did it!

Charlie is now in big boy pants all day long, except for sleeping.

It was a process. We started when he was 18 months by buying a potty and talking about pee and poop. Then we practiced. For a long time. He played with the potty. He found a love of flushing, pulling out long strands of toilet paper and building towers and drums out of the toilet paper rolls.

But it wasn’t until after he was three that we decided to get serious about it. We took off the diaper whenever we were at home. With hardwood floors, messes were easy to clean. Then, when we went to the theater to see a small circus (he was in a diaper), he announced he had to pee. He left the show, walked down four flights of stairs and used the big potty. It was a milestone.

So then we tried underwear and pants around the house, along with very short trips to the playground or music class. That stage took a while to master. The first time he wore underwear for a long trip, about six hours total, it was when we took the subway to the Central Park Zoo.

Even when he had the pee part down, he still had trouble holding in the poop, or making it to the bathroom when he was really tired.

But, the Tuesday after Memorial Day, he finally wore underwear to daycare. No non-nap accidents so far!

It’s going so well I’m even thinking he can wear underwear during our long drive down to Tennessee next week!

Words and plans

June 11, 2009

“What does z-o-o spell?”


And when we saw a poster in the subway that read, “Zoom,” he said, “Zoo!”

If his second word was “moo,” I should have known his first sight word would be “zoo.”

Charlie held our small computerized Boggle game and pushed the buttons diligently.

When Jesse asked what he was doing, Charlie said, “Checking my email.”

Our kid is already a politician.

When Patrick and Maryn came to visit for his birthday party, he tried to convince them to come have cake by saying, “Cake, guys.”

They were too busy playing and wouldn’t listen.

So Charlie threw his arms wide and said, very loudly, “Guys! Guys! I’ve got an idea.”

That’s the way to try a new approach.

He’s been making plans without us already.

I came to pick him up from Sunflowers the other day, and he said, “I’m going to make cookies with Maryn!”

I suppose it will be borrowing the car next.

Recession blues

June 11, 2009

I’ve been way busier at work these last few months. My company hasn’t laid off anyone, but they have slashed freelance budgets, meaning more in-house work than normal. Add that to research for Charlie’s school, community obligations, buying a new-to-us used car, and preparing for trips and visitors and you’ve got quite a stressful mess with no time to blog.

Hence the long silence.

I have been keeping a list of Charlie stories, and trying to fix my broken Flickr account, so hopefully our upcoming vacation with the Boyds and Yearwoods will allow us to relax and find time for things like reading books that aren’t for work, writing and posting.