Thursday, February 10, 2011

Well, Lily, you're in your second week of school...and it isn't going well... yet. You think that you love it after we've left and I ask you about it, but when you're there....not so much.
There are only 6 kids in your class, including you, and you're only there 6 hours a week, but you miss us when you're there. Your teacher is amazing, and so is the assistant, but you just don't love it...yet. Miss Vicki says that you say, "All done? Home?" most of the day. When I pick you up, you give me a pouty face and sometimes cry, just to show how unhappy you are. I caught you having fun a couple of times though, before you saw me. You love to play with Miss Leslie and Colton and Lola are your favorite friends so far.

Here is a typical conversation on the car ride home:
Mama: Did you have fun at school today?
Lily: YES. (Very stern, as though I scripted you to answer this way.)
Mama: What did you do?
Lily: Went owsigh. Paint.
Mama: Do you like Miss Vicki?
Lily: Yes. Miss Mickey.
Mama: What about Miss Leslie?
Lily: Lessssslieeeee. :smile:
Mama: Miss Vicki said you didn't want to paint today. Why didn't you paint?
Lily: I crwyying.
Mama: Mama doesn't want you to cry. Did you miss mama?
Lily: Yes. Miss mama. Lub mama.
Mama: Maybe you will try painting next time?
Lily: YES.

(How crazy is it that I have full conversations with you now?)

So, school isn't quite your thing yet, but we're going to keep trying for awhile. I can't stand that you cry as much as you do there but I know you'll love it soon enough.
You are definitely growing and developing so quickly, as always. You have a fantastic sense of humor and you are doing so many cute/funny things that it's too much to list here. One little nuance that I love is when you're playing with me, you cover your head with a blanket, pull it off and say, "THERE SHE IS!!", mimicking what I always say. Another great example is when you say, "I'm fiiiiiiiiine", or, "I'm ooookkkkkkkaayyyy", when you hurt yourself or you're scared. Again, you just mimic what I say to you to soothe you. It's so cute.

You use your words appropriately the majority of the time, saying "want" when you are hungry for something specific, and things of the like.
You love playing with my jewelry and constantly ask to "put on".
When I ask you if you love mama, you say, "love mama, love daddy, love bop bop, love nana", immediately going down the list of "loves".
You really don't like your bath anymore. I think it's because you correlate it to bedtime now and God knows you CAN'T miss anything. You stand up in the bath the whole entire time. It's funny.
You're napping and sleeping better lately :::knocks on wood::::. You're pretty much an 8pm-7:30am sleeper and a 1-2:30 napper.
You have the biggest sweet tooth. I wonder where you got that from?? :::as I shove chocolate chips in my mouth:::
You're starting to show a few signs of being close to ready for potty training...but I'm not quite ready for that yet.
You're favorite pastime is running on the couch. You get reprimanded about 100 times a day now, which obviously holds no weight. As a matter of a fact, you reprimand me back and say, "Mama, no wrunin", with your finger pointed at me.
You've learned the word "shit", thanks to me. Opps. Thankfully you've only said it once.

I cannot believe you're going to be 2 in 3 months. How can that possibly be?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I have been agonizing over daycare and I blame the women's movement. No, really. I do.

I am reading this awesome book, that was borrowed to me by a friend, called I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids, which I believe that every new-ish mom should read, and it talks about exactly this: semi blaming the women's/feminist movement for all of our choices as females. I could seriously quote this book all the live long day because it is that.good. but I'll just highlight this for now:

"Yes, we are grateful for the women who fought and worked so hard to give us all of these advantages. The feminist movement opened doors, enabling and inspiring us to go for what we truly want in life. But the women's movement, as far as we're concerned, is still a work in progress. Self-actualization is a lot easier to talk about than it is to attain. How to "do it"- to be empowered, to take our own lives by the reins, to have children and be happy, all at the same time- is something most of us have yet to figure out".

Choices can sometimes prove to be a burden instead of a blessing, is what I took away from this section of the book. Choices can be dangerous.

Would I be bitching if we weren't given any choices like our grandmothers? Probably, but let me just go off on this tangent for awhile since we're living in this day and age.

As women, we DO do it all. Sure, some may not be the ones to pay the bills or take out the trash but for the most part we run our households and make the major decisions when it comes to our children. It's a lot of fucking pressure. We have so many choices and there are so many "what ifs" that go along with raising a child, it can be overwhelming.

I should back up and explain where I'm going with this...

I am a full time working mother. Yes, I work from home and NO, it isn't as glamourous as it sounds. It downright sucks sometimes because of having a lack of focus when I'm listening to a tantrum-ing toddler from the other room. Plus, I run a sales force...actually, I run an entire company. It isn't easy, but I'm very fortunate to have this job. It pays well and I get to work in my jammies.

Enter childcare. We are very lucky to have both sets of Lily's grandparents within a 3 mile radius of us. They are very helpful but still have their own jobs and lives...which leaves us the option of day care to fill in the gaps. We have been making due without daycare for 20 months but it has been more than a challenge at times.

Pre-Lily I was ALLLLL about daycare and the benefits of it. So many of my friends have their children in daycare and they are so well adjusted- the kids and the parents. It all made sense, in theory, to sign Lily up for a couple of days a week. She has been on a waiting list since early November at the only reputable daycare facility in town.

Well, her turn came up sooner than expected, thanks to a friend that works there. I got the call last Friday from the director that Lily could start Tuesday. "The all-day hours are from 7:30-5:30", the director told me. I was starting to feel panic in my throat, instead of excitement, for Lily's new endeavor. "Ok", I say, "I will be right over to get the registration forms".

And so I did.
I go to the school, talk with the director, get the student handbook, go over the list of (enormous, ridiculous) fees...panic, not excitement. I meet the teacher. She is wonderful...until...she says..."I don't allow pacifiers or baby blankets here". Holy Christ, I almost started crying right then and there.
"Oh.", I say, "Well, Lily will scream without those things. She is a self soother. And she won't sleep.".
I could barely speak at that point because I was holding back tears. I felt as though someone was holding a gun to my head and telling me how things were going to be for MY child.

I left there, bawling, feeling defeated and scared for Lily. "She's still a baby. She needs her paci and her 'baby'. She's not going to sleep. She's going to be miserable and think we abandoned her. She's going to cry all day. Jesus, I can't do this." So many thoughts.

And then it hit me...I have choices here. "What about half days? What about saying screw it and just leaving the plan we had in place? What about this? What about that?". Good Lord, the choices. I was truly agonizing over this all weekend. Sleep was lost.

That's when I started hating the whole "females are equal" charade. Mrs. Cleaver didn't have these fucking decisions to make for her family! She raised her kids, cooked and cleaned and THAT was her place, damnit. She knew her role. It was as simple as that. We, as females, belong in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant. And we shouldn't be able to vote either!

I really don't believe any of the above paragraph but perhaps the thought of a "simpler time" sounds intriguing to me when things get complicated. I wonder if times were, indeed, simpler at some point, or if that is just something we all dream of?

I am glad, however, that the women's movement has allowed me to me a choice about cooking. I don't do it and that is completely acceptable. Thank you, Gloria Steinem.