Posts Tagged ‘ Preschool ’

Better Life

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Tomorrow is Moving Day.  Goodbye Connecticut, hello Massachusetts.  Caroline and I are outta here.

First of all, I need to just get it off my chest that moving out of state with a three year old is most definitely not a one-person job.  I can confirm it.  I’m so deliriously tired that I probably will not even remember writing this post after tonight.  It’s been kind of a perfect storm of craziness around here these days.  I started my new job in private practice two weeks ago, I’ve been painting the new place and packing to move, Tyler hasn’t been around and won’t be again, Caroline is leaving her old preschool and I’m having a new nanny start, and I had to radically change Caroline’s diet.  She is kind of a mess, I’ll be honest with you.  She doesn’t do well with transitions.  And we’re dealing with a lot of them, all at once.

“Kind of a mess” in preschooler terms translates to constantly throwing tantrums, screaming NO regardless of what I’m saying, clinging to me with a death grip, and unpacking everything I try to pack.  Thank goodness for my parents.  They live an hour away, but they are there when I need them.  I literally could not have done this alone.

But now everything is packed, and the movers are coming tomorrow, and we are leaving this place for good.  This living room is soon to be empty again.  Even though Caroline’s lived her whole life here so far, I have to say I won’t miss it.

I’m ready for my fresh start.

I absolutely love my new job.  It couldn’t be a better fit for me, honestly.  Everyone there is so nice, the practice runs so smoothly, and I feel like I am doing good work for good people.  I’m only working three days a week, so I have a lot more time to spend with Caroline than I did during residency.  I got my first paycheck, so money is no longer a constant stress.  Our new house is bigger and brighter than our tiny dark apartment, and has a yard for Caroline to play in.

It was not easy for me to finish dental school in the middle of a divorce and with an unexpected baby and to go through a residency as a single mother.  But I did it, and I’m proud of it, and I feel like all of my hard work is finally paying off… for me, and for my daughter.

I’m pretty sure that once things settle down, there won’t be a whole lot more we could ask for.  So hold on, Caroline.  I haven’t quite got things put together yet… but we’re headed for a better life.

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Need a Nanny? Try Speed Dating.

Monday, June 18th, 2012

With my residency complete, my next task has been to focus on finding a nanny in Massachusetts to take care of Caroline for the summer before her new preschool opens.

(Side note: this new preschool is totally badass.  It’s a Montessori school where she can take Spanish and music and art and yoga and Zumba.  Not joking.  I basically want to go to it myself and send Caroline off to work in my dental office to support us.  I mean, she’s already got the scrubs.  But I digress.)

Faced with this task, I tackled it with my usual crazy-intense full-tilt totally-inappropriate approach: I went all in, you guys.  I did nanny speed dating.

I used Care.com to post an ad for a nanny (did not include Caro’s Tumblr, though I should have) and was promptly overwhelmed by over thirty applicants for the job.  In all seriousness, that website is great.  The vast majority of the applicants were well-qualified and seemed very nice, and they do the background checks for you.  No, I’m not getting paid by them to write this– it’s just the truth.

Problem is, with all those applicants and all the online dating I’ve been doing lately, I was afraid I was going to mix up my accounts and start hitting on the nannies and trying to hire the single men.  Which I’m pretty sure is illegal in at least 48 states.  (Although, wait a minute… that actually sounds like a more successful dating strategy than anything else I’ve tried lately…)

Anyway.  I managed to narrow the field to six potential nannies, and scheduled to meet all of them in half-hour blocks this afternoon.  Let’s just pause for a minute and discuss how incredibly awkward I am and should never be allowed to interview anyone for anything, ever.

Okay, good talk.  Glad I could share that with you guys.

It was a rather tedious afternoon of saying the same thing over and over and asking the same questions over and over, trying to politely dismiss them before the next one walked in while we were chatting.  One of the nannies actually called me out on it:

Me: (glancing at the door) Okay, well, thanks for coming by!  I’ll be in touch about the position.  Nice to meet you!

Her: Are you cycling all your potential nannies through here this afternoon, like, one right after another?

Me: What? No. (guilty look)

Her: (irritated) You’re doing this like speed dating, aren’t you?

Me: HAHAHA!  That’s exactly what this is like!  That’s hilarious!  I love it!

Her: ::blank stare::

Yeah, I didn’t hire her.  I don’t think we’re that compatible.  We’d never work out in the long run.  We just want different things, you know?  (It’s not her… it’s me.)

In the end, I found a great girl to come and hang out with Caroline this summer while I’m working, and hopefully help ease her transition to a new home, a new preschool, her father moving away, and whatever else we have in store for us.  Speed dating was a pretty efficient way to find her, too.  And now it’s on to the next task: moving to a new home, with a three year old in tow, and no help.

Anyone know of a speed dating service for movers?

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Four Questionable Children’s Classics

Monday, May 14th, 2012

(Alternate Title: This is Why I Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Read Kids’ Books.)

Have you ever sat there, reading a classic kids’ book to your children, and thought… what in the everloving eff is going on here?  I have.  In fact, I do it on a regular basis.  (Don’t even get me started on fairy tales.)  For your convenience, I’ve listed here several books to watch out for, summarized their questionable messages, and thoughtfully re-titled them to more accurately reflect their content.  No need to thank me.  I do it for the kids.  Let’s begin.

Guess How Much I Love You: Okay, I’ll be the one to say it.  Big Nutbrown Hare is the biggest one-upper who ever lived.   His son is all “I love you as high as I can reach” and he’s all “Oh yeah well I love you as high as I can reach, which is way higher since I’m older and taller and smarter and better-looking.”  There is no need to get so competitive, you know?  Your kid’s just trying to tell you he loves you, so maybe don’t be such a jerk about it.

Moral of the story: Anything you can do, your parents can do better.  Sweetheart.

New title: Guess How Much I Can One-Up You.

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The Runaway Bunny: It’s sweet that the mother bunny loves her baby bunny so much that she’d resort to all kinds of impossible shapeshifting and crazy stalking and improbable kidnapping to keep him near her.  Wait… no it isn’t.  It’s the creepiest thing ever.  And I thought I was a helicopter mom.  I mean seriously.  This woman is gonna be all up in her poor future daughter-in-law’s business.  I can smell it from a mile away.

Moral of the story: Mommy loves you sooo much, honey, that if you leave her side, she will hunt you down Taken-style and drag you right back to where you belong, so stay exactly where you are, so help me Jesus.  You can move out when you’re forty.  Five.

New title: When Helicopter Moms Attack.

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Goodnight Moon: Okay, I’ll admit that I love Goodnight Moon.  (Sorry, Margaret Wise Brown.  Didn’t mean to call you out twice here.  Love you, girlfriend.)  Still, books like this are the reason my kid takes 45 minutes to go to bed every night.  It is the original book of bedtime stalling excuses.  Whatever happened to just saying goodnight to each other and going to bed?  Let’s not encourage saying goodnight to the room and the moon and the cow jumping over the moon, (which is not real), the bears and the chairs and the kittens and the mittens and the house and the mouse and the wait there’s a mouse in here?? What the f*ck??  “Goodnight nobody” is right, because none of us are getting any sleep tonight, are we.  Get real, kids.  When I say it’s bedtime, it’s bedtime now.  Where’s the children’s Benadryl?

Moral of the story: It’s perfectly acceptable to take so much time to go to bed that it’s basically the next morning already.

New title: But I Don’t Want To Go To Bed.  Five More Minutes?

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The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real): This story basically traumatized me as a child.  Yes, I am sensitive.  (I cry several tears for each and every mean comment you guys leave me.)  Can we first discuss the “Skin Horse” for a second?  That is some Jeffrey Dahmer sh*t right there.  But mostly, my problem with this story is that it’s just super sad.  The little boy loves this toy and lures him into a false sense of security that he’s gonna be real someday and then gets all sick and sends him off to be burned alive (what?!) and then gets a nice new shiny one and forgets about the old one and goes to the beach, the end.  Not nice, little boy.  Luckily the rabbit does get to become real because he cries, and he runs off to the woods with the other wild rabbits where they all probably live another two to three weeks, tops.

Moral of the story: If you get too sick, Mommy and Daddy will burn all your toys.  Also, you can get anything if you cry about it.  Even if it’s impossible.

New title: How Toys Become Super Depressing.

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Postscript: I sent a draft of this post, as I often do, to a friend so that she could prescreen it for excessive witchiness.

Me: Can you make sure this post isn’t too much?  I think everyone on Parents’ Facebook page thinks I’m a huge wench.  With a potty mouth.

Her: Oh my God!!  You’re like the Ann Coulter of the parenting world!!!

Me: …That’s the meanest thing anyone’s ever said to me.

Her: Oh. I meant it as a compliment.

Sigh.

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Just a Simple Trip to the Playground

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

I can’t possibly be the only mom who’s had simple, fun outings turn out like this… right?

So I was sick this past weekend with some kind of disgusting flu, but I had promised to take Caroline to a playground on Saturday after her nap.  I always try to keep my promises to her because I’m a good mom, okay, so we still went despite my illness and this is how it went. 

She didn’t wake up from her nap until about 4pm, so I finally got her out the door around 4:30 (after asking repeatedly, “Do you want a snack?  Do you want a drink?”   “No,” she insisted, ”no.  I’m not hungry.  I’m not thirsty.”).  We were driving to this playground since there are no good ones within walking distance of our apartment.  No sooner do we get on the highway when she yells “Mama, I’m thirsty!!  I need a drink.”  Of course I brought a snack, but forgot to bring a drink.  I sigh inwardly and tell her that I’ll find somewhere to get her something.  We get off the exit for the playground and I drive around aimlessly until we find a grocery store.

We go inside.  Of course she has to bring her three purses full of toy tools and ponies and bubble wands, and drops a toy on the ground with every step she takes, but refuses to let me carry anything for her.  Meanwhile, she’s wandering around and refusing to get in the shopping cart and charming the pants off everyone who walks by: “Hi!  I’m Caroline!  I’m three years old!  I go to preschool!”  Okay, Caro, just relax.  Nobody here is Santa Claus.  I grab a bottle of water and she informs me that we need to buy bread “to feed the duckies”.  Fine.  I drag her through the grocery store to find the bread, but before we get there, I hear a woman exclaim “Look!  There’s Caroline!!”

I turn around and see one of the other preschool moms with her two kids in the cart waving excitedly at Caroline.  My fever is climbing by the minute, my nose is running like a faucet, and I feel like I’m losing my grip on reality, but we go over to say hello.  The mom notices Caroline’s excessive number of purses (one of which is a Vera Bradley which my friend bought for her, okay).  “Oh!” she says.  “Do you guys like purses?  I’m having a purse party this weekend!”  I pray that I’m hallucinating.  (I’m not.)  Caroline yells frantically that she loves purses.  (Traitor.)  The mom tells me that she’ll come over to our car with an invitation.

Let me tell you a little secret about myself.  I hate purses.  I do.  I hate them.  If I can’t fit something into the little wristlet/wallet that I carry all the time, then I simply don’t need to be carrying it.  There are two types of women in this world, people: those who carry a million things in their purse and have a million pillows on their bed, and those who do not, and let me tell you, I straight-up do not have time for any of that sh*t.  (My daughter is clearly slated to be one of the former, though.)  Even more than purses, I hate parties hosted by someone I don’t know where I’m obligated to buy stuff.  I’m poor, okay?  Also, I’m running a fever of about 103 at this point, I have no idea where we are because we’ve driven so far out of the way, it’s almost dinnertime (which I’ve made no plans for), and I’ve completely forgotten the reason we left our apartment in the first place.

Needless to say, we never made it to the playground.  We went back home to feed the ducks instead.  But how much do you think that trip to the playground cost me, in the end?

Bottle of water and bread to feed the ducks (“Buy 2 get 1 free!” proclaimed the sign on the shelf.  Oh, but only if you have a store card.  Which I don’t, because I have no idea where we are and this isn’t my grocery store): $10

Gas to drive all over who knows where for an hour: $10

Purse party I’m now obligated to attend so that I’m not forever ostracized at preschool: $50 for purse, $30 for babysitter (“No kids!” she called brightly over her shoulder as she trotted back to her minivan.  B*tch!)

Total: $100

But… watching your 3-year-old ecstatically toss bread to the ducks, after all that, albeit through a feverish haze? 

PRICELESS.

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