Friday, September 12, 2008

Apolitical Blues

I went to download some work pictures today and came across these.

I get the setup: here are two adorable children rounding up their brain cells and exterminating them in little cerebral gulags by subjecting themselves to some sort of loathsome kidvid. But what the heck else have they been doing?

Why does the Peeper have what appears to be flour on his forehead? Is this some sort of bizarre offering to the Domestic Goddess of Baking, like the ash mark on the brow you get for Ash Wednesday?

Why are they in the glider, which no one but Mojo ever sits in for more than ten seconds?

Either way, they're awful sweet, and I'm hoping to have some fun with them this weekend. I feel like I've been doing a LOT of talking about politics and war and everything but my peeps and our family, which is, frankly, the best thing I've got. Wars and lechery are all very well, but at the end of the day what you have banked is your home and your job and your friends and your family. Regardless of who wins in November little girls are going to need their eggies every morning, and little peepers are going to want to scooter down to the playground.

So I want to give myself a break from all the Big Issues and talk a little bit about less contentious matters. Why kindergartners love table saws. How to get high huffing Plastic Wood while finishing your daughter's bedroom windows. What motivates people to go shopping at WinCo in sequined titty tops.

So I'll start with these cuties.

One last political thing, though.

I dropped Missy off at daycare this morning so Mojo and the Peep could do a mother-son bonding thing scootering over to Astor for K-garten. Now we like our little "Imagination Station" daycare and Brandy, the woman who runs it. But the past year has seen some pretty savage staff turnover, and when I got there today poor Teacher Nicole was alone with a baby and two - with Missy, three - toddlers. Poor Little Miss was very clingy and I just didn't feel right leaving her there with one adult. So I stayed and played with Mister Sun and Giant Baby and Missy and little Jake and the two littler toddler girls until Teacher Sandy showed up.

The problem was - I was due on a site at 7:30 and I didn't leave daycare until 7:10. I was late, of course. And that was OK; my little girl comes first. But it drove home the extent to which the smooth function of our lives depends on an ad-hoc organization staffed by badly paid semiprofessionals. Something happens to daycare? Someone's - Mojo's or my - workday goes to hell.

This isn't top-flight daycare. But even then it costs one third of my paycheck every month. A third. Between the mortgage and daycare a full 3/5ths to 2/3rd of my salary vanishes before the sun sets on the first day after my monthly payday.

And the other issue is that, having found a daycare that works and we can afford, to move the kids to another would be a real pain in the ass. Almost a deal-breaking PITA. We'd hate it, and I'm concerned that it might make us tend to overlook and forgive problems we'd otherwise be all over.

You want to give me "change I can believe in", Obama? McSame? Fuck the carrier air groups and the prescription drug bills: find a way to help out financially and qualitatively with our daycare.

Any comments, ideas, or wild suggestions? Hit me with your best shot!


Ael said...

When my wife got pregnant, we moved across a continent to link back up with our (extended) families.
We've never regretted it.

Alas, the presence or absence of a suitable, extended family is not something you get to choose.

Friends, however, are. We also spent time developing relationships with the parents of our kids neighborhood/school friends.
This gave us options when family wasn't available (or immediately close by). It also allowed us to lobby various institutions such as schools and community leagues to provide suitable programs for our kids.

FDChief said...

ael: We're pretty much established here on the West Coast, me in particular. My professional registries for the most part don't have reciprocity with New England and the Midatlantic states which is where the 'rents and siblings live.

But the idea of a "friendship network" is a good idea. We're hoping that we will meet the families of the Peeper's new K-garten friends not that he's in the Big School.

But we still need a 100% availible, reliable place for child care 7:30-5:30 five days a week 51 weeks a year. Problem with that is to be affordable to us the daycare workers have to get paid squat. Not promising for either quality or reliability. Not sure how you solve that, but something that would help pay the daycare teachers more but wouldn't come out of our pockets would help, I suspect...

Red Sand said...

The solution up here in the north, by our guy "Shrub" was to give every family $100 per month towards child care. Of course, it counts as taxable income, so most families above the poverty line tend to lose up to 70% before they ever receive it. In the 2006 federal election campaign, there was a debate over it and it became permanently dubbed "beer and popcorn money." The guys who lost that election had been promising subsidized day care programs.

Meghan H said...

Dear Amy B is starting up her in-home daycare. I'm guessing that if you have one person running it, it's less than 100% reliable (possibility of sickness and such). But, hey, it's always good to have options. Let me know if you want to get in touch w/ her.

FDChief said...

RS: $100 a month? $100 a month? $100 a MONTH?


What a maroon. And TAXIBLE? What a hoser.

"Beer and popcorn money" indeed!

Meghan: I'll talk to Mojo. Like I said, the idea of switching daycares is attractive until we examine the logistics and the emotions of it. Hard enough to give our little peeps up for the day, harder still to uproot them from the surroundings they;ve finally adjusted to...

But I do appreciate the ideas.