Day care, or, DON’T care??

I’m not saying parents who send their kids to day care don’t give a damn about them. Far from it. In fact, a lot of the parents care too much. I just start to wonder if they care too much about the wrong things.  For example, a lot of the kids in my after-school group have parents who come and pick them up are only concerned with whether the homework is all done. Every bit of it.

I’ve got twenty-four kids, each with more homework than it is humane to give a child of six, seven, or eight years. I have a couple of kids every week with homework on Friday, for God’s sake. What kind of Nazi assigns kids math homework on Friday? All that aside, I have no problem doing homework with these kids. But we are allotted an hour to do so. I can’ t possibly spend the amount of time I need to with each of these kids to get all their homework done, even if we spent the whole three hours on homework.  To spend the entire time after school on homework, when schools have cut recess in half, jumped through lunch, and demanded that these kids all learn every single thing at the exact same pace in the exact same way; boxing them in with standardized testing and work, work, work; would be asinine.

I would hope that a parent  seeing me play chess with their kids, or teaching them the good old-fashioned value of pre-American Idol music, or doing goofy elementary physics experiments for fun, would engender a sense of security. Making learning fun makes kids want to learn. I detested math for years. Bribed my friends to do it, by writing all their compositions and spelling sentences for them. Then, I hit eighth grade; Mr. Raleigh; and all of that changed. In a hurry. Now, I know math can be fun. It has gray areas, if you know it well enough. It contains theory, you can play with. It took chess and physics to learn this, but I never would have been open to either, had it not been for Mr. Raleigh, who showed us how to play with math, in the first place.

I guess my point is, that I do a hell of a lot more than worksheets. I make learning a lifelong love and that, after all, is the bottom line. It’s why we teach; to give away everything you’ve ever had stored in your brain, and never lose a bit. To see the occasion of epiphany, beautiful as the child, him/herself, and just as unique.

My point is, I care.

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I hate my period…

Sorry, boys. Look at this as insight, if you read it at all.

For the rest of us, it’s a sad state. I become this blubbering, emotionally overcharged asshole who can’t control her smartass reflex. And, believe you me, it’s a reflex, where I come from. Where once upon a time,  this Katherine Hepburn, Lauren Bacall brand of bitchy sat, my brain morphs into some random screaming whore from the Oxygen network. I turn into a crazy person and I have no idea why. I’ve always been a fairly rational human being and I find it a grand inconvenience to have my whims governed by forces of nature unbeknownst to me.

I’m a sane woman (especially, as women go) and then: BOOM: I’m posting crazy shit on facebook, crying for no reason, and salvaging bits of chocolate from my daughter’s Halloween stash. It’s just damn sad. I’ve deteriorated into the type of person who gets miffed at the smallest slight on my beliefs (from a moron; no less) and can’t have a glass of wine for fear of dehydration because I’m losing so many bodily fluids, as it is. It’s like an intense mini pregnancy every month. An that’s why you gents can’t handle it, when the shit hits the fan at baby time. You haven’t been conditioned, since you were eleven or twelve, with little glimpses at having a tiny person living inside of you. We’re crazy, because we have to go through drills and then, the big show. It’s like pre-Vietnam boot camp, meets Alien. With a whole bunch more actual pain and throwing up. And my periods, now, are like mini-pregnancies. Good times.

The point is, it sucks…but, it beats having balls.

To dance, or, NOT to dance?

Ahhh, what is the question?

My daughter has adored the pillars of classical dance for some time, now. One of her favorite movies, since she was a wee(er) thing, is ‘Center Stage’. She asks for it and mimics the moves from her bedside; striving desperately for the perfect beauty of ballet as it should be. Her fancies, at this age, are naturally fleeting, but this is one that has lasted, for one-and-change of her three-point-five years, so…I beg the question. It is an expensive endeavor and I hate to push her because of that fact.

She likes to hit, and kick, and mess around/roughhouse/whatever you want to call it, too. So, her father suggested, rather reasonably, that we enroll her in martial arts, instead, soothing her need for physical exertion, positive discipline, and self-defense, all in one. I find myself torn, between romantic notions of my daughter dancing ‘The Nutcracker’ with the Royal Ballet, and a practicality that threatens to dampen her spirit.

She asked to go to dance class with a couple of the other little girls, today, a colleague told me. The thing is…she asks for so little. She’s precocious and seems to understand (most of the time) that a great many things don’t matter in the scheme of it all. However, the little things are all I can give her. Half of me screams that money is just paper. The other half argues that paper is all we have to pay the rent…and, not much of it (paper, that is; there’s plenty of rent).

Needless to say, I want to let her do both. I want to give her an opportunity at absolutely everything. I want to let her just shoot until she hits a target. I want to give her everything I never had, but I know that it’s unreasonable. Not just because I’m broke, but because it would engender in her an entitlement unsavory, illogical, and generally ugly in humankind. I don’t want to make the choice…it feels like a catch-22, however, I must. Because I’m her Mom. I have been entrusted with her well-being. I have to make the tough choices. My tough choices are all made with her best interests in mind, otherwise, the frivolous side of me would have pissed and pouted until she had dance classes. I’m doing my research in the area, and planning on a happy medium for Kyra; not her parents.

Because, well, what do we know; except what we’ve lived?

Thanks for reading.

-J-