A little step

I did it.  I filled out the application for Jack to attend elementary school in Fall 2011.  I’ll swing by the SFUSD this week to turn it in and verify my identity and address.  After that we’ll get to sit back and wait to see whether Jack gets into any of the 10 requested schools.  We won’t know until March or so.  Jack will get a bit of sway when it comes to our #2 school because of where we live but since he has no siblings, is white, and speaks only English he is much further down on the list of students with priority.  With that said, we live in an area where half of our neighbors probably send their kids to private school and there is a huge portion that are not white, so Jack might just be the minority.  I really don’t know but we will find out.

In the mean time I am fighting to get Jack to daycare in the mornings.  He is increasingly resistant to going.  Today in particular he was not interested in going to daycare or going to his dad’s house afterward.  He said, “I just feel like staying home with you forever.”  I told him I know how he feels, that I don’t like going to work and would love to stay home, too.  In fact, I had nightmares about going to work last night!  Of course now he is going around saying he is having nightmares about going to daycare…oops.

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Truthiness Day 15: I want money

Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.

This may sound shallow, but I’m going with money.  Let me explain…

It’s not that I want a lot of things or like to shop a ton (I do like a good deal but that is not the same as liking shopping).  I grew up poor, some years at the poverty level.  We got those blocks of government cheese.  We had boxes of powdered milk that we used when we ran out of the regular stuff in between paydays.  My grandmother mixed water with the “cream of” soups…

None of that stuff is that bad, though.  I mean, I didn’t really care at the time although I was much less excited about food back then.  The thing is that because of my family’s circumstances, we were left vulnerable to bad situations.  Examples include:

  • We lived in an area where housing was cheap, so I went to a school that was in disrepair – they constantly had issues with asbestos-filled ceilings caving in…I went to a school in which race riots occurred.  My vice-principal was fired for sexually harassing a student.  A student was murdered by the janitor.
  • I didn’t see a dentist until I was at least 8.  By the time I was 12 I had two crowns because 70% of those two molars were cavities.
  • My mom couldn’t afford daycare, so she relied on my grandmother because her care was a fraction of the cost.  You can read about my grandmother if you go back to Day 8.
  • To make ends meet and pay the mortgage, we had various unsavory people living in our house at various times.  This included my mom’s abusive boyfriend, her drug addict cousin, and some friends who couldn’t afford their own place.  Due to the combination of these people in our house all at the same time, we had at least one occurrence of fist fights in our living room which resulted in holes in the wall and a near smashing of my siblings.

I don’t believe that the lack of money caused any of this, but I know it put my mom in situations where she had to accept circumstances out of necessity that she might not have otherwise in order to keep a roof over our heads.

When Joe and I moved to Humboldt for him to go to school, we had trouble finding work.  When we finally did, it didn’t pay well at all.  Not to mention that Joe worked seasonally.  When we had Jack, we qualified for subsidized childcare.  That was nice, except it was hell trying to find a decent provider (my long time readers will remember all the crap we dealt with in seeking good and reliable childcare back then!).  We also racked up quite a bit of debt (even while eating a diet of macaroni & cheese with canned chicken mixed in).  We took out minimal school loans because even once Joe’s degree was acquired, there was no guarantee that he would get a job (in fact, his advisor told him he would likely NOT get hired any time soon – and he still works seasonally to this day).  Those years in Humboldt were some of the most stressful of my adult life.  Again, the lack of money didn’t cause it but we did get stuck for a while there and it sucked big time.

I could physically live without money but mentally?  I have way too much trauma associated with being poor as shit.

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This fish is named…

Jack has recently taken to naming things.  He doesn’t choose people names; instead, he either makes up a nonsensical word or picks an inanimate object for a name.  Case in point (click for bigger):

Clashing Work Schedules

For those not in the know (because somehow I forgot to write about it before now) Jack’s dad recently took a new job that is an hour south of where he lives, which is about 1.5 hours south of where I live and Jack attends daycare.  The commute to the new job meant that he would no longer be able to participate in daycare pick up or drop off, Jack would be in daycare an extra day, and Joe’s time with Jack would be reduced to only his days off.  Since his days off were Saturday and Sunday, this also meant that Jack and I wouldn’t have weekends together until Joe’s seasonal position ends in June.  Needless to say, I was pretty bummed about that.  I’m pretty burned out after work most days of the week and don’t get a lot of quality time with Jack.

Luckily for all of us, Joe was able to rearrange his new work schedule so that he will be working Sunday through Thursday beginning in March.  We each get a weekend day with our kid to do fun stuff and we can keep Jack out of daycare an extra day (which is great for us moneywise in addition to allowing the munchkin to be with his parents that much more).  Good all around and a huge relief for me!

The only con is I won’t be able to get out of town for a weekend without the kid for a while (since Joe still won’t be able to take Jack to daycare), but that is not unusual for your typical parent anyway.  I can totally handle that.

Drop-off Drama

Jack has suddenly become super clingy during daycare drop-off.  This morning it took me roughly 20 minutes to extract my legs from the tangle of his limbs and get out the door.  I tried every trick I could think of:

Jack, will you do me a favor and close the door for mom?
Jack, I have a job for you.  I need your help!
Jack, your friends need you!  They want to play with you.
Jack, there’s a party today!  Don’t you want to have a party?  (this is true)
Jack, mama’s work is no fun.  There are no kids there.
Jack, G needs a hug.  Can you give her a hug so she isn’t sad?

The kid didn’t budge.  Finally I picked him bodily and stuck him inside the door and quickly closed it behind me.  I just about collapsed on the stairs, though.  Days like this break my heart because I feel like I am abandoning my kid.

I am not sure if this is a phase or what.  The reading I’ve done suggests that is the case.  I’m fine with that…but I’d like to find a way to make Jack feel more secure and get myself to work on time.  If it’s just a matter of waiting it out, then I hope this passes quickly.