Aak!

Catch-Up Post:

So stressed. Went back to work. Last week I cleaned and organized hundreds of books. They are categorized by genre, author, level and/or stereotype. (Books for guys who like sports. Or Vampire books.) Is vampire a genre? Anyway, it took forever, but it is done.

Back to School:

Today was the first official day for teachers. I couldn’t sleep last night. Thursday is the first day for the kids. It feels weird not to be getting a classroom ready. I am usually getting my first day speech ready and planning a super cool awesome ice-breker. My favorite? Two truths and a lie.

The baby is back with his nanny. Things are going well so far on that front. I was gone all day today. I didn’t get home until 9:45. Oh, also I am in school at night. More on that later. And also, it poured today. Poured. I was soaked when I finally arrived in class. Soaked. My hair kept dripping on my papers. At least is wasn’t too cold temperature wise, though. On the way home it was cold and rainy. Gross.

I feel all hyper. I should be asleep, but I have all this stuff I want to say to the new teachers. I’m all frantic.I really missed my co-workers. When I am at work though, I really miss the baby. I’m sure the sad will decrease as we get further into the year.

Hurricane:

The hurricane was not so bad. A little rain. I packed a go bag for nothin’. {kicks rocks}But we’re all safe, so there’s that. We ended up helping out at a shelter for people who had been evacuated which was fun.

 

You wanna know something gross? We ordered fresh direct and in our spinach is a live moth. That’s sick, right? I know. Crazy gross.

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Got it, Thanks.

Mother’s Day 2011 was a success. We took a train towashington D.C., a city I love. I love the history, the eccectic mix of people and the architecture. I don’t even love architecture that much, but the Supreme Court building? The monuments? Oh, how I love the monuments. I get choked up when I go to the Vietnam Memorial because my Dad fought in that war. The moument to the soldiers that’s off to the side also makes me a little sad. These soldiers are SO YOUNG. Some kids sent off to fight at 18 years old. Vietnam Memorial Statue

We had a fantastc day of sightseeing and hanging out. The train ride home was also pretty relaxing. Except for this one Lady Full of Advice!

Marshall loves playing with water bottles. When ever we have one, we let him gnaw and play and enjoy it. Poor husband was on the aisle with the baby and LFoA speaks up, “He shouldn’t play with that; he’ll swallow the cap.”

Husband does his litle, “Thanks,” smile and continues to let the baby play with the bottle. Then LFoA comments, “There’s lots of germs on bottles. That could be dangerous.” Husband doesn’t smile this time, but just nods. Then, my cheerful husband turns to me and says, “If this lady doesn’t shut up, I’m gonna choke her with the bottle cap.” Husband’s hide is rarely chafed, but this lady really got to him. Inevitable, as it always does, it led to socks.

Look. My kid does not like wearing socks. I don’t know why. My grandma told me last month that I didn’t like wearing socks. (I still love being barefoot.) (I also adore flip-flops) Maybe it’s genetics. Maybe most babies don’t like socks because it’s harder to interact tactile-y with the world. I don’t know. What I do know is when we put socks on the baby, he kicks them off. This, apparently, is like hanging a kid off of a balcony. It invites comment and advice.

“Ma’am, your baby isn’t wearing any socks.” I know. He kicked them off somewhere in the last five blocks. I walked back two blocks to find it, no luck.

“It’s too cold out here for that baby not to have socks!” I get it. I’m a bad mom. Look at his smiling, cherubic face- see how abused he is?

Ugh. Unsolicited advice is lame. If he’s naked and crying and cut, sure, speak up. If however, he seems fine but with a massing sock or playing with something in full sight of BOTH of his parents, maybe let it go. I undersnad people want to be helpful, but how helpful was it for you when you were a young parent? Do you give advice to everyone you see on the street?

“Ma’am, you’re missing about 5 inches on that skirt.”

“You probably shouldn’t be smoking. It’s full of toxins.”

Oh wait, that would be obnoxious. When people help me, Im grateful. Like the woman who offerd to help to look for his sock? Briliant. The guy who found his sock at the zoo? Big shout out. But just critisizing without a better idea? Lame.

In NYC you’re always on the street and aroud people, so maybe that invites the advice? I already hear tons of advice from my family, and I listen and sometimes follow. Strangers though? Please. Let me see how your kids are doing, first. I need a sure-fire response other than, “Okay. Thanks.” That makes me feel like I’m affirming their advice giving and they will feel empowered to dole some out to other parents. I could tell the lady that a few germs are okay for the baby to ingestt and builds his immune system. That babies learn by putting all manner of junk into their mouths. That the cap is screwed on tighly and we keep a hand on it to make sure it doesn’t go too far it. But then I sound like a jerk. This should be in baby books. Maybe I’ll just say, “Our pediatrician encourages ________.” Or maybe a polite head nod. Or, “Got it, thanks.” (But with an attitude so they know I don’t got it. Cause it’s dumb.) Whatevs. We’ll see. It’s spring, so the people will be out.

I do invite compliments on how cute his knees, smiles, curly hairs are. Keep those comin’.

Segregated Schools

My son is biracial. He is Black and White. Ahem, African-American and Caucasian. We live in New York City. The funniest or perhaps most tragic aspect of living in NYC is the vast disparity of wealth. We have some of the best apartments, and some of the most filthy, piss-smelling domiciles in the country. We have some of the best schools and some of the worst. You can pay through the nose for just about anything, but school tuition will make your head spin.

I’m smart. So is my husband. Our kid can crawl and has two teeth, so he is clearly a genius. Now we just need to find a school to help him excel. We really want an integrated school for our son. I do not want him in a Black school and have him uncomfortable around whites. I certainly don’t want him at a white school where he is a mascot or marginalized or feels the, “soft bigotry,” of lowered expectations. Which leaves us in a predicament in the city. Even more than finding a “good” school, finding one that is integrated is the straight, Black guy at a TFA conference. Where do we send our son? Tuition in $30,000+ for a diverse private school. Each year. Who can afford that? The public schools seem to be comprised of mostly one ethnicity. The charter schools have great auxiliary programs and some have good test scores, but it’s all black and brown kids. I love Black and Brown kids, but I want my son to be exposed to ┬álots of different ethnicities and colors.

How is that supposed to work, NYC? Only extra rich people can afford an integrated education? Everyone else can be in schools segregated like it’s 1950? I realize housing has a lot to do with districting, but at a certain point, start a school that is divere in terms or race and income and that people don’t have to sell a kidney to attend. Yes, there’s fiancial aid, but we’d still have to pay liek ten grand a year. In 13 years that is $130,000. And then college. Crap.

 

I attended a Teach for America conference this weekend. It was inspiring and and reinvigorating. I attended a session about segregation in schools and was left wanting. The consensus seemed to be that something needed to change, but no action we could take. No, wait. I could start my own integrated school. Lame. I want a good school that has a variety of children that I can afford. I don’t have time to start a school. Luckily, my kid’s only eight month old, so I have some time. What do other parents do?