Friday, August 24, 2007

8/24/07 The cackle

First there's the calm. Then there's the silence. The absence of movement in the immediate vicinity. Then, from a distance, the cackle. A creaky, squeaky, intermittent sound that vaguely resembles a giggle.

That sound means: SPRINT to the office before little creepy wormy finds the power button on my computer.

I don't know what it is about this one tiny sliver of green light that attracts babies so much. She goes back to it again and again.

Meantime, there's a perfectly good Mac to fool with right next to my Dell. I guess she's a Windows person.

If the office door is closed, there's always the sport Follow My Brother Around And Try To Take What He Has And Put Up A Fuss When He Doesn't Give It To Me.

To wit: the cackle, and the ensuing Fuss (and a surprisingly patient and tolerant Brother):

Julian is still playing with a near-dead Trader Joe's balloon. Boy, can he ever be sweet and cute...without Gabriel around, that is!

Katrina has really gotten impossibly mobile, requiring constant attention to see where her curious little paws take her. Such as: out the back door and alllmost down the deck stairs, save for one brother putting up a barrier, giving searching Mom the extra few seconds needed to snatch baby up before a tumble. (Mom naturally inspected the office first when the It's Too Quiet alarm went off.)

So we spent some time outside this fine afternoon.

But, the days of sitting quietly on a blanket with a gurgling baby happy to chew on a toy are long over. Instead, Katrina chased a ball, happy to crawl on the hard pavement.

Then she chased Julian and the lawnmower he was playing with, determined to score the toy, until he got bored with the lawnmower and "parked" it, leaving it free for her to play with. Then, picking up redwood needles and throwing them into a dump truck kept her busy for a long, long time.

Now I have three sets of hands, face, and feet to wash after a stint in the backyard.

It was impossible to pry any information from Gabriel about what he did at kindergarten today. In fact, one thing I dislike the most about his cockeyed schedule is that I'm not there to pick him up or drop him off at his classroom. Instead, the kind CDC staff does that, but they're not going to convey subtle information about his interaction with classmates and teacher, what he's doing, who he talks to. Knowing what it's like in his class matters a lot more now than for preschool or daycamp.

And then there's the cost of the CDC -- over $600 a month for before-and-after kindergarten care. Without the CDC, it'd mean four separate trips on MWFs for pickups and dropoffs, only one of which Dave could do, and waking Katrina every afternoon from a nap to pick up Gabriel at 2:45. An AM schedule would mean the boys' school schedules are in sync, and don't conflict with the essential baby/toddler afternoon nap. I'd still put Gabriel in the CDC for some time, but it'd be optional. At the moment, his "PM" schedule forces me to make a choice between $600 a month and never seeing his class or teacher, versus all-day chauffering and having to wake a napping baby every afternoon.

I've heard now from several people now that it is possible to change schedules with the school. The school itself, of course, discourages it to the point of having no official procedure to make changes. No surprise there. So I need to start the arduous process of advocacy, begging, pleading, pushing, with no guarantees, right away.

And now, a new benefit of school: the weekend means a little more. Or, a little less when homework starts creeping in!


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