Saturday, March 6, 2010

Wren is sick

Wren has been sick for the past few days. He has had a nasty cough, was lethargic and sad. He still has a big cough this morning but feels better - he has been playing and talking a lot although his cough worries him.

I just dropped Frost off at the school bus. He has a publishing party today for his "literary essay". He is very proud of it.

I have been touring preschools recently, trying to find a regular morning program for Wren this fall. Its been both interesting and confusing. For the first time, I have been looking at paid private preschools rather than co-ops and small two day home playgroups. The noticeable difference is that many more parents in these preschools are both working and they are really looking for someone to do something SIGNIFICANT for their money.

Significant = observing them, loving them, teaching them math, reading, science. Its incredible what these kids have thrown at them. I guess I have always been in the free-range co-op environment followed by KapKa and public school. I've never really been part of the rarified atmosphere of the independent private schools. Its really not me.

Until now, I had thought that "of course I would send my kids to a private school if money was no object" but I am rethinking that. Starting from preschool kids are constrained by a web of control. Montessori, Regio Emilio, pure Waldorf. Its all lovely in small amounts but despite all that beautiful pale wood ALL these environments feel extremely artificial to me.

They reflect an adult concept of beauty and investigation.

I am starting to get a rebellious identification with public schooling and minimal early childhood learning. Keep them messy. Give them space.

That said, I find I have more sympathy with these messy free spaces when there are fewer children in them. I think young kids can get ample socialization with 6 others. They don't need a class of 25!



Wren: "I love my ninja lego so much. Almost as big as a mountain of gold!"
Frost: "Wren made a metaphor!"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

the small things

Glimpses of today:
  • Wren & I played a long game of baking cakes with blocks mixed in a bowl. The animals had birthday parties and sang songs. The little wood people were called Lemon and Raspberry. Big orange dragon chased wolf.
  • Dumping 440lbs of construction and yard debris at the tip. Watching two girls cheer as they threw a box-spring and mattress off the back of their pickup into the hole and saw it splintered by the bulldozer. The sense that the disposability of stuff is coming to an end.
  • My dirty fingers carrying my nice silver MacBook into the coffee shop.
  • The girl next to me who stuffs her mac into a bag that looks like a big cozy slipper.
  • Wren playing with the new bee puppet. Bee has a bee hive of pillows and stings if you are not careful.
  • Receiving email confirmation of the family's flights to South Africa. We'll be looking for a house-sitter in August / September.
  • Joshua is making icecream tonight. I am on my stop-eating-cookies-Fatty diet. Ah, the contradictions.
  • Its utterly spring. Wearing a t-shirt today and still felt warm. Wren, Heather and Kyler had a picnic lunch in the garden. Some early flowers are out - not only the hyacinth, crocus and daffodils - really early bushes with flowers that are normally out in April if we're lucky. Its just not wintry or even early springy. Its downright late summery. Cliff Mass calls this "the Big Kahuna of warm winters".
  • Hawaaian airlines is offering return flights from Seattle to Honolulu for $327 (including taxes). You have to fly certain days - its even cheaper from Portland. Makes me want to vanish for a week. The dates I looked for are April/May.
  • Josh and I have both signed up for co-rec soccer teams. I am on one on Wednesday nights and his is expected to play Sundays. Mine starts this week - if my pulled groin muscle allows me to play.
Ok, home again now.