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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:07 pm 
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Chip Strong
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Tofulish wrote:
no one chills out in a coffee bar with a good book and a toddler!


What?!? Back to the drawing board.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:29 pm 
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Or are you?

Kid-friendly cafes: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/top-li ... dly-cafes/


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:47 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
no one chills out in a coffee bar with a good book and a toddler!


Actually, it's funny that you say that... coffee shops have always been my go-to location for going somewhere cheap and easy with E. I drink plain coffee generally so at $2 a visit it's a great deal: he'll hang out, eat a snack, chat with baristas or any friendly strangers who come up to him (and there's always someone... he is a chatty person magnet. Like attracts like I guess.) and basically entertain himself while I drink coffee and relax. We've been doing it since he was a baby.

Point stands though, the nature of your "free" time (and I put that in quotes because there's pretty much always something falling off your queue when you have a kid; that's been my experience anyway) changes a lot. Pre-E, I was a huge homebody. Sitting somewhere in public, anywhere in public, was not my idea of relaxation. He changed alllll that.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:25 pm 
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I think maybe the East Coast is less kid-tolerant? I also am not white, and it seems like the parents of color I know have worse experiences with being confronted in public with their kids, so maybe that has something to do with it?

Either way, I've gotten the worst case of stink-eye when I go into Starbucks or other coffee houses with L. She's so gregarious and loves chatting to people as well, but she also likes investigating and is a bit noisy. Last time I tried with some friends, L was 10 months old and just standing and wobbling, and it took her all of 2 minutes to send my $4 grande soy latte splashing all over me and the table next to me. It was epic.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:47 pm 
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I couldn't have taken Shae or Silas to hang out in a coffee shop when he they were toddlers because they were much too active, but my friend brings the little boy she nannies to coffee with me a few days a week (when school was still in! those days are gone for me!) and he does really well! Happy and quiet, smiling and trying to chat with anyone who glances his way. Everyone loved him and would ask for him when he wasn't with her.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:53 pm 
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Eh, I don't know, maybe it's a local vibe thing, I don't know. I wouldn't say I often see other kids hanging out at coffee shops here. Honestly, as long as E's not wandering up to random strangers and forcing conversation on them (something he never does in coffee shops, but does do everywhere else, much to my chagrin), I don't really care if the mere presence of a child annoys people at a coffee shop.

It just made me laugh a little to read your comment because it's pretty much the one place on earth where I can count on E being mellow and cool and not making me feel like we shouldn't hang around.

ETA: Oh yeah, and I definitely don't take M out for coffee dates because that shiitake never ends well. Ever. He's not into the social aspect so as soon as his snack is gone he turns into a little hurricane of destruction.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:17 pm 
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Chip Strong
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Tigon wrote:


Ha! I've actually lived pretty close to one Farley's and am now pretty close to another! They have always seemed very kid friendly, though I hadn't really thought about it before - so that's a plus.

The downside: the only nondairy milk they have now is almond milk, which I merrily order voluntarily but my sweetheart says tastes like poison when in coffee.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:20 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:

... he is a chatty person magnet. Like attracts like I guess.)


I am such an introvert and babynut makes all the chatty people come out of the woodwork to talk to us. It drives me nuts sometimes, but usually makes me feel better about humanity. I never notice babies and kids in public spaces or ignore them if I do so it's weird to me how interested so many other people are in babynut. Every single subway or bus ride she makes at least one friend. Cashiers at stores we frequent know her name and give hugs. I think she knows more people in our neighborhood than I do. It's like she's the mayor.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:30 pm 
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See! Every kid and every relationship is different! The only arbiter of what it will be like to have a kid is surprise :)

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:16 pm 
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madeleine.teacup wrote:
The downside: the only nondairy milk they have now is almond milk, which I merrily order voluntarily but my sweetheart says tastes like poison when in coffee.

Mr Moon says it makes his coffee taste burned. Weird! I don't drink coffee, so I have no idea.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:46 pm 
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like everyone else has said it is such an individual experience and i dont think anyone ever is ready. for like 34 years of my life I DID NOT WANT KIDS AT ALL. i disliked children, i didnt want to be around them, i just didnt like them. i liked my friend's kids and any kid members of my family but that ws all i would tolerate. never EVER changed a diaper, anytime someone tried to make me hold a baby i would hold it at arms length like "what the fizzle do i do with this i dont want to break it"
then all around me people started having babies and i sort of was like "hey maybe i DO want to do that? NO I DONT! yes i do?!?!?" and i STRUGGLED with it for a few years. my husband has always been super laid back and when we got married i told him if he REALLY wanted kids we had no business gettin gmarried cause i REALLY didnt. he seemed pretty much ok either way so when i brought it up again he thought it might be ok to have kids. we kind of jumped into the whole thing head first with no plans.

like C&S said the first year is hard. i hesitate to call BabyPunk a "difficult" baby because in many ways she is really easy. i can take her anywhere with me, she is good in public places, she is very cautious, she's pretty chill in general but holy crepe she needs to be attached to me 24-7. she wants mommy ALL.THE.TIME. i NEVER get a break. i quit my job because i hated it and i honestly cant imagine what would have happened if i wanted or needed to go back to work. we didnt plan on cosleeping and have a very nice unused crib. she never once slept in it. we never even got so far as to try. there is no way in hell she would be down with that. i have not had a decent sleep in over 2 years (she's 13 months but i had a shitty pregnancy). she is also my personal stalker. the joke is that once your kid becomes mobile you are constantly chasing after them. the opposite is true for me. i just started doing some work from home for my husband's company and i cant get the time by myself to concentrate on it. i will be in the room i made into an office and she will be happily playing with my husband but eventually she crawls down the hall to find me.
that's her though and while i dont label my parenting style i definitely fall into the gentle parenting/attachment parenting mode of things.
i know many people who had babies around the same time as me and many of them are great sleepers and they all sleep in cribs except BP's cousin but i think that is just because they WANTED to cosleep. their daughter i think is a really good sleeper and probably would have slept in a crib.

i guess my advice would be to not plan anything solid and not to have super high expectations about how life will go (ie baby will sleep in crib at xx months old or will eat solid food at xx months old) cause it will never work that way.

that being said i find all the sacrifices worth it. i still dont like other peoples' kids and i have a hard time out in public at like story time or something where i need to interact with other parents and kids cause it's not my thing but man do i love my kid. sometimes when her little hand touches my skin i literally want to shoot rainbows of of happiness out of my butt. i dont know what that is about, the oxytocin in my body goes through the roof or something. and now that she's not really a baby any more she has entered a really cute phase of crawling around, cruising around and learning about the world around her. but like Tlish says my entire day is devoted to her. she sucks at sleeping in general so i dont get reliable naps so i dont necessarily get that break everyday. plus i have 2 needy dogs so i feel like all day long everyone is like on top of me and in my face.

the main thing is to make sure you and your partner are on the same page about stuff. there is no such thing as 50-50 parenting i dont think. it just isnt practical. im not even saying its always mommy who takes on the bigger percentage, somehow it tends to get skewed towards one person more. but you can still have a good partnership. i definitely do the bulk of parenting since BP is barnacle baby but then my husband is really the sole provider financially and will do like the yardwork and stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:27 pm 
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So I feel like the review I just received at work was all thinly veiled about my pregnancy, but I'm too exhausted to fight it at this point. No one ever gets a raise because there's no money, and it's pretty difficult to get fired from a state job, so it's not likely to affect me much. And my boss is about to retire so I won't have to deal with her stance on pregnant employees in the future (she's complained about them before). But it's taken a big hit on my desire to spend any time at work. Baby come now so I don't have to see this woman ever again.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:59 am 
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I loved the play cafe in San Diego and would drive half an hour to get there and pay $5 on top of my order for the play pass. It had a really great fenced in area with tons of toys and a little slide and playhouse, and there was someone supervising the kids a few hours a day. There was also an outside playground available. There were regular tables, but also a nice little bar counter that curved around the whole play area so you could sit in a bar stool and watch your kid play while also enjoying your drink/food, and they also sold kid-friendly food options like apple slices, bags of cheerios, veggie straws, fruit squeezes, etc.

Sigh. To have a place like that now.

Anyway with more general purpose coffee shops, I found it kind of a mixed bag. Starbucks in the middle of a weekday has two kinds of people: those who glare at you because they're trying to work and act like you've gone and brought a kid into their office, and those with little kids who are looking for somewhere they can go and resent people working in their playroom. ;) Both are understandable but I wish they'd just designate every other starbucks a kid starbucks and an office starbucks!! The best Starbucks ever, though, is in Yokosuka, Japan. When I was there it had little tables and chairs for kids, a shelf filled with kids toys and books, and the baristas even had a weekly crafts hour for kids! It was amazing.



As far as when you're ready to have kids…well…Are you ever ready? For what it's worth, I had a similar lack of experiences with kids and especially babies. And what my midwife said to me is totally true: you may not be much good with kids, in general, but you will very quickly become the expert on YOUR kid. I wasn't working before we had kids so it wasn't a financial adjustment for us as much, but in my thirties I suddenly wanted children despite being kind of kid-hostile before.

And butternut I totally agree with people taking the presence of a kid as some kind of invitation to talk to you. It's weird and I'm noticing it again with a newborn particularly! I know it's just small talk but part of me is like "what's it to you how old my kid is or what her name is or whether she's a girl or a boy? Go away!"


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:16 am 
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I'm heartened to know that I'm not the only one who has zero baby knowledge and that other moms somehow figure out how not to break their babies!

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:48 am 
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dude the first time they gave me BP after she was born i was TERRIFIED. i was like "nurse dont leave!" cause if i needed to like shift her or move her i didnt know what to do! i was so scared to pick her up.

that feeling went away REAL FAST.
i also found some of the things i thought i might not like or might annoy me i dont really care about. i dont really care about diapers. they dont bother me. i struggle a bit with the state of my house a bit because i like things organized but the toys everywhere dont bother me.


mollyjade that;s terrible. im sorry you went through that. its sad because we have all these laws to protect people but if an employer wants to discriminate against someone it's easy to find some other way to do it. at least you will be done soon!

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:58 am 
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I like to think babies don't maintain memories of infancy partially so that they don't remember all of your fork ups and freakouts at the beginning!

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:34 am 
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I had absolutely zero baby experience before having mine. I have a tiny family and had never really been around kids at all. We really wanted to get pregnant and were still just terrified! I don't know of a single person who felt confident going into it or in the newborn stage, for what it's worth. We gave birth at at birth center and they send your home after like 5-6 hours so we basically just went home and panicked.

On the coffeeshop thing, it's probably just an Austin (or similarly-vibed city thing), but parents and toddlers hang out in coffeeshops all the time here. There's a ton of places with fenced or enclosed outdoor patios (and vegan food!) and it's totally not weird to hang out there with your kids. We are lucky to be in an incredibly family-friendly place, though, so I know this is probably not the norm.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:47 pm 
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I think deciding to have a kid is an act of optimism and I guess when it started to seem like a good idea to me, I was at a point in my life where I was feeling generally happy and in love. Getting to where we'd like to be financially was so far into the future that we just said fork it. Knowing that we would always have enough to eat and I was on my way to making more money in the future was enough. We lived in a shitty one bedroom apartment for the first year after my daughter was born, and it was such a sweet time. I'm also someone who had zero experience caring for babies or kids before, and honestly it still feels so weird to me to be someone's mom. It's just not the largest part of my identity, and I think that's okay. I love my daughter so intensely that it brings me to tears, but when I think about who I am as a person I guess the first things that come to mind are my politics and career. No judgment at all on parents who feel differently, but I think it's important to point out that while having kids will of course change your life in many ways and can be a pain in the asparagus at times, it doesn't change EVERYTHING and life does just go on in a lot of ways. Does that make sense? It's certainly a huge decision but it's not like omg NOTHING will ever be the same and we have to check off every single thing on our lists before having unprotected sex (or however one goes about it)!


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:26 pm 
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Hooray for unprotected sex and test tubes and all that. Random thoughts on being ready for babies:
-thought I was ready, had wanted to be a parent for several years, then the first year happened and it forking broke me, even though I do really like little babies and of course liked my baby. But parenting now in the mid-toddler years is way easier for a hundred reasons for me. I imagine there's a stage of childhood that each parent feels is a more comfortable place for them as a parent than others. Some people like babies, some toddlers, etc. I know many parents who have a hard time relating to kids who can't talk or who can't play games or who can't listen to stories or who can't effectively communicate their needs. It's not the end of the world if you actually don't really love the baby stage.

-babies are definitely an act of optimism - that you can do it, that the world will be an okay place to grow up, that you won't go broke, that you will like yourself as a parent, etc.

-didn't anticipate how fast I'd get pregnant and thought I'd have some time to settle into the idea before it really happened, but I got pregnant basically the first try. So don't get too fixated on "it'll take a long time" or "it'll happen really fast." You never know.

-parenting is the greatest spiritual discipline I have ever taken up. Not like you can't improve yourself or become more mindful or whatever without parenting, of course. But parenting is a situation that gives you way more everyday micro-challenges to your ego, your selfishness, your failures of empathy, your failures of forbearance and patience, your feeling that you own your own time and can control your universe, your failures of communication with your partner, etc. All the stuff that is shitty about it feels better to me when I frame it in that way.

-diapers are really not a big deal and not scary and not hard. Also, poop is really just not that gross. Puke, on the other hand, is a tool of the devil.

-Also, postpartum depression and anxiety are real and suck a lot a lot a lot. Know in advance where you can get help, make sure your partner knows what to watch out for, don't let a medical provider shrug you off if you think you need help. You're not "ready" to parent when you are falling apart mentally yourself.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:04 am 
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Pretty much everything Ariann says should, as usual, be double underlined and gone over with a bright yellow highlighter.


Financially, the thought occurred to me that you can probably manage it without a lot of lifestyle changes if you can survive on one income. Whether this means one parent staying home or one parent essentially working in order to pay their nanny, as a friend of mine put it, if you can get by on one parent's work you'll be fine.

If not, I think it's still possible to do because I know people who manage.. just that those people have had to be more flexible and creative in how they manage it. I know there've been some comments on other threads about people here being dismissive of financial concerns, but I don't think it's that we're trying to minimize the costs of having kids. I think part of it is that all of us know people who are raising kids on way less money, and way more money, than we individually have…and doing a decent job of it. Having some form of good paid health insurance helps enormously. If you have a kid with any kind of major disability (and that's hard to predict) it can be financially devastating in the US because we leave the burden of this so much on families. I'm reading "Far From the Tree" right now and that's been weighing on me. Good childcare can be really expensive, unless you have family nearby basically willing to help day to day for free (which is how some people I know in tougher circumstances manage it). We don't have this, personally, and if my husband didn't have a decent paying, stable job, we probably wouldn't have had kids..but I don't feel comfortable imposing the same requirements on someone else.


ETA: one more thought. This might sound kind of privileged, but I know enough people that have decided they wanted to have kids and changed their own circumstances to make that easier that I think it's worth mentioning. There are two variables to the money issue: expenses AND income. Don't totally dismiss the idea of increasing the latter. Might require some creativity, might require going out and looking for a better job or thinking about what you might be able to do from home while watching a child.. but people tend to think about budgeting in terms of reducing expenses when sometimes it would be easier/more doable for them to increase income instead. Again, that's not an option for everybody and I don't want to come across as dismissive, but I know enough people who've said, this is important to me, I need to earn more to make raising a family happen, and they found jobs where their skills were much better valued, financially.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:28 pm 
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im not sure where to post this but since it's totally random info i figured this thread was perfect!!

i had my yearly OB appt this morning and it's my first appt with them since BP's birth other than the standard 6 weeks pp appt.

right now im not ever planning on more kids but i wasnt planning on having even 1 and obviously i changed my mind on that so i asked the dr what the odds were that if i changed my mind that my pregnancy and birth would be as horrifyingly awful again. (recap: just felt ill through entire pregnancy, ended up in the hospital with preeclampsia 2 weeks prior to due date, spent a week being chocked full of induction meds trying to get baby out, was on a magnesium IV the whole time because of the preeclampsia, my body tried to literally rip itself apart during birth).

and she told me some interesting things.

#1 she said there was a recent study that aspirin during pregnancy reduces your risk for preeclampsia so even though i am at a higher risk having had it once they would probably make me take baby aspirin throughout the pregnancy to reduce the risk.
#2 it's really hard to induce you for your first baby
#3 especially early
#4 i forget what fancy word she called the magnesium but it stops contractions, so you are basically fighting a losing battle.
#5 since when i finally went into labor the birth happened insanely fast that means more likely than not my second birth would also be fast. i actually thought it was so fast because of hte induction meds and that may have been part of it but she said i may just have speedy labors. my mom had two natural and speedy labors.

so anywho. just random info. maybe people here already knew all that but it was all news to me and made me feel less like iwould need extensive therapy to get over my birth experience if i ever decided to go for kid #2.
i felt strangely broody after all this then i got home and barnacle baby was displeased at life in general so that knocked those feelings right out. :-P

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:29 pm 
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There's a bunch of research on induction and the factors that make it more or less likely to be successful, but having had one vaginal birth already makes future induction way more likely to be successful, i.e. result in vaginal birth rather than C-section. If your Bishop score was low (a composite score of things like dilation, effacement, etc. that helps predict whether labor is impending/whether induction might be successful), which it probably was since you were early, that makes everything much harder as well.

I am definitely planning on having more kids, so I'm similarly relieved by all this stuff, since induction totally suuuuucked.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:21 pm 
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obviously they cant promise anything but she pretty much told me if i did decide to have a second child i *should* have a much easier time. and she said she's had many people tell her the 2nd time was WAAAAAAYYY better than their more complicated first time if they had some issues the first time around.

there's also just the second birth is typically easier anyways regardless of whether or not you had a difficult first birth.

i think i was seriously 5 mins away from a c-section. the dr ending his shift basically was hinting at it but saying it wasnt his decision since he was going off shift.

strangely enough after my chat with her i feel better about the whole ordeal regardless of whether or not i decide to have a 2nd kid. kind of like i let go of something i was holding onto or something.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:37 pm 
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Argh. We are signing Inez up for preschool in the fall and, while I'm really excited for her and happy with the school we chose, the process is hitting so many of my anxiety triggers. The most recent thing was a letter that includes a request that the kids not miss any classes during the first month after school starts. Welp. We have a vacation scheduled during that time frame that we can't (and wouldn't want to) cancel. And I'm sure it's fine. And it's just preschool! And we get to decide what our family does, not the administrators at a montessori school. And blah blah blah. But I still feel all weird and panicky. Dumb.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:36 pm 
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At what age did your kids successfully eat with utensils? Out of laziness, we've avoided giving them to Scarlett because we don't want to clean up the mess. Is it weird for a two year old to eat with her hands?


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