This week in Peanut

Things you did this week that made me want to cry (how’s that for a executive summary of four-and-a-half?):

You interrupted your play at school when a toddler’s ball rolled away from her. You stopped the ball and handed it back to her before resuming your own wild shenanigans.

You stood atop one play structure at school and intoned obscenities, grinning ghoulishly, at a group of girls playing below.

When asked if your baby brother could play with the wooden utensils from your play kitchen, you looked me right in the eye and said, “Always.”

The glitter paint all over the dining room and living room weren’t really your fault, since the cat walked through your painting, then sat down on another to lick his glittery, sticky paws, then rubbed himself all over the furniture trying to get the paint off his fur. Thank goodness, I guess, you like pink glitter paint the best, because it blends a bit better into the rug than the blue he could have sat in.

When you woke from your nap with a fever, and went wandering into the kitchen to find me, you carefully barricaded the open side of the bed with pillows so your baby brother wouldn’t fall out.

You pointed your bubble blower at me, repeatedly, even after I asked you to shoot at something else. When I took that away, you pointed a well tuned recorder. When I took that away, you pointed a cardboard tube. When I took that away, you used your finger. Don’t fool yourself, boy, I can take that, too.

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Moment of clarity

I’m having a tough time accepting a lot about my life—that the novel is still not published, that my PhD is still a distant dream, that two totally awesome and timely journal articles are languishing at 95% complete and not yet submitted, that Spouse and I are destined to be poor…

And that my eldest is testing out being the school’s resident a–hole.

This troubled me for several weeks, hearing about the times he had to be separated from his partner in crime, stifling my horror as he tells me of his antics, wondering if I wasted my time being so carefully respectful and gentle and loving and patient. If he’s going to throw sand in the face of the sweet and shy one at school, why did I try so hard to do everything thoughtfully, mindfully, and (what I now consider) self-effacingly? Why not actually lock the door when I pee, or shower regularly, or say no to playing with him, or negotiate a little less if he’s going to be antisocial and embarrassing?

And I asked another parent at school, tearfully, “is my kid an a–hole?”

He said something I really appreciated: “No, he’s usually sweet and he’s doing some awful stuff. But that’s his job. Now, my kid’s an a–hole.”

Not true. But I realized we all see things in our children we don’t like, that the socialized side of us wants to just beat right out of them, and the kid side of us wants to run from. The preschool dad who talked to me has a child with some unsavory characteristics sometimes, who is not an a–hole. My kid is trying out some awful behaviors to get attention and see the responses, but he’s not an a–hole. What he is, is different than me and separate from me. We’re now walking that thin line where it’s my job to teach him what’s okay, and it’s his job to choose the okay over the not-okay.

I thought about it, and Super Cool, Sweet, Awesome Lady X at school has a child who is genuinely an a–hole. Sometimes. And another child who is delightful. Mostly. And neither is her fault. And the total a–hole parent at school has a kid who is generally okay. And that’s clearly not due to parenting.

You do what you can and try your best, but some of your child’s behavior has nothing to do with you. (Yes I knew that, but now I have to repeat it more often than “please don’t pick up trash from the street.”) As I try to let Peanut separate and become his own person, I need to stop being embarrassed and realize that he is, in fact, his own person. And he’s four. And if he’s hated that’s his problem and if he’s loved it’s his problem. And all I can do is give him what I can to help get him through. He has to do the rest.

And damned if that isn’t the hardest part so far. Because from this side of the preschool fence, that adorable and feisty and opinionated and persistent and intense child is sometimes miraculously delicious, and sometimes a giant a–hole.

Evil genius

At lunch over the weekend:

Peanut: Mom, you know: you can be not nice at my school.
Me: Really?
P: Yup. You just have to do it and quickly run to the next room. Because the grownups have to stay in their area and won’t follow you to tell you about being nice.
M: [blink. blink. blink.]
P: The teachers will follow, though, so you have to chose a no-teacher room.
M: [wide-eyed, forgetting to blink…]

It took him six months to expose the flaw of our Bev Bos inspired preschool.

I really hope he uses his powers for good some day.

Soothsayer

Parenting dilemma:

We try to be all gentle and attachment parent-y and respectful and non-carrot-and-stick-y here at Chez Naptime, and we’ve found ourselves perched on a parenting dilemma. We don’t do the authoritative parenting thing; it’s really not our way or the highway. We’re here to teach and we’re here to learn. There are some inviolable rules, but most things, when they don’t deal with safety or or treating human beings gently, are open to negotiation. I’ve posted here before about how open we are with language, with profanity, with ideas.

We try to respect our son as a person (no such respect for the soon-to-be child because that bugger will get way more say in our lives than we want, as it is, so for now it just gets giggles for its spleenectomy skills and and is otherwise ignored) and demand the same respect from Peanut. We’re not his servants. We’re people. We respond to polite talk and ignore grouchy talk. We respond to all manner of emotions and honor them without correction, but won’t listen to whining. Cry if you’re sad, ask for a hug if you’re angry, laugh loudly and unabated if you’re happy. Find an alternative to hitting and yelling. And we try to practice what we preach. Try. The yelling part is hard.

Blah blah, blah, Nap, get to the juicy stuff.

Fine. Preschool has been an interesting lesson in other children, a really informative lesson on gentle parenting options (Bev Bos inspired co-op means there are lots of great parents there all the time and I’ve learned from them), and a crash course in crappy child behavior. Several whiners, a few takers, and lots and lots of exclusion and surliness. All age-appropriate, all carefully handled and redirected, all exhausting. Most of which is coming straight home for practice.

So Peanut spent a week or so sticking his tongue out when he was displeased. I didn’t want to make too big a deal out of it (grand scheme of things, a universally recognized sign of displeasure, freaking hilarious, pretty innocuous; but not something I’m gonna put up with long term because I find it offensive and don’t want to be the mom whose kid does that to grandparents.) I mentioned each time that we don’t do that because it’s just not friendly and if you disagree it’s time to use your words. Fine. Tongue is mostly gone.

What we have now is “poopy.” As in “NO! You’re a poopy Mommy!” Or “Get out of here you poopy Daddy!” And my favorite: “Why do we have to have cats? You’re poopy cats and I’m gonna flush you down!”

Now, I don’t care about the scatalogical reference. I’m one of those Moms who plays along when he says he’s making a stew of squirrel eyeballs and whale poop in his pint-sized kitchen. I grab a bowl and pretend eat and tell him how disgusting it is and can we please add worms for texture. I don’t mind honoring his need to tell me off and to distance himself from me when I’m saying something he doesn’t like. he’s allowed to his opinions, even if they’re strong and anti-Mom.

But I don’t particularly like being called poopy. Not in the “I’ve sacrificed everything I am and want to be so I can take care of you, you ingrate, so show some respect” kind of way. Close, though.

I also think I need to manage the beginning of the name-calling phase. Calling people names isn’t nice. It’s hurtful. Poopy is not a big deal, but it’s teaching him about power and language and derision, and I think I need to parent here instead of hoping it goes away if I ignore it.

So, I ran it by my “how would you feel if he did that in front of your sister-in-law” radar, which is a pretty accurate measure of how I judge acceptable versus not acceptable (I can’t use the older generation, because they disagree with just about everything we do, and we don’t particularly agree with their parenting values, either. My s-i-l has a similar parenting philosophy about most issues and a lot more experience, common sense, and patience than I do, so that’s where I go).

And my sil radar is befuddled. I don’t know what she would do. She might laugh (though she’s one of those awesome parents who’s smart enough to turn away or leave the room before laughing so the behavior could hypothetically be corrected at some point). She might casually say there are better ways to tell Mom no and let’s try some. She might ignore it. She wouldn’t yell or punish him, which some of the parents who I respect would. I don’t judge that impulse. I just don’t want to pick this, Battle No. 367 of today’s 928 battles for time out or yelling or general stakes-raising.

So I don’t know. Do I ignore being poopy? For, let’s be honest, I’m a grouchy pregnant woman facing her last few weeks of productivity with a list of things to finish a mile long, and am quite often a scatalogical word that he doesn’t even know yet, but that might correspond with “poopy.” Do I use “poopy” as a springboard for discussing how to talk to people and how to disagree in ways that wins friends and influences people? Do I let it run its course without the reinforcement of attention? Do I send him to Grumpa’s house for the beginning of his medieval training in “back in my day”? (Yup. Just called Grumpa several names, but in a way that seems simply delightful. See how much I have to teach a child? I can’t let “poopy” go without teaching Peanut to push real buttons, right?)

I know I don’t want to cut him off and make him think it’s not okay to disagree with me. I want to honor the independence without approving the fecality of this recent phase. I want to stop overthinking the small stuff but want to catch the big stuff early when it’s manageable.

Suggestions?

Play rather than memorize

Thanks to Elizabeth over at bleakonomy for linking to this article in the Washington Post about the importance of playtime over scheduled, formal instruction.

The quote Elizabeth pulled for her blog post is jaw-dropping:

Research has shown that by 23, people who attended play-based preschools were eight times less likely to need treatment for emotional disturbances than those who went to preschools where direct instruction prevailed. Graduates of the play-based preschools were three times less likely to be arrested for committing a felony.

Of course academic preschool doesn’t make people felons. That isn’t the argument in the article or in my ramblings. The argument is that formal, didactic learning for young children is counter productive. They need imaginative play with other children, supervised to make sure play is a safe and rewarding experience, but not scheduled and formalized to the point that the play becomes work. Or quote-educational-unquote. (Especially major corporation educational-for-profit type play. That means you, LeapPressure, Baby Neurotic, and Fisher for Dollars.)

Because seriously? Eight times less likely to need therapy is pretty significant. Especially given the other things we’re doing to screw our kids up.

Preschool debut

Ah, Peanut had a classic, classic first day at the co-op. Major resistance getting out the door. Don’t want to eat, don’t want to dress, don’t want to go. But, little man, I know we’ve only been over this ten thousand times, so I’ll patiently explain as though it’s the first conversation we’ve ever had, that this is a school where you do self-directed play and I’ll be there the whole time if you want me. And you’ve been there three times already for tours and orientation and such and never wanted to leave. Remember? You like this place. And I’m not leaving you there alone.

Oh. Okay.

He was a bit shy when he was in the morning circle, but the very minute we broke into the huge indoor and outdoor play spaces for the daily two-hour free-for-all playtime, he made a bee line for the child who told everyone about his new top that glows when you spin it, and asked the boy if he could try it. Awesome guts, Peanut. I like that. I don’t have that, and I won’t praise it ‘cuz we’re into that whole “narrate it but don’t judge anything they do” parenting style, but I totally dig it.

He tolerated the hyper-whiny kid, he defended his territory when bigger kids wanted to play with his puzzle, he took it well when the older kids wouldn’t let him play in their fort, he successfully diapered three baby dolls by himself in the loft (from which he banned me because I’m too big), sewed four buttons on his quilt piece, ate his tuition’s worth of popcorn at the snack kitchen, read several books with me and then with his freshly nappied dolls, and build some awesome marble roller coasters.

I love watching him from a distance as though I don’t know him. He’s perfect in every way.

Especially compared to *that* kid. And *that other* kid. Thank you, E. and I. and the others of your size and approximate age who wanted to play with him and invited him into your reindeer games. You’re lovely humans.

At song time Peanut was the first to answer at each turn how many monkeys were left jumping on the bed after their ill-advised mother ignoring. And when we celebrated one five-year-old’s birthday, he told me with no hesitation that the donut hole he tried was yucky and I *had* to eat his. He pushed a little shopping cart full of basketballs for more than 30 minutes straight, running in circles until he was flush and exhausted. And five steps out of the gate after it was all done, he completely lost his ability to be a grownup.

So we went home and he threw tantrums and I offered food and he refused to wash his hands and I offered nap and he started to slam the door but collapsed into a heap at my feet and needed a long cuddle to regain any semblance of reason. And we ate and slept and he told me after nap that he would really like me to stay in my room for a while while he played quietly by himself.

“It’s all just too much, Mom. I just need my house back.”

Oh, little guy, I hear ya. Good thing I get to put you to bed soon, because I feel exactly the same.

He was brilliant, school is going to be brilliant, and being allowed to read Mill on the Floss for half an hour while my small creature plays with his dolls alone is totally worth parenting dozens of ne’er-do-wells every Friday, my day to participate at our supportive, respectful, non-authoritarian, play-based, hippie co-op.

Yay, little dude and yay mama.

Preschool sized to-do list

Many well-meaning people keep telling me that having two children will not be as tough as I think because my son will be old enough to help. So I’ve put on my happy face and devised a list of things that I remember being daunting about a newborn so that my then-four-year-old can help:

Take over the nighttime feedings. Or at least one. You’re hereby assigned the 3 a.m. shift.

Please wash the laundry. We’re almost out of diapers, clothes, and hand towels. Well, maybe not, but the hand towels are your fault, so do it all, please.

Make Mommy a snack, please. I’m about to pass out from hunger. Sure you can make yourself one, too. Remember: protein and veggies and fruit. Yes, ice cream is fine, as long as it has strawberries in it.

Hold the baby while I pee, please. Hold its head. Not like that.

Watch the baby while I shower, please. Make sure to entertain, cuddle, chat, and nurse baby, who always seems to want all of those when mommy has soap on her.

Please read Mommy a book. My eyes won’t stay open long enough to see the words. Yes, we’re in the middle of Absalom, Absalom.

Read the baby a book, please. I’ve already covered all these lame-ass texts with you, so show that it was worth it to read the same book 4,812 times in one month.

Please change the baby’s diaper. Mommy doesn’t like poop. It’s very special and wonderful when you make it, but gross from anyone else.

Please also clean the litter box. See above reason. Poop is never cute from cats. Oh, there’s some over there, too? Yes, please. Clean that, too.

Please suck the snot from the baby’s nose. I know it’s screaming like its limbs have been severed. That’s why I’m going in the other room.
Please talk to the baby in a high-pitched voice. Singsong talking makes Mommy want to gouge her eyes out.

Please vacuum.

Please mop the floors.

Please do the dishes.

Please clean the bathroom.

Please change the sheets.

Please change the sheets again. Baby puked.

Please do the laundry again.

Please change the baby’s diaper again.

Please pack the diaper bag so we can go to the playground. Why? Because you deserve a little swing time for all your help, little dude.

[Those thoughtful “friends” were right that it’ll be easier this time. That tiny list certainly seems manageable for a four year old. Can you think of any more of the daunting newborn stuff that can be done by a preschooler? Other than attending to his own physical, mental, developmental, and emotional needs, of course. It would just be silly to ask him to do that.]

My new philosophy

In order to connect with my inner child and to empathize with my son, I will behave like a three year old for the next month or so.

From now on, when frustrated, I’m going to scream at the top of my lungs and throw things. The volume and number of items thrown will be inversely proportional to the adult-perceived importance of the incident. If my shoes won’t work I’ll shriek and fling them. If my toys won’t work I’ll scream and throw everything within my grasp, hoping to break something. If the car won’t work when I’m late for something important, I’ll whine a bit but get over it quickly.

This month, if I see something really disgusting in the gutter, I’ll pick it up. And if it seems particularly dirty, I’ll try to put it in my mouth.

From here on out, if someone looks at me sideways, I will hit them.

Food will be used primarily for wiping on my shirt and on my parents.

For as long as I can, I will whine for other people to do everything for me. If someone won’t blow my nose within 0.2 seconds of my asking, I will scream until the snot comes out through my ears.

As much as possible, I will wait until something important is happening, either in a conversation, at a gathering, or at home, and will shriek “Listen to me!!” even if people already are.

I will choose 6am as the time for ringing my scooter bell incessantly.

If someone suggests I bathe, wash my hands, or brush my teeth, I will throw myself, writhing, to the floor. If they try to help me, I will scream until their eardrums rupture. If they don’t help me when I can’t do it, I will scream until their eardrums rupture. If they suggest that basic hygiene is necessary for inclusion in American society, I will kick them.

If anyone threatens my desire to have brownies for every meal, I will kick them, too.

Whenever someone else looks away, I will make a beeline for the last thing they forbade me to do, and I will touch it. A lot. And probably lick it. Because I can.

For the length of this social experiment, if anyone states that I may not wear my jammies every day until the end of time, I will writhe and flail about impotently as I whine that I don’t want to wear clothes. Ever.

If anyone dares use the telephone or computer while I am awake, I will break either their technology, their favorite knickknack, or their eardrums.

I will wear a jacket and rain boots when it is 90 degrees. If things cool off to, say, 50 degrees, I will don shorts and flip flops.

All of these behaviors are subject to change if anyone, and I mean anyone, figures them out. At that point, I reserve the right to do whatever obstructionist, violent, vocal, or illogical behavior necessary to get people out of my way. Unless I need them. Then I will use whatever technique necessary to get them to do my bidding.

on that note…

This week’s Peanutisms:

“Mommy. Don’t EVER give me plain goat cheese again. I only want my cheese without herbs.”

“I want something really new that we haven’t had in long time.”

“Mommy, Daddy. ‘P’ peanut. ‘P’ pee. ‘P’ punkin. ‘P’ pree. ‘P’ I don’t want to do this game anymore.”

“I just don’t want one baby. They’re too little.”

“Mommy, you picked me so many blackberries that I need to go poop.”

Hopes and dreams and cheese

Peanut’s list, at three years and two months, of things he would like to be when he’s big, has not changed a whit since three years and one month. So I think this is really it. I’m looking into colleges. And since he wanted some that need college and some that don’t, and he unwittingly stumbled upon the perfectly balanced list (in his order, verbatim, except for the lack of k/g and r sounds):

Fire fighter
Nurse
Worker Who Drives Big Trucks
Astronaut
Farmer
Police Officer
Tea Maker (“at one hotel because people don’t have their teapots with them at hotel”)
Cheese Maker

I told him I would totally come visit every day at work if he were a cheese maker. And I would.  I also think that’s the best freaking job I’ve ever heard, and one of only six I haven’t tried.

Yet. ‘Cuz he needs to apprentice in the family cheesemaking business before going to some Continental cheese college on scholarship, right? Right. Gotta go get a sheep, goat, and cow. And we have to move to Pt. Reyes to learn from the Cowgirl Creamery folks.

Does Cowgirl Creamery offer an internship  for three year olds? Is there a cheesemaking  magnet school nearby? Formaggio Kitchen scholarship? CheeseBoard preschool?

I think you can. I think you can.

Peanut skated into the living room this morning with one foot in a box car from his 1970s hand-me-down train set, flipping socks into the air with a silicone spatula.

P: Mommy! I’m flipping pancakes and skating!

M: [actually looking; in fact marveling] Yeah you are.

P: I’m cooking on the train. It very hot! [realizes what that might mean…] Just the cooking part. This part [indicates the box car] not hot. Just right. A little warm, but  I’m being careful. Don’t worry. I’m skating!

M: You sure are.

P: And flipping up to the ceiling and everything gets cold and then we eat it up!

M: You’re cooking on a train engine and flipping pancakes and letting them cool on the ceiling and skating in a box car and eating the pancakes when they cool down?

P: Yes!

M: Wow.  Keep up the good work.

Sure, cute and all. But now I’m jonesing for pancakes, have no idea where to find a cooking locomotive, and not at all sure what to pack first for our move this weekend, because clearly anything in a box is something he needs for the “rolling out dough for a quiche in a tugboat” project he’ll invent tomorrow…

Spring in my step

So last week’s experience at a potential preschool has me doing ill-advised cartwheels (seriously, our house is small, there’s crap everywhere, and I’m old and not so bendy anymore in the adductor region) about my family’s freaking growth and development as decent human beings.

What the hell is in their Kool-Aid, you ask? Well, we don’t like that kind of talk around here. (Kool-aid is not on our preferred beverage list. “What the hell is in their unflavored rice milk, dammit” is more like it. Thank you.)

I can’t quite put my finger on it. Other preschool tours made me feel I wasn’t being something enough…one made me feel not stern enough, one made me feel not musical enough, one made me feel not detached enough. This preschool we just visited, though, made me feel that the approach I’ve always wanted is possible, and that with a few new techniques Spouse and I can be even more of the parents we envisioned when we had a good, old-fashioned panic attack about a little pink line.

Tell you this much…since the preschool visit I have been patient and hopeful and calm. Without feeling put out or thwarted or martyr-y. I’m doing stuff now because I want to, not just because several generations of Drs. Sears say so. I’m offering two yesses for each no because it makes sense and it’s fair. I’m more relaxed about telling Peanut what I need because I know I’m meeting his needs. I’m setting up sensory stations in the dining room and smiling as a paint-covered Peanut streaks the wall with purple then offers to clean it.

And the conflict resolution the potential preschool uses is TOTALLY working! How? Well I’ll tell ya. Peanut hits Spouse. A lot. To be fair, just between you and me and the ninety other people who read this blog, Spouse totally deserves it, but I can’t say that to Peanut, who is confused by the idea that grabbing stuff and blocking people from things, and generally not letting a person use their own body in ways they stinking want to is not nice, unless you’re big and lacking in patience.  So I  started taking each by the hand and asking the one more recently violated what he wants to say to the other. Then when he finishes, I ask the most recent offender what he wants to say. And back and forth until they stop. Then ask is there anything else you want to say? Each takes a turn. Then “does anybody need a hug?” It’s really freaking awesome because Peanut got the technique immediately, without a seven hour explanation from me, and always has one more thing to say.  Spouse never has anything else to say except, “No. Nothing to say, I just love you.” And when asked, Spouse always says he needs a hug.

Get this. Peanut always gives him one. Who are these people? Where do I sign up for this school? Oh. Behind the forty other families waiting to get in for September? I see. Is there anything for those of us who would like to have our lives back sooner, rather than later? No? Okay.  I’ll take your life-affirming techniques and apply them at home. Thanks. See you when he’s almost four.

So this potential preschool has Spouse and Peanut talking and hugging, has me running around joyfully placing tubs of dry beans and brownie tins full of raw flour and different sized scoops all over the house. What’s in the unflavored rice milk? Don’t know. But I’m getting a subscription on Amazon so it’s delivered every three months at a 15% discount.

Conundrum

We found the perfect preschool for us. Actually, I found it online six months ago as we moved the first time, but I’ve been busy going in and out of escrow four times and to a conference and on holiday vacations and through a prolongued lawsuit, so aside from listing the top ten preschools I wanted and making a table of when tours and open houses and applications and fees are due, I haven’t made much progress. Applications for all the local preschools were due several months ago. It’s like grad school all over again…you apply a year early and then sit in limbo for months. I thought the Pope eliminated limbo, in yet another, “sure the Pope is infallible, but now I’m Pope and my infallibility trumps the dead guy’s infallibility. No really, I’m sure this time; don’t question me. No, I’m not going to change the Bible, too, because it’s been changed millions of times by people a lot less infallible than me, but it’s really done this time. It’s the final draft, because the word of God can be changed until people start noticing, then it’s final. The Book of Mary? Never heard of it.”

Small problem, y’all. I need preschool, like, now.

So we’ve toured several preschools. Peanut and I have the same opinion of all of them, and loved, loved, loved the school we saw this week—the school whose online program description made me cry because I finally felt safe letting a preschool community help care for my kid. (Yes, I am overly involved in my child’s development and life. It’s a little thing called mothering. Look into it.)

(Sorry. That was snarky. I just don’t like the collectively raised eyebrows I just heard as I admitted that a preschool philosophy made me cry…I feel like jumping on my desk [who am I Tom Cruise?] and hollering “you don’t know me. You don’t know my life. Don’t judge me!”)

You can see how easily I’ll fit in with the laid-back earthy co-op preschool we’ve chosen, btw.

Being at the school made us happy. Leaving the school we were happy. I had more patience than I’ve had in months, a new perspective that, unlike other schools, made me confident in my parenting style and confident that a community of likeminded parents will help me be better every day. I even set up stations in our living room, dining room, and kitchen last night, inspired by the way Peanut played so intently and earnestly at the school This morning has been a dream of cooperation and constructive interaction and structured but uncoercive play.

Anyway, we have two problems. The first is that the waiting list is at least 40 families, for the fall semester. I was hoping for the “how does next week sound” semester. But it’s my fault we’re way behind. We knew last year we were moving, and to which approximate area. I could have done all the work and had him in now. But seriously, it’s preschool. I have books to finish and an academic career to reinvent and a corporate career to beat off with a stick and a family to foster, here, and I…ah, what the hell. Admit it. I’m lazy. I’d rather blog than call for preschool tours. Sue me. I need a local dentist, too, and that’s even further down the list. Right next to “edit all the video we’ve shot of Peanut in the past three years”.

Second issue, other than the serious uptick in my caffeine consumption today, is that there is a much, much, much shorter waiting list for the afternoon program. So if I want school asap, I have to begin a bootcamp of earlier naptimes, or let Captain  Caveman skip nap three times a week (and inflict the resulting frustrated, emotional, out-of-control lump that is a napless three-year-old on the other kids after lunchtime) to get into the afternoon program. He’s already said he needs naps and doesn’t want school in the afternoon. He said this today after refusing nap for more than an hour as he rammed cars and trucks into each other on the floor for quiet time.

So wait or cram my kid into a schedule that will fit my need for free time? I should get a sitter a few times a week until we get into the school. But that would involve research, and unless you can find it in a Melvyl search of Berkeley’s Doe library, I just can’t be bothered. (That’s right, even Moffett is too much to ask. Bancroft I’d consider.)