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You Still Have Time to Vote!

For 2012’s worst “Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children.”

Wow.

Destructive is such a strong word, as is oppressive.

What are some of these dastardly things?

Hmmm, you’ll find a Lego Friends product, as well as a Fisher Price toy, and even a ball.

Personally, I kind of hate all of the “smart” Fisher Price toys.  They creep me out.

Voting ends December 5, so hurry!

 

 

The Perfect Party for a Three Year Old

My  husband and I have been mulling over party ideas for our three year old daughter.  She was born after Halloween, but very soon after, so we thought about a Halloween-themed party.  Or we thought about just renting a bounce house, putting it in the front yard and being done.

Silly us, we should be doing this.

My daughter loves swimming.

Now if only we lived in Florida.

Monday Teeny Poll

78% of you felt that a college professor who breastfed her child during a lecture acted inappropriately.  Some of you also disagreed with a sick child being brought to the workplace.  You know, I sort of see that viewpoint, but it just underscores how most women have few options when it comes to childcare, so I’m thinking it could bring attention to their situations.  17% said she was just fine, and only 4% didn’t know what to think.

Yesterday we had my son’s 10th birthday party and it was 99 degrees!

Monday Teeny Poll

52% of you have no issues with infant male circumcision, and the recent just-short-of-a-recommendation from the AAP didn’t change that.  4% admit the new findings may have changed their mind, while 14% haven’t budged in their stance against. 23% say they don’t have a horse in the race, and sometimes I wonder why I put that voting category in there.  To me, it’s just an easy way to say that you don’t know.

Oh God, It’s Halloween Costume Time Again

Is your tween girl hankering to dress like a literary character?

Well, she’d better be prepared to slut it up as Hermione Granger, because tight, short, and shiny is most of what is out there on the store-bought costume front.  I’m sure you can find some that aren’t, but all of those listed as “most popular” are the ones that show the most skin.

This is called Robyn Da Hood Tween Costume, and I just can’t with the name.  Perhaps it has its origins in some movie that my seriously unhip 41 year old self does not know about, but I still can’t no matter where it is from.

Hermione certainly is looking grown up.  May I interest you in a shirt, Hermione? Shirts are your friend.

She certainly looks ready for a party, although I’m not sure it will include tea.

The list is practically endless.

And extremely depressing for us non-sewers.

 

 

The Child Care Dilemma

As some of you may have read, the annual cost of child care in some states exceeds that of tuition for a four year degree.

Let’s think about that for a second.

I am all for paying childcare workers a fair and living wage, as well as treating their positions with respect.  But is the high cost of a full-time daycare truly reflective of a highly trained staff and a safe, stimulating setting, or  is it a business just trying to take advantage of a situation where both parents feel they need/want to work?

When I became pregnant with the Munchkin, my husband and I sat down and discussed what I was going to do with myself once our son was born.  My husband was all for me continuing to work, as he likes having money.  I too, like having money, but I pointed out to him that the cost of childcare would negate much of my earnings (although not all) but the net gain we would make from my salary wasn’t worth it to me.

This was a point of contention for a while, with him pointing out that we could hire some aging grandmother off the street who would come in for cheap.  Well, that might have been true, but I still felt that my son was best off with me as his caregiver, period.

So, as in many of our disagreements, I came out the winner.

If good, reliable childcare that didn’t break the bank in my area was obtainable, I might have considered staying at work, or at least scaling back to half or part time.

But it wasn’t.

And so here I sit, stay at home mother to a 4th grader and a toddler with speech and developmental delays.

Yeah, not looking good for a return to the workforce any time soon.

Is childcare in your area reasonable, or a big ripoff?  And how did it influence your decision to stay/not stay at home?

Monday Teeny Poll

Aaaah, ladies after my own heart! 57% of you never pay retail if you can possibly help it, and 28% say more than they would like, which could be that they don’t pay retail 8% of the time, but that’s still too much for them.  9% say quite a bit, and 4% of you say almost never.  I would say that usually the only thing I pay “retail” for is groceries, but I try to be a bargain shopper as much as possible.  But, I don’t clip coupons.

Now, I’m sure all of you have at least heard about the incident of Karen Klein, school bus monitor, being horribly bullied by some tween and teen boys.  I watched a bit of the video, but had to turn it off after just a few minutes.  People are calling for the kids’ heads, and Karen now has over $500,000 in donations to her name, as well as a trip to Disneyworld.  There is much debate as to who is to blame for what happened, ranging from the parents to the kids to the school district. What do you think?

The Time I Fought the School District. And Won.

I’ve been meaning to tell this story for a while, but I’ve been so buried under stuff that my mind has been unable thus far to tell the tale in a fairly truncated manner.

Because man, the whole thing was just stupid.   And get ready with some coffee and scones, because this is one loooong story.

In my state, some 2nd graders are tested for the gifted program. In some schools, every single child is tested, in others, only ones that have been recommended by teachers.  In my particular district, a test called the Naglieri is used.  The Naglieri is often used in many school districts with a large population of students that speak a second language or are economically disadvantaged, or both.  Essentially, it doesn’t have any words and uses pictures instead.

So the Munchkin was recommended to take the test, but upon doing some research and speaking with my sister, who is a GATE teacher, I found out that some students with verbal giftedness can do badly on the Naglieri.  Because duh, no words.  I asked that very question of the district GATE coordinator at a parent information meeting, and she did indeed admit that some verbally gifted students could be overlooked with that specific test.

Cut to my son receiving a HORRIBLE score on that test. I mean, according to the Naglieri, he wasn’t even performing up to grade level standards.  Which of course was not true.

I wrote a nice and polite email to the GATE coordinator stating that I didn’t think my son’s performance was reflective of his abilities, as we all could tell from his grades that he was obviously performing at or above grade level.

She replies that fine, if I would like, she could have a broader-scale IQ test administered, called the WISC-IV.  This is a two hour test conducted by a trained school psychologist that spans a larger set of skills than the Naglieri, which is mostly focused on logic.

So the Munchkin takes the test, and when he gets in the car afterwards, he tells me his brain is “on fire.”

Which I sort of took to be a good sign.

His test scores come back, and there are four subsets of results dealing with specific areas of skill.  His verbal is fantastic, definitely in the highly gifted range.  He has some good scores in two other subsets, but only in the moderately gifted range.  Then comes a low-ish score in the last subset.

I’m told that oh, too bad.  That low-ish score means my son isn’t good enough to qualify for the GATE program.  OKTHXBAI.

Wait, what?

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