Tuesday, March 10, 2015

a few books and highly-adaptable guilt

Perdita is now ambulatory in a bipedal fashion, by which I mean: we're boned. She is still doing the zombie-stagger, but she's always been quick to perfect a physical skill once she's learned it. Her hurling-items-to-the-floor ability, for example, is unrivalled. So I imagine there will be running in the near future. Oh man.

The daycare guilt continues to be hilarious in its determination to reshape itself to any situation. Her current daycare didn't actually have five days available, so one day a week she's at a new place, and I felt horrible about making her adapt to a place she didn't know, and terrified about leaving her at a place I didn't know, and so on. This Monday was her first day there, and she came home with a sheet listing the "developmental skills I worked on today" and a picture of her working on her fine motor skills by making a collage. Also they clean and sterilize the bottles for you (which is good, because I managed to forget everything except the actual baby when I picked her up, so those will be some clean bottles waiting for us next Monday), and wash any dirtied clothes, and have an in-house cook. It is ridiculous.

So now, of course, I feel guilty that she's not at this place five days a week. Never mind that at the place she's been for seven months I know that she is safe and cherished and has lots of friends, and she's clearly not lacking in terms of developing skills, and it's as close to affordable as a non-sketchy daycare in eastern Massachusetts gets (insert hollow laugh)... but in their daily reports there are occasional misspellings and frequent abuse / neglect of apostrophes, and she has never made a collage, and so if I leave her there her Ivy League chances are shot, right? You have to include daycare collages in the application package, don't you? And a child exposed to an erroneous apostrophe before the age of one will never recover, we all know that.

The thing is, I am not actually more comfortable with the new place. Some of that is its newness, but some of it is just that it is so giant and industrial and sanitized, and so obviously dedicated to Visible Learning to show the parents (which is not to say that Visible Learning doesn't result in real things learned; it does; it just seems a little show-offy when the kid's at an age when all fine motor skills are used in the service of trying to eat non-edible items, including the developmental skills report itself). But there is part of me convinced that if I really had her welfare and future in mind, I would switch her immediately to the full week at Fancy-Pants Learnatorium. I shouldn't prefer the other place. Staff members there have visible tattoos, and not in a hipster Cambridge way.

I suppose if I was a really dedicated mother, I would stay at home with her and personally craft a curriculum up to the Learnatorium's standards. Ha! Merely contemplating that makes me need to lie down for about three days. It also reminds me that the pressure, like the guilt, will adapt itself to any situation. There will always be some reason why you're not a good enough mother, no matter what you do, so screw it. She will thrive at her current place and learn about apostrophes at home. (Berowne will teach cooking and carpentry and sailing and music, and I will cover apostrophes. Seems fair.)

What I have read lately, other than the Learnatorium's parent handbook, which is about the length of the Canterbury Tales:

Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears, by Pema Chödrön. Short and soothing, though not my favorite of her works.

The Ides of April, by Lindsey Davis. She's moved on to a series about her previous hero's daughter. I didn't like this, unfortunately, and don't think I'll keep reading in the series. Which always means that in about six months I will totally get the next book in the series out of the library, not because I forget that I didn't like the first but that when it comes to books I am an incurable optimist. I just can never stop hoping that every book I pick up is going to be awesome, and no matter how disappointing a once-enjoyed author has become, when I see that s/he has a new book out, I always go, "Ooo!" I will never learn!

The Killing of Crazy Horse, by Thomas Powers. Powers wants to show, I think, that the death of Crazy Horse really was the moment when everything ended for the Native people of America, but in service of this idea he jumps all over the place chronologically and goes on tangents about the players in the story, and I got pretty bored by this.  

On a weather-related note: I was kind of hoping, as many of us around here were, for just two more inches of snow, to break the record. And the current situation is nasty and slushy and there's no place for all the water to go. But when I take the dog outside in the morning, and the sound all around us is that of melting, I swear it is like bells. We'll surely have some more wintery weather before it's all over, but I at least will be greeting spring as gladly as Demeter this year.

No comments:

Post a Comment