Nat had a preschool "interview" today. They didn't call it an interview. Something about "fit" but anyhow, it was an interview.
I have no idea what it was like, since Selina and I were exiled with other parents in he gym while the kids being not-interviewed were doing their thing in the classrooms.
Nat was the last kid to return from her group and I was dead curious as to why, but the teacher ran off after dropping her with me. She was running late for the next group, because, as it turns out, Nat didn't want to leave the classroom because she was having so much fun.
All I got out of Nat was that she saw a rabbit eat hay, and saw some fish in a tank, before she broke down and had a full-on temper tantrum about leaving.
She wanted to A) stay and B) return to the room with the rabbit and "play with the toys." (I was happy to hear that they haven't brainwashed her to say "work with materials" just yet!)
When we finally made it to the car and I got her calmed down, I got a bit more out of her. She said she poured water into a cup and didn't spill any (I asked) and that she used a "clip" to pick up "circles" and put them in a bowl, one at a time. That is "I picked up a circle and put it in the bowl and I picked up another circle and put it in the bowl and I picked up another circle and put it in the bowl..." etc.
Sounds like they were evaluating fine motor skill levels or something. Or maybe they let her choose and those were the activities she picked. But whatever it was, she loved it. I think she's going to pester me about going back for the next six months. I imagine they will offer us a slot, since we want the least popular, half-day afternoons. We're going to apply for financial aid, which is a long-shot, but we might as well try.
So preschool it is. What's nice about this school is that Nat can go half-days for two full years until she's six and a half. Then we can revisit the question of school-school. And reevaluate the impact of tuition on the budget...
4. Finally, I have to say that all the poison cast towards Nadya Suleman reminds me uncomfortably of the same viciousness cast towards mothers who don't meet ever narrower, ever shifting culturally normative standards for all kinds of other reasons. Can't anyone else see that the judgement hurled at Suleman is just a stone's throw from the judgement hurled at any single mother, regardless of how she came by her children? Got pregnant the old-fashioned way? She's a slut. Used a sperm donor and hired a nanny? She's a selfish old maid. Needs some public assistance? She's a leech on the taxpayer. Self-supporting? She's a workaholic. And those judgements are yet another stone's throw from the ones that plague other mothers. Stay at home? You're a door mat, a bore and a bad example to your daughters. Work for money and use daycare? Why'd you bother to have kids if you didn't plan to raise them? Used fertility treatment? Obviously the good lord didn't want you to be a mother and you went against nature. Adopted? You stole a baby from its real mother to serve your own desires.
Do any of these sound familiar? And before you say "sure, but the one that sounds familiar to me is not fair, whereas Suleman really deserves our criticism," I say, it's all the same thing. It's the same big, tired, old argument that mothers are responsible for everything bad about children, families, society. It's the flip side of that saint/goddess nonsense.
A number of commenters think that comparing the rhetoric above with the rhetoric hurling nastiness Suleman's way is a "stretch." Me, I say anti-mother rhetoric is one big pair of elasticized maternity pants and one-size-fits all.
Check it out and leave your own thoughts, please. It's a really interesting discussion and I am dying for something that goes a bit deeper on this situation. It is ripe for all kinds of critical thinking on medicine, fertility, motherhood ideology, the welfare mother, large families, single parents, yadayadayada...
This morning we met an adult transracial adoptee born in the same year as me. I told her I'd be picking her brain for what not to do wrong and she said "well, you're doing great with the hair!" which was about it as far as her concerns.
"There was a dark, dark outside. And in the dark, dark outside, there was a dark, dark marching band. And in the dark, dark marching band there was a dark, dark peeking eye. And in the dark, dark peeking eye, there was a dark, dark look. And in the dark, dark look there was a dark, dark closet. And in the dark, dark closet there was a dark, dark rocking chair. And in the dark, dark rocking chair, there was a...GHOST!"
I don't know which I like better, the marching band or the peeking eye.
Selina, meanwhile, recognized a letter for the first time yesterday. Well, that is to say, I recognized Selina recognizing a letter for the first time yesterday.
I was rocking her before her nap and reading a book to her. She kept getting mad at me for trying to turn the first page and go on past "Big red dog barks bow wow wow." So finally I said "fine, you hold the book and read it yourself."
She took it and looked at it and looked at it and talked a bunch of gibberish until it occurred to me that she was actually saying "W."
I said "W? You see a W?" and she got so excited that I had finally realized what she was talking about and why she didn't want to turn the page and went "yes! W! W!" and pointed to the W in "wow." So I pointed to the O and she said "ohhh" and then the next W again. "W. Ohhh. W. wow-wow-wow!" she declared. We stayed on that page repeating this for a good five minutes and she took the book with her to bed to study it some more.
Since I am always bragging on Nat's reading, I figured I'd better record this one for posterity to be fair to baby sis who is clearly a total genius in her own right.
* Based on a Halloween book that made a big impression on her last fall.
I was sure I'd get over it. But it has been getting worse as Selina grows. It's not even that I want a baby--though every woman at church with a sling has me drooling--it's that I just want three kids.
Really, I want five kids, but three will do. I see the girls playing together and it's like there's the ghost of a third hovering around them. It just seems like a sister is missing.*
Does this mean we really ought to have another, or is this just something that happens and you get over it/deal with it/move on?
If you are absolutely certain you're done, do you ever find yourself wanting another? That's a real question, not a rhetorical one. I'm asking done people--even when you're done do you still get this?
Meanwhile, we are looking again at Ethiopia and HIV+ older babies/younger toddlers as a possible route. The only problem is Nat's Mama Rose is probably not over her fertile years yet and if she were to need us to adopt again, we want to be able to do that and four just isn't possible for any number of reasons. Three would be a squeeze in every sense, but we could probably manage it. (Selina's Mama Fern is probably not destined to have any more, as she has some fairly major health problems that impact her fertility. We certainly hope she doesn't ever get pregnant again, because Selina, bless her heart, all but killed Fern.)
So these are factors.
If we do it, we won't even start the process for a year. Then it's about another six months to a year, usually, according to our agency, before you bring you baby home. Probably a year for us, as our homestudy and foster license are expired and we'd have to jump those hoops again.
I am so torn. Part of me is exhausted just contemplating another. (Part of me is exhausted with the ones I've got!) But if Nat were six and Selina were four and new baby sister was 6 months to 2 years, that spread might be okay. Right?
* You know what? To be perfectly honest, the ghost child seems like a boy to me. But a third girl would keep many things more affordable and less complicated, as far as room-, clothes-, etc.-sharing, goes. If we went the Ethiopia route we could specify a girl. But I'll be darned if I don't sometimes think Rose is going to present us with a baby brother. I mean, really, god forbid she have to go through that again. Still, it's sometimes in the back of my mind--not as a wish, but a sense of some sort.
I know it's supposed to be a bad thing, but if hearing the president say "I screwed up...I take full responsibility...I made a mistake...we're going to fix it" is the result of all the tax bruhaha with the cabinet appointees, I almost think it's worth it.
I haven't heard a president say that, right out, right away, since...okay, since never in my personal memory. You?
And now, WHY CAN'T POLITICIANS PAY THEIR TAXES? What's so hard about that? Especially since they KNOW this sort of thing has happened before and is bound to happen again. Seriously!
I'll be sending a check for $250 to the new quint mom in Maryland today.
Those of you who ordered jewelry should see it by the end of this week or early next--I accidentally failed to post a "SOLD" sign and double-sold a couple of things, so I'll be making duplicates for those and it may take a me a few days to get that done.