Operation Caffeination

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I haven’t been sleeping at night. I’ve probably doubled the number of sunrises I’ve watched in my lifetime over the last week (not a morning person, no). The stress is pickling my bones and leaving me feeling pliable and lethargic.

D did not get accepted into the dream preschool. Or the less amazing but more reasonably-priced preschool. Or the crappy community center preschool. It’s April and admissions are shutting down around the state for the 2012 school year and I am realizing that I don’t have any choices. It’s not about Waldorf vs. Montessori, it’s about attending a preschool or being stuck at home day in and day out for another full year. I can’t accept either alternative. I am so angry right now I can hardly think. There is an enormous, overwhelming shortage of childcare for the under 5 crowd in Seattle, and in a situation like this where teachers get their pick, kids like mine who really need to use this time to practice and develop social skills are not getting the chance to do that because they are competing for preschool openings against adorable little girls who have been trained to use inside voices and never soil their sparkly princess gowns. I know three mother moms with rough, rowdy little boys who have been unable to find a preschool spot fo<r their sons anywhere, not just struggling to find one they like, I mean we can’t find a teacher who is willing to spend time with our kids at all. Doesn’t that just warm a mother’s heart.

We have a few ideas up in the air right now. These other moms and I are talking about hiring our own teacher (because teachers are struggling to find spots around here, too) so that we can launch our own program in one of my neighbor’s backyards. Of course it would be totally illegal but what can you do. The waitlist to attend the orientation class required before you can begin the process of getting certified by the state as a full-time care facility is year and a half long. No wonder so many under-the-table groups are popping up on Craigslist.

Another idea is to sign D up for gymnastics classes two mornings a week. It’s not preschool, but it’s affordable, it would give me a break and it would give him some practice at getting along with others, standing in a line, listening to instructions and respecting a teacher. That may be my best option at this point and when I think of the beautiful, warm, wonderful preschools I’ve toured I feel so sad and betrayed. My son’s little boyhood is slipping by quickly and he is going to look back on this time and remember what? Angry Birds? It’s so depressing to feel this helpless. It takes a village to raise a child, and here I am battling the Seattle Freeze.

And, beneath it all, there’s the problem with M. She’s nearly ten months old now and still completely immobile. That isn’t a huge deal in and of itself, but she’s also doing quirky things, like keeping her ankles crossed most of the time and twisting her tongue around and she can’t lift her chest off the ground when I lay her on her tummy on the floor. No single delay represents anything too worrisome, but to have so many little red flags…it’s concerning. The doctor is sending us to see an occupational therapist to get M checked out and hopefully we’ll be able to get her development back on track with a little help from a professional. I’m sure she’d catch up on her own if left alone anyway, she’s probably just developing to the beat of her own drummer…

…unless these delays are the first signs of cerebral palsy.

I can’t let myself think about this too much or I fall apart, but her quirks could be either one at this points, just funny little individual characteristics or early signs of a motor development condition that could relegate my daughter to a wheelchair for life. You know. It’s probably one of the two. ?!!!

And of course, this stress that’s eating away at me makes it so difficult to even remember that I should keep running load after load of laundry, load after load of dishes. I forget to trim the kids’ nails and I’ve started giving them cold boxed breakfast cereals because I can’t keep up with the constant stream of meals right now. My house smells like a rotting vegetable but I can’t find the source of the smell and keep forgetting to look, and we’ve used up all of our laundry baskets so now the clean laundry is getting stuffed into brown paper grocery bags. I forgot to buy q-tips until we’d been without for a week. We’ve ordered crappy Chinese delivery for dinner so many times that the delivery girl is starting to develop a little crush on my husband.

I haaaaaaaate this.


Written by GRSeim

April 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm

One Response

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  1. ;-;

    We haven’t even started looking for preschools, yet, even though I know theoretically we ought to, since it’s bound to be at least a year before space opens up. It’s hard though, because we don’t know where we’ll be (we might move when our lease runs out, who knows?), or what we’ll be able to afford, and having two kids of preschool age we’re going to be looking for two spots to open up simultaneously, because there will be next to no point in sending just one of them. All of the choices are complicated and frustrating, and where are all those pro-lifers now?

    I will keep your little one and your family in my thoughts – I can’t even begin to imagine what that might be like –

    for what it’s worth, though, from one stranger on the internet to another, from what I’ve seen of your writing and your struggles, I have faith that you and yours are strong enough to tackle these things, that you’re smart enough and determined enough to figure out how to get what you need, and I have no doubt that your children will grow up knowing how fiercely you love them.


    April 12, 2012 at 9:59 pm

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