Daycare Dilemma: I Have No Idea What I’m Doing With My Three-Year-Old This Summer.

Apr 11, 2014 by

I have been remiss in not getting back to a few of you who left comments for me somewhat recently.  No real excuse except for the usual busy-ness.  It’s on my list, I promise.

Nothing profound in this week’s post.  Just an attempt to crowd-source a solution to a child care issue headed my way this summer:

Right now, I drive my kids to two separate schools each morning.  I have a toddler in a private daycare, and a preschooler in a public school program supplemented with a paid after-school program.  The entire drop-off process probably takes about a half hour to forty minutes, but that doesn’t include the time it takes me in the morning to get them ready and get myself ready.  Sometimes I just get them ready and out the door, do the drop-off, then go back home to shower and start my day.  Not the most efficient use of time, I know, but sleep has been an issue, especially with a toddler who still night-nurses.  We’re working on transitioning her out of our bed and into a cot in our room.

Can I Opt My Child Out of Smarter Balanced? Yes. But No. It’s Complicated.

Mar 29, 2014 by

broken pencil

Pictured: The deep symbolism intended in this photo is especially so, as I think the new assessments are supposed to be computerized. Hey, I graduated in ’97. Just go with it.  (Image Credit: M. Dunn)

Yesterday fellow blogger Elise posted her personal thoughts about standardized testing in the public schools and how she’s not going to let some numbers on a page impact her view of children’s real educational progress and well-being at school.  But what about the hundreds of parents who want to opt their kids out of standardized testing altogether?

Here in Connecticut, this year is the pilot year for implementation of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Test, which is set to replace the current state standardized tests, the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) in 2015.  Yep, by “pilot” year I mean that this year’s testing doesn’t count, although school districts are still required to administer it.  It is a practice run-through to work out the bugs before school districts throughout the state become obligated to actually start using it to track student achievement (or, you know, alignment to the Common Core or whatnot) next year.

An Inconvenient Truth? Maybe My Career Is Actually Hurting My Family.*

Mar 22, 2014 by


[*Alternate Title:  "In Which Melanie's Feminist Card Is Revoked, Hell Freezes Over, And An Inconvenient Truth Is Recognized"]

I am exhausted.  Tomorrow is Saturday, and it’s also the one day a month where we do the billing in my office and I need to come in to help.  Normally that’s not an issue at all because DH has the kids, except for that one weekend enough where he goes up to the base for drill weekend.  That was two weekends ago, but despite this, we still need child care tomorrow because DH is being called in for a rare (for him) weekend day of work.  It’s just one of those weekends.

How to do better when you realize you’re letting people down all around you.

Mar 15, 2014 by

It is really hard to admit when I am overwhelmed.  I should qualify that:  I’m not overwhelmed to the point where I just can’t function anymore.  I’m just … situationally overwhelemed.  Like, at work, I can hold it together while I talk to desperate people in desperate situations.  I can smack down the email that pops up with a quick response.  I can handle the 20-minute phone call that turns into a one hour phone call.  I can dash out the door to get my kids (just) in time from daycare/preschool.

See?  I told you it’s hard for me to admit.

Yesterday, the toddler was sick, so instead of driving an hour to work, I got the kids together and went over my parents’ house.  I feel bad bringing a kid with a stomach bug over, but I needed to make some phone calls to clients and there was no way I could do that with screaming kids in the background.  Not professionally, anyway.

A Short Note on Appreciating What You Have as a Parent.

Mar 7, 2014 by

I have a new job, which means I have been plunked down into someone else’s office in a new work environment with its own culture.  It’s incredible.  This is where I am meant to be, and that feels really good.

I work in a law office that represents parents of special needs kids, and guess what that means?  A good number of the staff here (we’re a small office, but let’s call it 50%) are also parents of special needs kids; some now adults, some still going through the public school system.

I am nothing short of amazed at how hard parents of kids with learning challenges, physical impairments, or mental health needs, to name just a few types of disabilities, need to work not just to advocate for their own children, but to make it through the day.  Every day.

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