Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sticker shock

Good thing I am not the depressive type because, wow, this post-holiday week is an unfun, mess-cleaning, downpouring rain-fest. I'm a little puffy about the eyes probably ya, because I've mounted what seems to be a more fruitless and heartbreaking search for daycare than I thought possible.

Local AND quality AND affordable? God, I'm so naive!

Yes, I want my childcare provider to make a living wage, and yes I probably will get what I pay for -- thank you lady for filling in my stunned silence with that chastising byte of wisdom -- but after a couple days of touring blue collar homes and immigrant family basements and weathering the culture shock of other peoples intimate lives, I'm worn out and incredulous. My brain hurts from the math ...

< thoughtbubble >At X dollars per month, add 30% to how much I'll have to make above X before taxes, divide it into worked hours -- I'll have to work full-time just to afford part-time childcare, or work-full time to afford full-time childcare with a cut in take-home pay, and standard of living and less time with my child< /thoughtbubble >

I'm ducking through water sheeting down off the corrugated fiberglass porch roof, dead summer plants, dirty tipped-over molded-plastic yard chairs... still optimistic. Obese lady here, bra-less and be-slippered, reclines on K-mart furniture, tells me she'll let my child cry it out at nap-time. Do I get a discount if I pretend to not notice that your husband snuck out just as I was pulling up? Did he pass a background check too?

A dedicated childcare facility, the kind with a designated hand-washing station, and no visible personal belongings (stacks of mail, coupons and receipts, laundry, litter boxes), a place like that costs almost as much per month as housing and bills, combined.

How is this possible? America, you have truly said FUCK YOU to working mothers. I know, because I used to not give a shit about these matters, as a representative non-mothering American. Now I am mothering, and I'm totally alone in this mess. Even when I try to talk it over with Clark he says to me WELL, IF YOU THINK YOU CAN WORK ENOUGH TO COVER THE COST -- GO FOR IT.

Because I'M THE MOM, RIGHT? IF I WANT TO GET ALL UPPITY ABOUT HAVING A "CAREER" I'D BETTER FIGURE IT OUT MYSELF?* His right to work is unassailable. Agh, these stupid old cliches, this stupid mess, these hopeless times!

It'll all be different in 2011, right?

*That isn't exactly fair because Clark has never said that and he has been unfailingly supportive if a little lop-sided, but I still think the point is salient...

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sunday Baking

I'm making gingerbread in the shape of butterflies because certain economic forces seem to be manipulating the cost of cookie cutters in the shape of little men... at least, at the only one store I went to, where they were four times more expensive than any of the other cookie cutting shapes. I don't appreciate feeling like a beguiled holiday sheep and in fact and at the same time, have never met a butterfly that made me mad or hurt my feelings. On the other hand, there are plenty of people whose heads should be bitten off for doing exactly that, so clearly this line of reasoning has it's limitations. This is where it lead: I bought the butterfly shaped cookie cutter.

There was some nice unexpected floofery when I threw a measure of baking soda into the hot mixture of molasses and brown sugar, but other than that, the recipe wasn't unimpressive.* I baked up a tiny swarm of 20 or so butterflies and threw the rest of the dough in the garbage.

Cleaning up just now I somehow managed to slice -- emphasize: saaa-lice! my finger right the fuck open washing the sauce pan. Help me figure out how I did it. My niece Ashley, who is living with us this school year, is constantly complaining that our knives are too sharp but the last three (3!) times I have cut myself (and badly) it happened not with any of our razor sharp knives but, in this particular order: on the lid of cottage cheese container, the foil from the neck of a wine bottle, and now the lip of a cooking pot.** I clearly have thin skin, haha, but I'm working through that.

Anyhow... here's some videos of daily nonsense

The sign for mouse as it might commonly be expressed, can be seen here. In this dialect, the finger goes all the way up ones nose.

*But not so offensive that I didn't eat three (4) cookies.

**UPDATE: I whittled the tip off my finger with our super-sharp paring knife a couple hours after posting. I'm now triple bandaged and annoyed! Witness:


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