Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Someone please shut that baby gate!

Funny how fast babies go from laboriously pulling themselves forward an inch at a time to a super fast scoot!

"The baby's headed down the hall," hollered the dude office manager yesterday. And sure enough, she was--not the hall hall, but the hall to our sink and bathroom. Which would be fine if we didn't keep all kinds of rusty nails and sharp tools under that sink.

Hence the baby gate, which has been held open with a mini bungee cord, lo, all these many months now, waiting for this moment to clang closed.

Next on the list: checking to make sure all the electrical cords are taped together so she can't pull a computer down on her fool head. Because if any baby could do that, this one will.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

And Now, For Some Early Morning Math

Last year, if you recall, I fell a little behind in the childcare/school department, and found myself totally screwed looking for someone--anyone--who would take a 2-year-old in fall. Yes, even in Pittsburgh, we have this kind of insanity, apparently; I should have signed her up at birth.

Nevertheless, after some of my women-in-law took pity and turned their formidable nagging on the director of the preschool at their shul, we found a spot, and the girl has--more or less happily--spent the year learning all about manners and how to play in groups. And how "on Shabbat we go to shul / so we can kiss the Torah." That's a real song, by the way.

(Also "Little Sammy spider / lived in a Jewish house..." Which is not; it's just the Itsy-bitsy spider made kosher. But I digress.)

Anyway, all this is fine, except maybe for the part where we're not really Jewish, and therefore headed for some pretty awkward conversations with our toddler pretty soon at this rate. And for the part where there is a much--much, much--nicer school down the road, in which we got a spot for fall. And which is even--score!--a little less expensive, which is not to say inexpensive.

Line one of the math: $848 x 12 months = $10,176.

Line two of the math is that I'm sort of thinking #2 might like a little bit of kid time. I wouldn't say she's a disaster in the office, but she's a little restless. And I'm a little crazed. More about that later.

So let's say she goes somewhere for 6 hours a day, 2 days a week next year. In fact, let's say she goes to learn about Sammy Spider--since that's the only place I could get her in, at this point. (I did make an appointment to tour the Very Nice Place people send babies, but let's face it, I would have needed to put her on the list there the moment I saw the second pink line pop up, and I didn't do that. Probably I should cancel the tour, which isn't for another month anyway.)

So, two days for six hours: $4,330 + $540 (penalty for not being Jewish) (ok, not really--penalty for not being members of the congregation. Same difference, if you ask me. Shiksas always get the short end of the stick.) = $4,870.

Total childcare/education costs for next year: $15,046.

Line 3 of the math would involve what's left over from the money I make after we pay for this, but if I shared that number with you, dear readers--some of whom I know in the real world--I would have to die of embarrassment. Let's just say that if you factor in taxes and making a contribution to my retirement fund, probably I can afford to buy myself something nice. A package of sparkly pencils from the dollar bin at Target maybe, or that latte I've been eyeing.

Monday, May 11, 2009

How to Tell Which Summer Intern to Hire

Yep, it's that time of the year again.

Actually, it's a little later than that time of year. But we're chronically behind. And my biggest criterion is persistence; the internship usually goes to the person who follows up the most.

Not willing to fight for a space? to keep saying, Yoo-hoo, 'member me?

Then I have no use for you anyway. You'll just get neglected, and probably sit and quietly sulk while playing around on facebook, and by the time your internship is over we'll just be waiting for you to leave, and you'll quietly hate us.

So mostly my screening system works--saves everyone a lot of trouble.

Anyway, today's candidate is hired for many reasons:

1. He drove a long distance on the Monday after his graduation from college
2. in a suit
3. with a whole portfolio of his previous work, all covered in plastic sleeves
4. and is willing to move to our city within a week
5. for a non-paying internship
6. which he's maybe willing to work at for a full year

I know. It's almost too good to be true.

And, he didn't even bat an eye when I started nursing my fussy baby to sleep in the middle of our conversation.

Yep: He's a keeper!