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.

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