Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread

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TGIF! Oh man, this was one of the hardest parenting weeks I’ve experienced in a long time. I won’t bore you with all the details, but, in a nutshell, we got really bad news regarding Jackson’s public pre-k assignment for the fall. (Instead of the perfectly good school right next door to us where all his friends will be going, he got placed in a day care center for toddlers over a bodega two neighborhoods away, which we will not send him to; we’re wait-listed at better options, but we could spend the rest of the summer hoping for the best and not really knowing what’s going to happen or having an affordable back-up plan, which is nerve-wracking to say the least). Also, yesterday, we found out that Jackson’s preschool teacher who was supposed to teach his summer camp took a job in Dallas and is moving this weekend, which was upsetting news (he had to say good-bye to her on the spot, without any warning, and was pretty sad about it, understandably). And then after what was one of the worst acting-out transgressions Jackson has exhibited in the last two years over which I burst into tears and said I didn’t understand why he would behave that way, he told me he didn’t think I would love him anymore after the baby is born because I would only be able to love her. How is that for heartbreaking? So I used Simone and Miles to illustrate that my love is not limited to just one — that I have more than enough for both of them and I have more than enough love for both him and his sister. He looked at me and smiled and said, “But you don’t love Simone.” Which is not true, and he knows it!

Anyway, that was a snippet of my week. There’s other stuff, but you get the drift. I’m a broken record at this point, but, man, I will be happy to drink that first postpartum Margarita.

I hope your week was better than mine and that you have some fun weekend plans to look forward to. Happy Friday!

38 comments… add one
  • coconot

    coconot June 12, 2015, 3:30 pm

    That does sound like a pretty horrible week. Especially regarding the pre-k, because that’s a problem that could stick around for awhile :-/. I hope you guys figure out an affordable option!
    .
    I went and re-read the Simone story again and remembered how much I love love love your alphabet memoirs. You have a gift for making the ordinary sound so extraordinary! I know you have tons on your plate with DW and soon to be two children, but I am really looking forward to the last remaining letters of the alphabet some day 🙂

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy June 13, 2015, 8:38 am

      Thank you! I really enjoy writing those. I’m looking forward to a time when I can focus a bit more on that kind of writing.

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  • Ika

    Ika June 12, 2015, 3:37 pm

    The good news is that Jackson will only get more and more jealous as time goes on.
    7 y.o was pretty good during pregnancy (except for saying she felt sorry for baby because she ddnt have a mummy or daddy), but she got worse and worse as 4 y o started doing stuff other than just lying there. Just today she burst into tears because they both got invited on a playdate.
    .
    Hopefully having opposite sex kids might help?
    .
    Good luck with the pre-K! It sucks when things don’t work out as we expect 🙁
    .
    My husband turned 40 the other day! So we’re having a get together on sunday (we caculated the date wrong to reserve the hall. Oops) So my saturday will be devoted to baking goodies, and sunday to having fun. Hopefully. We hired catering (mexican), so hopefully I won’t have to run around as much as with the girls birthday parties. Of course there not being a theme or decoration helps too.

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh June 12, 2015, 3:51 pm

      Oh your girls! She is so funny. I love how dramatic her life is. I cannot wait to hear stories from her teen years 😛

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  • honeybeenicki

    honeybeenicki June 12, 2015, 3:44 pm

    Sorry your week sucked 🙁 That’s never fun. I don’t know how you didn’t have a complete breakdown when Jackson said that. I think I probably would have, but kudos to you for being able to explain it using the kitties (even if he claims you don’t love Simone!).
    .
    I don’t know how all the pre-K stuff works, but I’ve heard it can be a nightmare. Hopefully you can get bumped off the waitlist and into one of your better options soon!

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy June 13, 2015, 8:42 am

      Thanks, honeybee. The week of June 22 will be a crucial one as that’s when schools will begin offering open seats to waitlisted families. If we don’t hear anything that week, then that will make our summer significantly more challenging and stressful (at a time, as I know you can appreciate, when we’d love to just be able to focus on transitioning into a family of four and enjoying our time with a new baby).

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      • Ika

        Ika June 13, 2015, 8:54 am

        Do you not get priority for being so close to the school? Here one of the criteria for getting accepted in (public) schools is that.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy June 13, 2015, 10:22 am

        Yeah, here, too. Kids who are in the school zone have top priority, but the problem is there are way more kids than there are pre-k slots, so there’s a lottery for placement and we were one of the unlucky families who did not win a seat on the first round. Now, everyone who got offered a seat has one week to accept and if there are seats that aren’t taken by june 22, those will be available for a second lottery for all the zoned kids who missed out on the first go-round. And then, there are always families who take seats and then by the end of the summer change their minds (because they’re moving or they decided on pursuing another option) so people who miss out on the first and second lottery rounds could still be offered a seat as late as september. But by that point, most families who haven’t gotten in to the public school have put down pricey non-refundable deposits (sometimes up to $2500) to secure a spot at a private school. What really pisses me off is that I KNOW there are families who are taking spots at the school who are moving out of the neighborhood before school year starts, but they just want to have a back-up plan in place in case they don’t find a good school in their new neighborhoods. It’s really unfair.

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        RedRoverRedRover June 13, 2015, 2:21 pm

        Is it not an option to keep using your nanny? Or is it that you want him to have the “school” exposure? Or do they need to get into pre-K to get into kindergarten in the same school?

        I can’t believe they don’t have enough spots for all the kids. What kind of system is that? I’ve never heard of kids not being guaranteed spots in school. Even if it’s not their ideal school, they’ll still get into something.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy June 13, 2015, 4:17 pm

        Well, we are keeping our nanny — she’ll be watching the baby three mornings a week, and the plan was that she would start watching her when jackson started school in the fall (she would be about 2 months old by then). I really can’t imagine Jackson just staying with a nanny when everyone else his age is in school, getting the experience of classroom structure and routine. We could send him to the same place he’s been going to for the last year, but he would likely be the only 4-year-old when he’s already seemed older than he classmates this year as a 3-year-old. Plus, he’s just ready for “big boy school,” as he calls it. Also, that school is a mile away. We don’t have a car. It’s been hard to make that commute two days a week all year long. And he would really need to go to school more than two mornings a week. And we don’t have the $17-$20K full-time private preschool costs here. We just don’t. I mean, if we dip into the college savings we have for jackson, we could swing part-time, I guess (and then hope that some time before he starts college, we are able to recoup those savings, maybe through an eventual inheritance or something, but that’s not something we can 100% count on).
        .
        A year ago, our mayor won a big coup getting $1.5 billion to expand public pre-k and offer a seat to every child who was eligible (here, that means any kid who turns 4 in the calendar year they’d be starting a new school year). We always knew it would be a lottery to get into our first choice school, but we have been absolutely shocked and appalled that we didn’t get ANY of the four schools we ranked on our application and got placed, instead, in a program that doesn’t actually even exist yet. I went by the address the Department of Education gave us on our offer letter — it’s almost a mile away — and it’s literally an empty apartment building (on a pretty shady street corner). I rang all the buzzers and no one answered. I called the phone number listed on the shoddy website and it was disconnected. Finally, I got ahold of someone — he called himself the “CEO” — who said the location was under construction and would be completed by the end of the summer. I asked where would parents would even drop off registrations forms if, for some reason, they were actually comfortable registering their kids in a program that doesn’t exist and clearly has not been evaluated properly. He said he didn’t know. The registration deadline is friday. Meanwhile, all our local politicians and bureaucrats are congratulating themselves on providing “high quality education” to all eligible pre-k kids this year. It’s a lie and a fucking shit-show, and I’m so angry and so stressed out about it.

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      • avatar

        Anonymous June 13, 2015, 4:29 pm

        I’m really sorry about this school bs. Wendy! It seems like some bad mistake – a mistake they should be able to fix stat. I hope he gets in the public school by you off the wait list (if I remember correctly you said somewhere that’s still an option). Or I would dip into savings. That’s what I think I’d probably do anyway. Is there a good private school near you he could definitely get into or is there a wait list for that too?

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy June 13, 2015, 5:21 pm

        We’re on the waitlist for all the public schools we ranked and our first choice is still the one next door to us, which is a good school (and a big reason why our neighborhood is so densely populated and our housing costs are so high). A week from monday, after the pre-registration deadline, schools will start contacting people on their waitlists and offering unclaimed seats (so we are holding our breath and crossing our fingers until then). We’ve been told that’s a lottery selection too, but in case the school has some discretion in the selection (something else we’ve heard), I’ve gone to the office and introduced myself and emailed letters to the principal and parent coordinator and tried to make it clear that I’m a committed and engaged parent who plans to be very involved in my child’s school community through volunteering, classroom presence, etc., etc. In addition to that, we have called all nearby private schools we’d consider sending jackson to and have been added to their waitlists. (Had we any idea things were going to go down like this, we would probably have applied to a private school earlier in the year, before their deadlines came and went, to at least secure a spot, but we were led to believe — i.e lied to over and over — that every child turning four this year would be guaranteed a spot in a high quality pre-k program near their home address. All of the stress and anxiety is compounded by being 8 months pregnant and feeling super fatigued and emotional. I know it will eventually all work out; I just hope it’s sooner rather than later so we don’t have to spend all summer with this hanging over our heads. Thanks for the commiseration.

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      • avatar

        Anonymous June 13, 2015, 5:54 pm

        It will work out perfectly, and SOON I hope! – this is AP btw, not sure why it says anonymous.

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      • Ika

        Ika June 13, 2015, 7:15 pm

        I’m so sorry for the mess Wendy, it would be something to freak out about under normal circumstances, I can’t even imagine being pregnant and having that stress!!!
        Keeping my fingers crossed that Jackson gets in quickly!!!

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh June 12, 2015, 3:47 pm

    Sorry you’ve had a crappy week Wendy. This week has been not the best here either. I caught a hellish stomach bug. Had to take medicine so I could keep ice chips down. And then the pain was so bad. Thankfully I can finally keep down popsicles, crackers and iced tea. I tried adding broth today but that didn’t go well. And after five days of this I am tired of my stomach hurting. I did realize today that some of the other ‘issues’ are regulating themselves. Maybe that means I’ll be able to eat broth tomorrow! It’s very weird some of the extra symptoms are worse than anything, like walking right now is brutal because of the calf muscle cramps. Thank goodness it’s the weekend again so I don’t feel bad for not leaving the house. Someone else who had this virus said they felt crappy for 10 days. My husband brought this home from work so I’m going to start making him go in gloves and a mask. Seems reasonable to me.

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    • Ika

      Ika June 12, 2015, 4:05 pm

      I would give you a thumb up for the last lines, but it would be mean considering how crappy you’ve been feeling!!!! Hope the mean bug finally leaves you alone soon!!!

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy June 13, 2015, 8:43 am

      Oh, no — feel better soon!

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  • othy

    othy June 12, 2015, 3:59 pm

    I’m sorry your week sucked! We had lots to do at work this week (a big grant deadline is coming up). Luckily the week is almost over, and then I’m off to Charlotte for a conference next week. Too bad it will be hot and muggy.

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  • avatar

    Sandy June 12, 2015, 4:15 pm

    -sends good jujus to everyone for a relaxing/fun/stress free weekend-
    My week has been highs and lows. I’m swimming in an open water race this weekend so my goal is to not to get kicked in the face.

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  • avatar

    jam June 12, 2015, 4:22 pm

    I am a lurker and haven’t really commented much – but I have to say how incredibly impressed I am that Jackson was able to articulate so clearly why he was upset. Adding a new family member is one of the most tumultuous things you can experience, and for him to be able to express his fears about it makes that a huge parenting win! The stuff that’s out of your control this week sounds frustrating and stressful, but you are obviously doing an amazing job parenting him.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy June 12, 2015, 4:32 pm

      Aw, thank you. To be fair, I did prompt his comment by asking if there was anything about the baby that was making him sad. I said something like, “Your behavior lately has been really disappointing me and making me sad and angry. I’m trying to figure out why you would be acting this way. Let’s talk about what might be upsetting you right now. I know you’re so excited about having a baby sister, but is there anything about the baby that is making you sad?” And that’s when he said he didn’t want me to have a baby because I would stop loving him and only love his sister. I told him, as I always do, that I will never stop loving him and that there’s nothing that will ever change that — not a new baby, not his bad behavior, nothing. Every time I am angry with him I tell him why and then I remind him that even though I’m angry, I still love him, I just don’t love the way he’s acting. I guess I need to start reminding him frequently that I will also love him just as much when he sister is born as I do now. (In the last few days, he’s also showed some concern that I will love his sister. It’s pretty sweet actually. Like, he definitely needs to know that he is and will be loved, but then he’s like, “And you’re going to love my sister too, right?”

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      • avatar

        jam June 12, 2015, 5:32 pm

        He sounds so sweet and sensitive, it’s so great to talk with him like that. And yes it’s good to know what is worrying him specifically so that you can keep reassuring him. We can only imagine how overwhelming it must be when you’re that little to try and comprehend what it means to be getting a new sibling, and to know you’re going to have to share the centre of your universe. Like if your husband came home and said “great news! we’re getting another wife! and you can play with her and have so much fun and I’m going to buy all kinds of new things for her to have when she gets here!” Probably some anxiety would come up. 😉 Kidding of course, but to put it into perspective haha.

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  • avatar

    SasLinna June 12, 2015, 5:46 pm

    I’m sorry it was a difficult week. I think your reaction to what Jackson was saying was great. 🙂
    I had a bit of a shocker this morning. My landlady came by with her baby and let me know she wants to move into “my” apartment because she has recently separated from her husband. It’s a studio apartment and she wants to move here with a baby and a toddler. I’m not seeing how that could work at all. I’ve only just moved here three months ago and it sucks to know I’ll have to move again but I guess she has way bigger problems.

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    • freckles

      freckles June 12, 2015, 8:24 pm

      That sucks. And that’s so weird! Do you have a lease?

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        SasLinna June 13, 2015, 1:54 am

        Thanks. She can only kick me out in a few months due to the lease. I hope she’ll change her mind by then.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy June 13, 2015, 8:44 am

      What?! That’s crazy. Hopefully, she will find a better option for herself and two young kids than a studio apartment, jeez.

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        SasLinna June 13, 2015, 10:17 am

        I really hope so. The welfare state is pretty well developed here, so she should be able to get something better with the social benefits she gets for the kids.
        It’s pretty much impossible to live in this apartment with two small kids. I was dumbfounded when she said she was going to do that. She was even talking about stuff like having a wall added and whatever and I can’t see how that would be cost effective or even feasible. She may just be in panic mode and not thinking straight. I’m also hoping this for my own sake, because for me the apartment is actually pretty great.

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  • Portia

    Portia June 12, 2015, 6:21 pm

    I’m sorry your week was rough. And that everyone’s weeks were rough. Mine was pretty rough too, but I finally got back into the studio today to do some ceramics and I feel so much better. And have SO MUCH pottery. Seriously, so much. I just took pictures of it all and I brought home almost 30 pieces, in addition to all the other ones I already had. A lot of them came out really nice too.

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  • avatar

    Jane63 June 12, 2015, 6:22 pm

    Awww So sorry, Wendy. Sometimes all you can do is to get through whatever it is – and you are doing a great job! Being a mom is tough; not for the feint of heart. Having a second child is huge. Stay strong. You can do this. And get a pedicure; everything is better with a fresh pedicure.;) Keep putting one foot in front of the other – you never know where you will end up.

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  • avatar

    snoopy128 June 12, 2015, 6:51 pm

    Thank god for the weekend. Worked 9 days straight + major thesis edits = exhausted and stressed.
    Travelling to a nearby surf city tonight with friends. Surf tomorrow, work + sunshine and happiness on Sunday. Trying not to let my organizing brain go into over drive and just enjoy!
    Here’s to margaritas/beer/wine (or a hold over until you can have a real thing).

    Wishing you all an easy weekend.

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  • avatar

    Kate June 13, 2015, 6:26 am

    I’m on Cape Cod! My parents have had a condo here for 25 years, and they give us first dibs on weekends they won’t be there. It has bikes, and is across from the bike trail that goes up and down the Cape and has seafood and ice cream places backing on to it. It’s also a 5 minute bike ride to the beach. And there’s a little shopping plaza next door where you just walk through a gate in the fence and there’s an amazing surf-style taco restaurant with very good tequila and margaritas. And Dunkin Donuts and other necessities. At night we like to go over to the Ocean Edge resort and act posh and eat outside on what was the terrace of the original mansion. There’s a bar out there and usually a wedding reception going on that you can ogle. But the best thing about the Cape is it’s just so relaxing. And my dog is so happy here!

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  • avatar

    Ange June 13, 2015, 7:20 am

    Sending good vibes to everyone who has had a tough week. Hopefully next week will be better!

    My husband and I are touring the Hunter Valley wine country this weekend, it’s been amaaaaazing. Fantastic food, great wines, fires and sunshine. We’ve been lucky with the weather.

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  • Sabrina

    Sabrina June 13, 2015, 12:23 pm

    I’m so sorry you had a craptastic week. I don’t have kids, but I see friends going through the dilemma of finding the right child care/school and it sounds immensely stressful. Hope things get better soon!

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  • kare

    kare June 13, 2015, 2:10 pm

    Sorry to hear you’re having such a bad week! I feel like it’s been a bad week for everyone…hopefully the rest of summer is much better.
    *
    I’m celebrating my 25th birthday this weekend, and I’m not excited at all. I just kind of feel in a rut life wise. Plus my ex getting engaged this week didn’t help. A friend was supposed to take me to the ballet today, and I got stood up. No text, no phone call, nothing. Considering it’s the same friend who confessed he was in love with me, I’m really not impressed. Oh and there was the whole explosives and gunfire at police HQs a few blocks from me this morning. Just kind of a weird week overall. I don’t even want to go out tonight anymore. Ugh.

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  • Portia

    Portia June 14, 2015, 12:02 pm

    Ugh, I’m about ready to start some threads about my aunt because she is impossible. Seriously, nothing else about the wedding is causing me as much stress and frustration as her. At this point, honestly, I’m hoping my resistance to bending over backwards for her (I’ve already made some concessions) will make her decide not to come.

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    • Lyra

      Lyra June 15, 2015, 9:35 pm

      Girl, shoot me an email at lyrafromdw@gmail.com and let’s chat weddings. I’m sure we both have cuh-razy stories to tell each other! 🙂

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