Life, Death, and the School Run

It is 8:11am.  The sun beams through the windshielf and with my right hand I'm rooting around for my sunglasses in my bottomless purse.  "It's Friday, guys!"  I chatter to the kids.  "The weekend starts today!" "Star Wars pancakes tomorrow!" shouts LittleMan. "Dee-too-dee-too!  Yay!" chimes in Babygirl, clapping. "It's R-2-D-2, Babygirl!" corrects LittleMan.  He finds my eyes in the rearview mirror.  "Mommy, I keep trying to correct her." The person in front of me is looking for parking and has slowed to a crawl.  I switch on the left indicator to go around him, glancing quickly over my ... [READ MORE]

A 60-Day Timeline

"It's a process," the woman on the phone admitted.  "But we walk you through it." I had finally reached the expert in question, the woman in charge of preschool assessments for special education services, after listening to the lengthy directory on the main line of the San Francisco Unified School District and calling three of the numbers I thought might be the right fit -- Assessment and Intervention, Special Education, and Other Assessment. I am not dealing with the City by choice. There are very good public schools in San Francisco.  A few.  They are spread throughout the City, not ... [READ MORE]

Change Abounds

If I'm being honest, the first warning sign was LittleMan's midyear parent-teacher conference back in the Age 3-4 classroom (pre-Pre-K). "LittleMan!  Great kid, awesome little guy, just like a little boy should be!" said his teacher.  We nodded happily.  The ice thus broken, she consulted her comment sheet for the nitty-gritty, and looked at us.  "LittleMan..." She paused.  "LittleMan...does not like art." "Oh, we know that," I assured her with a laugh and a wave of my hand.  "He never really has.  He doesn't have the patience for it.  He'd rather be running around or doing imaginative ... [READ MORE]

Back in the Saddle Again

It was November 2009.  My husband had been on something of a "bromance" kick, with three bachelor parties, two football games, three weddings of best friends...It seemed like for weeks, he was either out of town or out of pocket.  Some months are like that. There was a gal at the playground.  One far more outgoing than I, with a son the same age as LittleMan, and as the two boys toddled around together we got to chatting.  Her husband had Giants season tickets (as in New York Giants...as in football...as in out-of-state), and she, too, was flying solo quite a bit as he traveled back and ... [READ MORE]

Finding the Center

"Mommy," LittleMan said as we walked hand-in-hand from his school building the other day, rush hour traffic swirling all around, "I am just letting you know that I am going to be quiet for a few minutes now, because I'm feeling sort of tired.  Quiet means you don't talk.  Then when we get where we're going, I'll feel refreshed." "That sounds nice," I agreed.  "I'll be quiet for a few minutes too." So we walked, and quietly watched the world trying to get home, by foot or bus or train or car, while the Bay Bridge traffic mounted and the Giants fans plowed towards the ballpark and the 5 ... [READ MORE]

And So It Begins, Part 2 (How It Really Began)

Babyman started his new Pre-K the first Monday after our two-week family vacation in Tahoe. Babyman is not fond of change or shake-ups to his routine.  He is, however, tremendously fond of family vacations in Tahoe.  It follows that shaking up his routine just as our Tahoe vacation came to an end was something less than popular. We dedicated the ride home to hyper-enthusiastic Pre-K prep as only nervous parents can.  We stopped along the way to get a back-to-school outfit and, most importantly, a snazzy Cars 2 lunchbox.  The lunchbox, its utter coolness, its "I can't wait to show the ... [READ MORE]

And So It Begins

Dear Babyman, Last week I dropped you off for your first day of Pre-K.  For the second time in your short life, you will attend school five days a week; this time, however, it's for good.  There will be no chance in the years to come for us to say, "You know?  Five days is a lot for a little man.  How can we scale it back?"  After Pre-K comes Kindergarten comes Grade 1, and that's real school, man. So on Monday I dropped you off, new lunchbox in hand (Cars 2), new shirt on your back (Toy Story), and you ventured into that big room with the big kids and the tall cubbies, and you hung your ... [READ MORE]