Thursday, March 11, 2010

Today Is Brought to You by Day and Org: Daycare, Organic Food, and Organizing My Day

It's official. Before Absurdist Tot is old enough to move into the next room at daycare (which is maybe preschool -- and I guess there is time), I'm going to have to find a new daycare. When we dropped him off today, I heard the teacher (who is not the usual teacher, but still a pretty decent one) tell the kids that because they were good at whatever they were doing, they could go get a sucker. At 10:30 in the morning! I'm sorry. I know I'm probably much more extreme about controlling what my kid eats than a lot of parents (organic everything), but I think giving kids sugar (not to mention HFCS and food dye) and nutrition-less food as a reward for good academic behavior at 10:30 AM is. . .well, not criminal, but certainly going to set up crap behavior as well as sugar-related behavior problems throughout the day. It's not that I want to keep AT from candy forever -- it's really just almost impossible -- but not as a reward for school and not before lunch. I'm sorry. No. I don't like it. I don't want my kid eating that toxic crap, and I don't want him to feel excluded from having what everyone else has.

I also just feel like they have too many kids in AT's room. I believe the official and legal ratio is 1 and 6, but some of the other daycares we looked at had 1 and 4 at his age. I like our daycare, how it doesn't feel all clinical and institutional and the people are warm and friendly, but I'll be very happy next week when the woman who made us fall in love with our daycare will be back.

One of the reasons we went with this daycare is because the food was up to us, so AT wouldn't be eating a bunch of organic-but-state-approved food. Sigh. Food and daycare. What a nightmare!

I wish the whole organic thing weren't such an uphill battle, especially when the argument is, at least to me, so obvious. Kids eat a lot more vegetables and fruits than adults do. With their more vulnerable and still developing systems (remember, we worry about when to give them milk and peanut butter and all that because their systems are fragile and they could develop an allergy at that age that they would not have later), pesticides are much more difficult for their little livers to deal with. There's research on this. Dr. Sears's Baby Book and the website contain wonderful discussions on the dangers of pesticides for children and how pesticides include brain-damaging toxins! The Pesticide Action Network (yes, a special interest group, so they are biased, but then so is our conventional food system who I swear is putting out propaganda suggesting that organic is only for effete upper-class individuals who have the luxury to buy gourmet food -- damn it, organic is not gourmet! it's old-fashioned, non-toxic food! and you know what? my organic salad fixings are really not that much more expensive than the conventional, even in winter across the country from the state that's putting out most of the organic stuff in winter -- and I don't have to worry that I'm going to be paying later in health costs) also has great info and research on the harm of pesticides on children. And yet state-mandated food for daycare is not organic. It should be. It should be, dammit.

So AT is at daycare. Which means it's time for me to be productive. I don't feel like night-of-the-living-dead, as I've felt on and off for the last few days. In fact, AL suggested doing something fun, but something in me was immediately against it -- maybe because daycare is supposed to be when I get things done, and I have a long list of things I haven't been doing and while I don't exactly feel like a failure in every direction (because I did get that conference paper done for now), I know I could feel better about my workload. So.

  1. I want to read some research and take some notes. I've got two different articles I could read for. I haven't decided which I'll read for, but I know if I do this, I'll definitely feel like I've gotten something done. DONE: That is, I looked at two smaller pieces of research, only one of which is at all really helpful. I want to look at the big piece for the other article, but it's clear to me I don't have time today. It's okay. Really, Earnie, it's okay.
  2. I really need to try driving the car. If I could drive that car, it would make a huge difference in my feeling of freedom and independence. I'd be able to go to the store when we need more food. I could run to school when I need to rather than dragging the whole family. Can you tell I'm trying to convince myself here, because driving a 5-speed is just so damn scary? I tried driving with AL, but it freaked him out and so we never got out of the complex. I'm super-frustrated. Am I going to have to pay money to pay someone to teach me -- someone who is used to people being unsure and vulnerable in order to learn how to drive the damn car?
  3. I've got to work on the elective. I haven't firmed up my reading list and need to. Because so many of my books are out of reach, I'm going to have to ILL some books in order to make copies. It's so damn stupid, but there it is. I'm also just plain having trouble coming up with some readings.
  4. Workout? DONE
  5. Pump, since I'm going away soon and AT needs a cache of breastmilk. DONE
I feel so much like that moment in Parenthood when Steve Martin is having a super bad day, having just found out he's not getting the partnership at work and has quit and his wife says she's pregnant, but he's got to go coach Little League and she asks if he really has to, and he responds: "my whole life is have to." It's not true in my case, of course, and I love AL and AT and my job, but. . .well, sitting in a hotel room watching bad TV without having to worry about whether it's scrambling AT's brain and making him ADD sounds pretty good right now.

It's ridiculous. I'm all stressed out. But if I just spend an hour on each of the above things, it'll be time to pick AT up. (No time for fun -- waaa. And it's so sunny and nice -- the snow has completely melted off our patio.) So I better quit whining and just get on it! Why is that so hard? (I think because I used to have so much time to explore my feelings and get my inner house in order -- and now there's no time for that. And I have a pretty messy inner house. I've got to get things done now or they don't get done.)

Please remind me to write about the following things: being on a search committee, because some of the things I found out really surprised me and would be good, I think, to share, and the book I'm reading on boys. Let me know if either of these pique your interest.


1 comment:

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

Yes, I'd love to hear your thoughts about being on a search committee. I'm always wondering about what goes on while I wait for my rejection letters. :)

As for the daycare/food/sucker thing... My thought is that if one makes a big deal out of a little thing like one sucker, then one runs the risk of raising a ticking time bomb. I thought I'd never let my kid even taste soda, but he's tasted it a few times after all. We don't keep soda around, but I feel like allowing it in small quanities when others offer it to us helps to reduce the draw of something that IS forbidden. I don't know about your kid, but my kid wants everything that he can't have MUCH more than something he can have. I suppose that's not exactly the same as what you were talking about, but I just worry that my kid's generation will rebel in all sorts of unhealthy ways because we have been so obsessed with forcing them to be healthy. Eventually they will have to make their own decisions; we can only give them a foundation for those decisions.