Friday, June 17, 2011

Shopping, playcare, and potty training

I'm still not sure why I spent two mornings this week shopping.  I wasn't even buying food! On Wednesday I had a short meeting with someone about the science play space, and then I thought, oh, I'll go buy some balloons and maybe other things for my projects.  So I went to the Dollar Tree.  I've never been there.  Its right next to Kroger where I usually shop.  I used to shop at a Dollar store sometimes in Ithaca after Woolworths closed and before we finally got CVS on the commons.  My problem with dollar stores is partly that they sell junk- I mean do you expect high quality for a dollar?  On the other hand, my junky $1 laundry basket that I bought almost fifteen years ago is only just starting to break.  My other problem is that sometimes you just buy too much because it seems so cheap.

So anyway, I went in to our local store and was immediately mesmerized by all the stuff.  I don't know why that is.  Its not like I've never seen stuff before.  Perhaps it was the jumble of stuff in a small space?  Perhaps its because I haven't been to a store other than a grocery store in quite a while.  I found myself just taking note of each item I might possibly need or buy some day as if amassing strategic information that I expected to be useful.  Maybe its because I get excited when I can find something locally outside of Walmart.  Maybe I was excited because I didn't have my little star with me and felt I could slow down.

So, slow down, I did.  I also managed to buy some random things like new socks for me and my son.  I finally found the round balloons as opposed to the rectangle and water balloons.  When I got home (morning was gone by then!) I found that just like in the past, I was unable to blow them up even after a lot of stretching.   The idea was that you can figure out your lung capacity if you blow up a balloon and calculate the volume of air you blew in.  Well, it doesn't work if you can't get the balloon to expand at all.

So, I tried the more complicated set up that included an upside down coke bottle in a basin of water, and a straw.  It worked surprisingly easily.  I still wasn't quite clear on the physics that allowed water to be at a higher level in the bottle than in the basin.  Perhaps over time they would equilibrate.

So that was my first shopping trip.  By today I realized I needed a few more things for the science play activity we are putting on tomorrow.  One of them might be buttons.. or cardboard, and maybe my string wasn't that good.  It was time to check out our new craft store.  Oh, that place was dangerous.  Really dangerous.  So much fun stuff.  They had a really nice selection, and some of it wasn't even low quality.  Of course I had to check it out shelf by shelf.  We won't say how much money I departed with.  I mean, I finally bought us some masking tape, duct tape (it actually said DUCK tape!), and normal scotch tape that I'd been wishing we had for a while.  We'd been talking about not having small muffin tins, and they had one there...

Of course the buttons didn't work- my string would not fit through them.  I'd had to buy an assortment when I really just wanted BIG buttons, so that was not completely unexpected.  I'm sure my son will enjoy them sometime. I never did find the perfect string, so I figured I'd use what I had from the grocery store.  The card stock I found on sale had to be tweaked a bit to work, but it was a lot easier to work with than cardboard.  You see the project requires circular disks.  I found a circular cutter- kind of like a compass with a utility knife.  I bought the cheap one, probably not the greatest decision.  It works better on the card stock.  Until I saw it on the shelf I had no idea such a device existed.  I'm still not positive that scissors are faster, but I have to admit it makes a great circle.

After going to the grocery store as well- in search of string, and some groceries, I wasted ANOTHER morning shopping.  The worst part was, when I got it together to go to the gym with enough time to lift weights before I had to pick my son up from play care, I realized the gym is only open from 11-1 on Fridays.  I'd missed that. Its not open again until Monday when I would have gone anyway.  Now I'll be weak again.

As I was picking up my son on the early side it rained so I can't mow  the lawn.
About picking up my son... I was not happy about missing the gym, but I figured this way I get to eat ice cream with my husband and his students and pick up my son early.  I wanted to do this because his regular lead teacher had the day off.  I really don't feel as good about the other teachers.  I think my son is safe, but I don't think they pay as much attention to his needs.

I was also a bit surprised this morning when I dropped him off and the teacher said they were going to have popcorn and a movie.  Is this why I send him to play care?!  To watch a movie- I don't even let him watch movies.  So I was concerned and mentioned that we only let him watch stuff for 10-15 minutes, and that is quite rare. I was actually concerned that the content might scare him since he's not used to anything very dramatic.  The teacher said they were studying sports this week, so they thought it fit in to watch sports and eat popcorn.  I have to send my kid to playcare for this!!  I really want him learning to be a fan?  He should be playing sports not watching them!

So I said to myself that he was getting cultural education- I mean we are not watching sports at home.  The teacher said actually they were watching a dinosaur animation where there was problem solving because the sports videos were rated PG.  Thank goodness.  Are there not documentaries on sports or something?  The teacher also said it would only be one of the activities the kids could choose to do during that time.  I figured he'd love the movie and sit there in a TV coma.

I also asked about the popcorn- I thought there was some sort of choking risk or something.  She said it was allowed for preschoolers.  I figured she'd know best and that she (unlike me) is trained in CPR and mouth to mouth.  And actually I'd be quite happy to give my little star popcorn- its really not bad for you if you don't smother it with crap.

Apparently he liked the popcorn- though I'm guess it was smothered with crap because he said it was yellow, and that it was salty.  His teacher said he only watched the movie for five minutes and then went to eat the popcorn at the table, while the other kids watched for half an hour.  That really does surprise me.  I wonder what was up with that video.  I mean he loves videos- at least the very few he's seen.  He actually asked to see the "over the rainbow" video I had showed him before we went to a wizard of oz themed activity last weekend.  I found judy garland singing it in the movie on utube.  I let him see it again, and then he asked to see it again.

Ah... another incentive.  I suggested that once he was potty trained there were a lot of things on the computer he might like to see... like sesame street.  I'm not sure he really understood what I was offering.  Still I only let him see Judy Garland once.  I really don't want the continual asking for videos that I hear other parents complain about- though if it helps him to get potty trained...

So I did try to pick up my son early from play care.  I checked where they are supposed to post the lesson plans for I was curious- what is this sports thing- I mean what else is going on?  I only recently learned where the lesson plans were posted- its kind of hard to see, and last time I checked it was an old plan.  Well, again it was a two week old plan that was posted. No help there.

I spoke to one of the teachers who told me about the movie and popcorn when I asked.  She also said my son had an peeing accident before lunch.  No surprise there.  He still won't use the toilet there- ever.  I remember I had a whole conversation with the teachers this morning about how I sent him with underwear, but if he doesn't pee  by after lunch just put him in a diaper.  Every day lately he has one pair of underwear, and when it gets wet they put him in a diaper.  I only send him in underwear if he's already pooped in the potty.  Nobody wants poopy underwear.  I kind of assume the other two teachers- who work with the lead teacher understood this because for the most part he's been in diapers and has NEVER used the toilet at playcare.

Now his lead teacher did ask if I'd leave him an extra pair of underwear so he could wear it if he ever did use the toilet there.  I also leave him exactly ONE extra pair of pants, and I threw in a pair of shorts just in case.  When I arrived early he was wearing shorts.  These shorts have been sitting there for a long time, and are a hand me down, so I wasn't quite clear about the color.  Anyway, he was playing somewhat happily in the sandbox, and didn't want to get up.  I sat down with him for a bit.  I noticed that it looked like he might be wet, but figured that was not possible because I stupidly assumed he was wearing a diaper.  I also noticed he wasn't moving much... kind of like he does when he's wet.  He also just refused to be done playing, yet wasn't really playing much after a few minutes.  Still I assumed he was wearing a diaper- I mean he'd already wet his pants once, and it was almost  5 pm.

Finally I pulled him up.  He was wet.  He was wearing underwear- it was wet, his shoes and socks were wet and he wouldn't walk.  Then when I went to change him, I found he also had poop in his underwear- who knows how long that had been there.  I was NOT pleased.  Not only did nobody notice he was wet, but they shouldn't have put him in underwear to begin with...or if they did, they should be watching him carefully.  At least they could have mentioned to me that he was wearing it!  I always have to tell them.    I really felt bad for him too (though I was too annoyed at him for doing it to tell him that)  because he's just not comfortable using the toilet there yet, and I felt like they left him no option other than pooping in his underwear.

I think next time his lead teacher isn't there I should just put him in a diaper..or just not send him that day.

Something like this always seems to happen without the lead teacher.  Last time she wasn't there I came in and he was just sitting on the playground rubbing his eyes miserably getting more sand and sunscreen in them.  None of the teachers had thought to help him out and get his face washed.

Long enough post?  I didn't have much to say until I started.

Science play fun tip-  You can make this great pH indicator with a purple cabbage.  Just process it up and add some water.  Strain out the cabbage.  The water was this excellent purple blue color.  It turned bright blue with a base (baking soda), and pink with vinegar.  It was SOO cool.  I've known about this for ages, but it was so much more cool in practice.  Try it out!

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