Sunday, October 23, 2011

Of posting and preschools

I have been thinking about what keeps me from updating this blog. There are the usual answers: too much work, exhaustion, perfectionism, laziness. But I also think it's because I named it knitcrit and despite meditations to the contrary, I have it in my head that posts should include some knitting content.

If I had time, I would knit a sweater for a New Zealand penguin.

So, there's some knitting content! Moving on.

Oh - wait - more knitting content: I went to Rhinebeck this year, and I am sorry to say that IMHO (as they say) it is a tad overrated. All those idyllic photos over on Ravelry are a little misleading. Yeah, there's a lot of yarn and it's kind of fun to move through the crowd knowing who the knitting stars are and the names for the many knit-especially-for-Rhinebeck sweaters, scarves and hats, but in the end, it's supposed to be about the fiber, and I guess since I live in NYC, it's not too hard to get my hands on a wide range of yarn, and that makes the stuff on offer at Rhinebeck underwhelming. As Todd observed, Rhinebeck is really all about the fleece. He's right, I think - there were some serious piles of seriously beautiful wool for sale. And actually, there was a pretty high entertainment value in seeing how interested Todd got in the fleece rating system. Maybe all the estrogen in the home is finally getting to him.

And of course it is is always fun to see sheep, alpacas, and llamas. Db loved the angora rabbits, and we all loved watching the sheep competition. Real suspense and drama there, let me tell you. And I clearly suck at sheep evaluation, as all of my favorites were eliminated almost right off the bat.

Possibly the main reason I found the whole thing a tad overrated was simply because we went there with db and it took two hours to get there and over three to get home thanks to a huge traffic jam in Sleepy Hollow caused by some annual Halloween festival that shut down the center of town. So it was five hours of driving, three of it with a toddler who had not napped at all. That's enough to dim the glow of even the cutest alpaca.

Let's see. Other reasons for failure to post have to do with awareness of audience and fear of writing something prosaic and lame. Since the trip to India but maybe even before that, writing has not seemed natural to me. This is a big deal. For years I prided myself on writing, wrote reams for fun, liked to think that my writing was humorous and smart, loved the process of putting my thoughts in words. Maybe it was the book. That's a pretty good narrative, eh? The book killed my passion for writing! Does that happen?

And yes, I am certainly busy, but no more busy than a lot of friends who still manage to maintain humorous, wise, inspiring, informative, and/or entertaining blogs.

There is also the fear that even though I don't use my name other easily google-able information, some terrible ex-boyfriend or current student will find this blog. The thought of that is enough to make me step away from the keyboard.

And something has happened with my laptop's fan so that most of the time when I sit down to write, I'm serenaded by a raspy whirring noise that gets louder and quieter at random intervals but never goes away. Plans are afoot to replace the laptop, but it's slow going and in the meantime every minute I don't have to spend feeling like I'm typing directly behind a jet engine, the better.

Plus, since having db, my capacity for ironic commentary has taken a serious nosedive. Knitcrit has nothing to critique. Db is I love her to distraction. Often all I feel capable of doing is posting a bunch of photos of her without comment, because what can one say, really? She's just so awesome. Except of course when she isn't - but when I've had it with her, I am much more interested in watching something from Netflix than exorcising demons through the production of cathartic prose. Plus I think sitting around assisting in the construction of block towers and reading Dr. DeSoto a billion times in a row has done a lot to take away any edge I might have once had.

We started the preschool application process. It's not quite as bad as Nursery University would have you believe, but that's probably because we're not applying to any of the really exclusive preschools - like the one run by Barnard, for example, which had a website so backwards and full of hoops that we gave up on it pretty early on, only to learn later this year that it's the chosen preschool for Sarah Jessica Parker's progeny, which explains a lot.

No, for us it's just the normal Upper West Side preschool process, which means we've applied to five - or is it six? - schools. FYI: you are "supposed to" apply to at least 10. Because what if you don't get in to your first six choices?

Application fees to date: $400. Oh, yes. We went to our first parent orientation and as I sat there listening to the (relatively speaking) likable director of the preschool discussing how they are not like other preschools because they really do believe in a play-based curriculum I couldn't help but feel panicked and annoyed at the same time. Panicked because in many ways this preschool is my first choice because it gives the most time for the tuition dollars and annoyed because all the parents there were doing their absolute best to exude a "we're not like all those crazy Manhattan parents" vibe when in fact I know that if it came right down to it, they would climb over the cold, lifeless body of my daughter if it lay between them and admission to, say, PS 9 or Trinity.

We could, of course, leave Manhattan. Though of course since we had to move this summer and spent about $4,000 to do so, that might not be the best choice right now. Plus I haven't really driven a car since 1995. And I don't know how to operate a gas pump. And being in the cavernous emptiness of the suburbs makes me feel like the rapture has happened and I didn't make the cut or I have somehow, perhaps owing to some genetic quirk, managed to survive the detonation of a neutron bomb. And db loves going to our local sushi restaurant so much.

Maybe everything will work out and db will get in to one of the preschools. Or maybe my mother is right and we shouldn't be sending her to preschool until she's four. As she said to me on the phone the other day, "You didn't go to preschool!" I think the implication there was I turned out fine, which is I think the closest my mother has ever come to voluntarily complimenting me.

So that's a positive note to end on. Post!

1 comment:

tara said...

wow- that is intense... We "applied" too but it was more a series of questions related to will you pay & pick up your kids on time because if you leave your kids late we will call social services. I looked up ps9 because I didn't know anything about it and wow... again.. wow- I'm kinda glad my choice is limited (yet good) because I would go batty while trying not to :)
hope you enjoy chorewars