Tuesday, July 31, 2007

5 Things I Miss about Texas

1. Smooth rides on the roads and highways - Bouncy, bouncy, boom goes the car wherever we drive here! A pothole here, manhole cover there and then just indiscriminate lumps & bumps cover all the roads. Plus, in Texas, it was always pretty easy to tell when you were on an interstate, main highway, larger city street or in a neighborhood: the roads got progressively smaller and the speed limits dropped. Here you can be on a major thoroughfare, yet its path cuts through neighborhoods with cars speeding well past the posted 35 MPH.

2. Mothers Day Out! - No such wonders for moms around here. Really, no one has even heard of an MDO. Childcare centers and preschools abound - most offering full time care. A state guideline age of 2 years 9 months which delineates a preschooler & means a program can have a ratio of 10 children to 1 caregiver also cuts down on the number of programs willing to staff programs that require 1 caregiver to 4 children under 2. 9 months.

The costs have also been a shocker. In Texas, Peanut went to a 2 day/week, 9 am - 2 pm MDO at a church for $180/month and later to a child development center program for around $230/month. Here, roughly equivalent programs of about 4 hours/day range from $440 --- $600/month and up.

3. A friendly chat at check out - I know it sound cliched, but I don't mind a nice little 'hello, how are you? isn't it hot today? how cute your children are!' at the check out line at the store. We usually get a perfunctory 'hi', an occasional 'aw, the baby is sweet' and a rare "Aw, what the hell!? Are they nuts in the deli putting this label here?! Geez!"

4. Wild times at the library - Peanut, Tex and I have been going to the weekly storytime at the local library since we arrived. The first time we went the librarian in charge made a point of telling all the mamas not talk to their friends while in the circle. And, then in the dimly lit room, she began in a very hushed voice to sing slowly "open, shut them". If you listened very closely, you could hear other moms whispering the words to their children. After the song, it was time for a story -- and quietly, obediently the children sat in their mamas laps. The tempo never really picked up and the closing song had me wondering if we'd wandered into a commune. I now know its by Raffi, a beloved children's musician, but at first I didn't know what to think of the swaying and slow spinning.

For those of you who know Peanut, it may mean something to hear that she was the wildest & loudest one in the room racing around me in circles, laughing as she danced.

Back at the Coppell Library, storytime was a social affair for all and sometimes even totally Out of Control when the Kindermusik lady arrived with her instruments and soaring operatic singing!

I appreciate that the library is a quiet place for enjoying books and have come to enjoy the storytime in all its mellowness. It means Tex can come along and not be overwhelmed by the noise and action and that Peanut leaves satisfied for singing, dancing and hearing stories, but not totally wired.

5. Our Friends, Ms. Kim and our little-bitty backyard.


Maiju said...

Nice to hear from you! it's our third day back in Vantaa. We enjoy it! We got a little backyard now! :) There are always things you miss and things you enjoy. I hope the things you enjoy are eventually winning while it makes living so much nicer. Anyway the change even for better is demanding!

Peanut's Mom said...

You're right. No place is perfect and every place has its good sides and imperfections. It just takes some time to find the things you enjoy and sometimes there are things you can never replace, but that's what makes every place so special & unique.

Enjoy your backyard -- its so wonderful to have your own little piece of nature to relax in!

Kimberly said...

Hey, this is Ms. Kim and I miss ya'll lots!!!! Playgroup just isn't the same without the littlest peanut...