Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back To School and Back To Work

Today was Claire's first preschool day. It was only for an hour, and Kyle didn't notice when dropping her off today there was a parent meeting during her one hour class, so we looked like fantastically involved and caring parents today. Yikes. When I picked Claire up at 10am, I apologized to her teacher, last year's teacher, and the lady who runs the school about this. I promised them that we do care about them. I also wanted to ask why this meeting wasn't noted in the Open House packet I picked up last week, but I wasn't going to make that point because then I'd look like a rude and uncaring parent. Good communication gets good involvement though, don't you think? Although I hear from my friends with new kindergartners this year that the real school system tends to over communicate so maybe I'll be wishing for the opposite in two more years. And my friends assure me that when the twins make it to "real" school that I'll really be annoyed by all the over communication in duplicate.

Claire told me she had fun, and a girl (also named Lauren, but a different Lauren from summer camp/dance class) from last year's class is in the same classroom so that made her happy. Tonight she went into full meltdown, however, so clearly we have a few transition issues going on, though she put her best face on it for the daytime.

Lily also went into meltdown at dinner time, and it stretched well into bedtime when she wouldn't settle down and screamed in her crib. My guess is this amazingly mild head cold is turning into our first earache for the new school year. Lovely. We're back to the earaches, antibiotics, and poop factories from last school year already. Molly might even be in the same boat. I'll see how they do tomorrow but it may be a clinic day for us.

It's also a minivan buying day tomorrow. Yes, we're taking the plunge, and for you money types, we'll be saving over $3000 annually just on car payments. Gas will hopefully be cheaper too than my small SUV, though that is debatable. And we get free oil changes for a year or two. The questionable part is the maintenance - we are buying a car with no warranty, so if something goes wrong, we're in the hole. But as long as we're in the hole for less than $3000, we're still coming out ahead of the Volvo costs, right? I just cannot yet wrap my mind around driving one of these vehicles yet - I've lost all sense of cool now for sure - but it just makes practical sense. And all the more financially practical when I detail my latest news from work today ....

... And so from work today, my larger group is moving to an official "work-from-home" policy. The horrible, awful, but always-has-been-expected-would-happen news? It's ONE day. One. Not even two. Usually when news like this comes out, my boss quickly calls and reconfirms his commitment to my work flexibility (i.e., WFH three days per week) but today I got no call. And no instant message. Nothing. It was pure silence. Reading between the lines, and knowing Corporate America, I know that he will not extend my amazing flexibility now that there's an official policy going into effect. He won't stick his neck out for me, and he shouldn't have to - if I were him, I wouldn't do it either as a manager. So he's feeling badly, knowing that in the past I've stated we can't afford a nanny for 4 days per week, nor do I want to have a nanny for 4 days/week for my kids. I want time with them too, and not just three rushed, crazy days a week. I like my schedule, even if it is a challenge working from home with three kids, because I get the best of both worlds - I get the intellectual stimulation and paycheck, and I get time with my kids.

So once I talk to my manager and confirm my worst suspicions, then I have some horrible decisions to face this week. I always knew I'd end up here, but I just didn't imagine it would happen so soon.

Ah, stress. What a rude awakening after my week of vacation last week. Not the best way to return to work today. I think Claire's first day at school was better than my first day back at work.

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