Oct 14 2009

IT IS DECIDED.

Cole WILL be attending the Waldorf school next year. I had been waffling (Mmmmm… waffles), but events of this morning solidified my position. In fact, it only took three fingers and one word. What three fingers and one word could do what years of deliberation could not, you ask? I’ll tell you! It was the pointer, pinkie, and thumb, held up while my not-quite-4-year-old said “Shocker.”

Oh yes, he did.

And he told me where he learned it, too. Not surprisingly (for me, anyway), it was from his teacher’s son (who is 4) who learned it from his teenage brother. She knew about it, but didn’t know what it meant.

I know that I am overreacting to some extent, but I don’t care. I had been teetering on the fence between public and private school for a long time, and I really needed a push in one direction or another. It is not only this that is making my decision, but this didn’t help public school’s chances, either.

I don’t want my children to be sheltered forever, but I think that 4 is a little too young to know the Shocker. I realize that he doesn’t actually understand what he’s saying- if he did, he’d be in homeschool TODAY- but I also know that’s it’s only the beginning.

I also think that elementary school is WAY too young to be doing boring busy work. We have our whole adult lives for that! I want him to enjoy learning, and to be able to carry that joy of learning throughout his life, rather than having it beaten out of him before 4th grade. I want him to learn about myths and history and math and science, not just as subjects but as things that influence the world around us. I believe that the Waldorf education is an education in context, and that lessons make more sense and stick with kids longer than those taught in the public school model. I don’t want my child learning for the next test, I want him learning for life. I don’t want him to be another number or stat, I want him to be a CHILD.

I also want to be a part of the community, which I think I’ve written about before. I want to be with a self-selected group of parents that are willing to sacrifice to give their children the kind of education they think they should have. I want to be one of those involved parents who helps with Michaelmas and building the Haunted House and putting on the Auction. I think my children deserve to be in a place with parents like that.

I know there are downsides. Having gone to this Waldorf school, I am WELL aware of the downsides to this particular school and to the Waldorf education in general. For instance, I DO NOT believe in Anthroposophy, the guiding philosophy behind the Waldorf model, but I also know that there are major philosophical differences that I have with the Public school model, too, and this seems less harmful in the long run.

I believe that we can give Cole anything that is lacking in his Waldorf education, I don’t believe that we can do the same with Public school. Further, I don’t think that we can heal the damage caused by the Public school system.

I believe it’s Waldorf for us.

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Also, THANK YOU all for your kind words of encouragement on my sugar problem. I have had a rough, but mostly successful, two weeks of trying to cut it out. The biggest problem is that I can’t let myself have ANY sweets, no matter what the sweetener. Even agave kicks off the cravings. It’s like (or so I’ve been told, not having ever been a smoker) when you’re trying to quit smoking and you go out for a drink, except that you always used to smoke after having a drink, so now you want to smoke even though you weren’t doing anything necessarily smoking-related. Does that make sense?

The thing that has worked the best is apples. Whenever I get a sweet craving at home, I eat one of the (incredibly lovely, delicious, organic and locally grown) apples I got at the Farmer’s Market. It’s satisfying enough and occupying enough that I usually can stop there. Special bonus: FIBER!

Oct 05 2009

Addict

I am an addict. Have been for some time, but lately it has moved from controllable to life-running. Like, I have structured my days around it and been thinking about it constantly and been a bitch when I am coming down.

What’s my addiction?

Sugar.

I’m not joking. It is an addiction. Perhaps not as life-ruining as alcohol or prescription drugs, but it is a problem for me nonetheless.

I was doing fairly well up until a couple of weeks after Rowan was born. I didn’t crave it as much while I was pregnant for some reason. But, for whatever reason, be it sleep deprivation or hormones or breastfeeding, after about two weeks in, I was a slave to it. I literally think about dessert all day. Cookies, pies, cakes, cupcakes. I am mostly a fan of baked-goods, but I will take anything. Even worse, I get a pass by everyone around me- shit, they even SUPPORT my addiction- because I am breastfeeding and “You can eat ANYTHING when you’re breastfeeding.” Sure you can.

Except that I started to gain weight, and I saw my energy dropping, and I noticed that I was spending 15 minutes straight in front of the cookie jar shoveling handful after handful of animal crackers down my gob and not really even enjoying them. But they were organic! And low sugar! Yeah- doesn’t mean so much when you eat 10 servings at a time. I was making excuses to stop and get turnovers every week and then getting them again at the farmer’s market on the weekend. I was figuring out which paths from home to the grocery store would take me past a drive-through coffee place and wondering when the pumpkin-spice latte would be available. I was dreaming up reasons for me and Cole to go to the candy store for a treat “for him.”

Last night, John caught me eating a half-roll of Necco wafers. As I had already expressed my concern over my problem, he asked if I should really be eating them. I told him that it was either that or I was going to bake cookies or start drinking heavily, and I thought this was probably better. I think he thought I was joking, but I was ABSOLUTELY serious.

Today, I have been making fucking TEA all day (decaf) just to do something when a craving comes. The only really sugary thing in the house is sorbet, and I don’t get cravings for that. I have a headache, and HOW. I am feeling significantly more tired that I ought to. I’m also feeling lucky that Rowan and I didn’t get thrush through all of this.

This week I should be receiving a bathing suit from Land’s End (it was on sale!). When I do, Cole and I are going to go to the local gym and pay their exorbitant fee so that we can start swimming in the heated pool two times a week. It means learning to really swim before next summer for him, and a little bit of exercise and butt-kicking shame for me. Shame is a good motivator for me, at least to start. I need to start somewhere. I need to be healthy. I need to have energy for my kids. I need to be in good shape so that, when the kids are finally ready to leave the house, their father and I can still have fun together. I don’t want to be old before my time because of poor health choices now. I am 30, but right now I feel like I’m 50, and an unhealthy 50 at that.

So laugh, if you feel you need to, at my little problem, but know that it really is a big problem for me. But also know that I intend to do something about it, and writing it down here is my start.

ETA: And what should I get in my mailbox today but the November issue of Bon Appetit with HOLIDAY DESSERT recipes, reminding me once again that the season of greatest temptation is upon us. Thanks a lot, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, you fuckers.