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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Progress and the Pain of Socializing

To Do list update:

* Call for debris box. Hope they've got one big enough for all of our junk. [done. Arriving Thursday for one week.]

* Get more quotes for new fence. Bonus points to company that can do the work before October. [Got another quote today. Getting one more quote on Friday. Can hopefully make decision next week.]

* Call local nursery and get help with planning of trees and plantings. [Called yesterday. No call back yet. Grrr. Will call again tomorrow.]

* Call gardener who did last year's work and see if he's available to do the perimeter plantings, the new trees, and sprinkler system. This work should be done after the fence is replaced. [No progress. Waiting to hear back from local nursery first.]

* Call somebody to come trim all bushes and plum tree in front yard. This can be done now. [done. Work scheduled for Saturday morning. Crew will trim Yucca tree, too.]

Also, I got a quote from a crew to do weekly mow-n-blow of our entire lawn, patios, and driveway as well as fertilizing, weed control, and rose bush maintenance. Then! (drum roll, please) I got Mike to agree to it! This is a good day. I love me a nice, anal-looking yard. And, wow, to never have to sweep a patio again... My back is very happy.

Added: After we remove junk in side yard, offer up leftover red paving tiles on Freecycle. Can't do this until there's room for the person to get the bricks out of the dang yard.


Today Emily and I went to student orientation day at her new preschool. I was all excited about this event and dressed both of us accordingly. She wore a purple corduroy jumper with a white T-shirt and her new tennis shoes. I wore a dress, blazer, espadrille wedges, lipstick and jewelry. Of course, I was overdressed as usual, but I'm used to that. Unless you count the boy wearing Superman jammies, Emily was underdressed.

Once we got to school I realized that spending the morning there would be no problem for Emily; she was content to play with the dollhouses, puzzles, and blocks. She ventured over to the train table a couple of times but it was boy-dominated and she didn't feel the love, I guess. It was interesting for me to watch her play. She's still very much into playing by herself and doesn't seek out the company of other kids. She is fascinated with doll house stuff: little people, tiny furniture, miniature food items, and exclaimed her delight over several pieces she found in their collection, including a tiny plastic plate about the size of a silver dollar that had two itty bitty cups of cocoa and two teeny weeny cookies stuck on it.

I don't imagine Christmas shopping will be much of a brain drain this year. Maybe a wallet drain, but certainly not a brain drain.

After talking to a couple of the moms there whom I recognized from music class or my mothers club, I yearned to be free of the awkward social environment. I very much wanted to leave Emily there and go to the mall for an iced coffee and a stroll through the end-of-summer sales racks. I really did not want to chat up the other moms, which is what I realized I was going to have to do unless I wanted to look like that one mom who was staring intently at her child, determined not to make eye contact with anybody. Sigh.

So I did the chit chat thing for two hours. Two hours! Without a drink or even a cup of coffee to provide an oral diversion! I talked to one mom about her hectic schedule (she has two older kids in grammar school and both are on different sport teams) and to another mom about the local Spanish immersion grammar school and how much she loves it. I spoke for awhile with one of the teachers about the school’s policy and what they do if a child pees her pants. I had a conversation with one mom about genetics and how our children can look nothing like us and sometimes nothing like their siblings; a fact that sometimes prompts people to insinuate your child is adopted or wonder if your children have two different dads. This mom lives in East Palo Alto and drives 30 + minutes each way three times a week to bring her daughter to this preschool. We also talked about the preschools in her area. The ones in East Palo Alto are all Head Start and she doesn't qualify; the ones in Menlo Park and Palo Alto are either too expensive or have years-long waiting lists.

I had a bunch of interesting conversations, but eventually, I grabbed Emily, bid our adieu, and left. I was drained and needed a nap; Emily was fine. Tomorrow is another orientation -- this one for parents only and Mike is coming with me. Good. Even though I am a social person, it's not always easy for me to chat up a room full of strangers, especially ones who may--probably--have nothing in common with me except we all have children roughly the same age.

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