jewish kids 88.
(photo credit: )
These days, I find myself waxing nostalgic for a time that was, when life was simpler, easier, quieter - yes, definitely quieter. Will those days ever come again? It's hard to say. All I know is that, with all the progress we've made since then, our lives have lost something.
February. Just saying the name gives me thrills (not to mention chills). When, oh when, will February roll around again?
Actually, I'm not picky - and I'm not necessarily a fan of cold weather. November, when school really gets under way, after the holidays, will do just fine. And if the powers decided to keep school in session during July and August, that would be great! But it's not going to happen, although there's no law against hoping - or praying. Which is what parents of toddlers and juniors - that low-digit but high-maintenance age group (roughly three to nine) do.
"High maintenance" means that they need a lot of interaction, get bored easily, and have scads of energy. This is where you really learn to appreciate the educational system, flaws and all. In July and August, you really see how hard taking care of this crowd is. A 35 percent salary raise for your kids' teachers doesn't sound like so much now, right? (To all teachers' unions looking for a contract negotiator - I'm available.)
I've thought about this long and hard. How best to occupy the kids - especially the real little ones, who haven't figured out how to entertain themselves yet? There's always day camp, but that's usually just a half a day - not to mention expensive. And good luck finding one that runs in August. Mention TV and the littler kids usually come running, but they get bored after a while and tend to demand in loud voices that you buy them sugary cereals, after being inundated with commercials. Toys? Also good, for a while - but unless you've got your kids well trained (does anybody?), cleanup can be more trouble than you anticipated.
There's always your computer, of course - and I've got a free program that even a two year old will love. It's called Childsplay (http://childsplay.sourceforge.net/). One of the hazards of letting kids use a computer is that they may accidentally mess up important documents or system files. Childsplay provides a closed environment where, unless the child presses a key combination, s/he cannot return to your PC's desktop. In that environment are more than a dozen games, age appropriate for kids as young as two, all the way up until eight or so.
And the games are educational, focusing on letters, very basic math, colors, names of animals, puzzles, etc. Lots of music, flashing lights - things that really impress tots (in fact, my tot said, "Yes, Daddy, I am impressed."). It's no substitute for school, but Childsplay will buy you a couple of guilt-free February-style days - right in the middle of summer.