We dropped off the paperwork at the schools today for the kids, all three of whom are leaving their little lives of leisure for the daily trauma of daycare. Included in all this paperwork were two checks, one for $720 and the other for $275. These would be first and last week and registration fees at one school, and first week and registration fees at the other. Total ongoing weekly cost, three kids, 16 months, 3 and 5, $494. The cost will go down $25 when Danger Mouse leaves Diaper Land, another $50 (per week! $50!) in December when Boo Bug turns two and can move to the other school, and an additional $25 next spring when Eldest is six and in school "for real." But for now, it's almost $500 a week, $2000 a month for the 'not quite the best-best-best but safe, clean and loving' environment for my little darlings.OW! MY EYE! And employers wonder why I can get pretty darned insistent about my pay rate regardless of the market conditions, whether or not there are thousands of other people lined up for the job or how many spiffy perks they have, such as my very own desk and mousepad. Any less than $X and I can't pay daycare and would rather stay home, thanks. I don't believe in working to break even or lose money slowly. I like to have something, some iota of cash, left over after taxes and daycare, thanks. Otherwise I get grumpy.The kids, however, are excited to the point of hysteria. They did not want to LEAVE the schools once we got there. Yeah, this is going to change after the novelty wears off and they get sick of getting out of bed in the morning, but for right now they're excited. Arts and crafts! Going outside to play! Other kids! Food on a regular schedule!Eldest was already taking over the playroom by the time I finished signing things and handed over the check. She was drawing, showing off how well she can spell things and making the kindergarten teacher sit there shaking her head and saying, "Can you BELIEVE her? Can you BELIEVE her?" (I wanted to say, "Yes and no - mostly you can, but if she tells you she's just checking for spiders in the sugar dish, she is LYING through her many teeth to you...")Danger Mouse walked up to her old teacher, tugged on her apron and announced, "I have to go potty." That would be the first time she has done that in about six months, which would be about the same time she left this school.Boo Bug was pissed when I took her away from the other babies and, more importantly, their toys. She also thought her new teacher was the living end. Hysterically funny. And wears cute things in her hair.I'm still dwelling on the $500. And what is everybody, EVERYBODY, asking me? "Soooooo, when ya gonna have #4...?"<blink blink> "As soon as I can afford $700 a week for childcare, BWA! HAHAHAHAHAHA! <snort> Sorry, sorry, how crass. I don't suppose you'd accept my Visa, I'd really, REALLY love to get $24,000 worth of mileage rewards this year..."Onward!Tamarian...really should not dwell on how much she's gonna shell out per year and focus instead on how expanded the kids' little lives are going to be and how much she's going to enjoy being able to tell anybody who whines at her during an average weekday to shut the <bleep> up and get ON with their lives...whaddIlooklike, yer mudder?!...
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