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July 2008 Archives

July 9, 2008

Ronan's First Haircut

ronan haircut
Ronan smiles during the haircut.

Just before taking him to see his second movie (WALL•E) we took him for his first haircut.

There are tons of places around Park Slope for kid’s haircuts. I am not a haircut snob; I’ve been going to the same $8 men’s barbershop for almost 17 years. I had previously been told in Park Slope that my hair was too long and required an additional fee. Which I found ridiculous, because my hair wasn’t that long. Terry and I had attempted to trim his bangs previously, but he kept looking at the scissors while we tried to cut, and he ended up looking like a weed whacker trimmed his hair. So we didn’t want to pay $50 for his haircut but we didn’t want to do it ourselves.

Salvation appeared in the form of Benny’s Barbershop, which opened around the corner. Stuck without enough time to head into Manhattan and needing a trim for a job interview (I got the job) I decided to give Benny’s try. Like so many things these days, it was my first barber who is significantly younger than I am. After appearing to give me a pageboy bowl cut halfway through, it turned out quite alright and I was pleased. I asked him if Benny’s cut kid’s hair. “Yes, my brother Mike is very good with kids. I get them to sit still.”

“How does he do that?” I asked. “Not like Zohan.” The young barber said.

Ronan Before
Ronan before the haircut.

Relieved that Ronan wasn’t going to be pinched into unconsiousness for his haircut, we arrived a week later and Mike cut his hair. Ronan was at first fine, then he progressed through various stages of increasing displeasure. I never thought I would say this, but thank god for Jack Black. A crappy Jack Black movie was on Spike and this fascinated Ronan, who loves television because he’s not allowed to watch it. So he was suitably distracted for most of the haircut. (Good to know.)

Ronan Face
“I’ve got something in my ear!”

One thing about baby hair – it’s exceptionally fine. That stuff got everywhere, especially down my throat. I was parched at the end of the haircut.

The only time he got really upset was with the cold air dryer. This hair dryer blew room temperature air all over him to remove the fine hair and deposit it in my mouth, it seemed. Ronan did not like it one bit.

Ronan crying
Ronan post-hair dryer.

Anyway, he looks pretty sharp, and it as cute as ever. Thanks to Benny’s Barbershop and Mike for an easy time. And thank you, Ronan, for being so well behaved. Mike said he was the easiest baby he’s ever worked with.

July 21, 2008

Food, Wasting Food

I am slowly disposing of a box of cheerios very slowly.
Every day I put ten or twenty on Ronan’s breakfast tray and he eats some and
drowns the rest in milk. (One of his favorite mealtime events is shaking the
milk out of his sippy cup all over everything – me, the floor, the food,
himself.) The drowning victims end up in the garbage.

Determining how much food to feed him is something akin to
winning a horse race. I’ve learned a lot about how much to give him with the
solid food, and he always changes the rules and surprises me. He liked beans,
until we started giving them to him regularly. Now he ignores them. He hated
Dr. Broner’s spinach pancakes until he didn’t. He likes ice cream
only if dogs eat it first.

I try to give him only the food I think he will eat, maybe a
little less. Still, what he eats on Monday is no indication of what he will eat
on Tuesday. I think we’re making progress; at first he wouldn’t eat any solid
food, including cheerios (Mothers everywhere: “What?!? Won’t eat cheerios!
Perish the thought!). Now he’s eating mostly the foods we eat, with additional
smashing, ripping or slicing, and instead of six jars of pureed baby food, he’s
only eating less than two. Soon he will off the purees and eating solid food
entirely. It’s the end of babyhood and the beginning of toddlerhood. God help

Day Care Cost = College Tuition

That’s only one of many changes we’re experiencing this fall. I’m going back to work, so we have to find day care for Ronan.

So, we’re moving. Why? Because day care in Park Slope costs $20,000 a year, that’s why. And our rent is too high for one salary. (Terry may not be at work for very long.) Had I known that I would be paying college tuition a scant fifteen months after his birth, I would have been a stockbroker. Or a Mafioso. Or something that makes a lot of money but has no soul. Stupid selfish me, I had to have a job where I helped people. Helping people never makes money. Okay, the one time I had a job working for an investment firm’s mergers and acquisitions, I cried myself to sleep every night because all I could think about were all the people who were losing their jobs through the PowerPoint presentations I was making. So instead I started teaching. And I love teaching. Except that teaching pays enough money for one person in New York City to live in a studio apartment, not for enough space a family of three. But I’m ten times happier as teacher than as a stockbroker. Maybe I’ll try killing people for a living, I dunno.

Anyway, we’ve been looking at day care. Day care is exceptional in Park Slope, very high quality. At private school prices, it damn well better be. There’s only one so far that I wouldn’t want to send my kid to. It will remain nameless but the children were crying and three of them wanted my attention  (“I want my Mom!”) and one had snot that appeared to be in such quantity that I wasn’t sure if it was coming out of his nose or his ears. I had to ask the staff to wipe his face twice in the space of fifteen minutes. The bathroom smelled of pee. Of course, that was the affordable one in Park Slope.

But the other ones are clean, well cared for and well run. It’s bad that we can’t afford any of them. It’s also a relief to know that the past fifteen months haven’t gone waste; in addition of the incredible bonding experience Ronan and I have had, Terry and I probably saved money in the long run. Being a Stay-at-Home Dad was the right thing to do.

We are hopeful that the affordable day care in Bath Beach will have a spot. We’ll know soon.

About July 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Freaks & Geeks Parenting in July 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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