March 02, 2005

Three day weekend

Posted by Scott at 06:23 AM

Holiday - I had deferred taking my President's Day holiday until this past Monday. We had a nice time playing with the kids, but there was also a fair share of trying times. Friday the three boys were sent to their room for a timeout. We don't know the details but moments later Michelle heard a loud thump. After rushing upstairs to find the source she found Daniel and Timothy pinned under a dresser. Either they decided to sit in the bottom drawer or tried to climb the drawers to reach a toy on top. Daniel took the brunt of the collapse and has a nice shiner to show for it. In a way he looks like a stereotypical four year old boy, but it always brings out questions from onlookers.

Colds - The kids have been passing around minor cold germs this past week. I've wiped Timothy's nose more times than I care to remember. Every time I hear Daniel sneeze I wonder whether I'll need a mop instead of a tissue. You know when the sneezes sound like that? In the early morning hours I can hear kids coughing to clear their throats. Occasionally a kid even volunteers to go to bed early! I went to Michelle's step class on Monday and the girls turned down my offer to take them swimming afterwards. A first! I did take the girls candlepin bowling twice over the weekend. The second time I joined them. Man, is it harder than it looks! I was raised on traditional ten pin so candlepin just messes with my mind.

Daycare - Michelle was applying for sainthood yesterday. From 9AM to 4:30PM she had three neighborhood girls over to play with ours. Eight kids under the age of ten in the house all day. My major accomplishment was just proofreading a document on our hardware software co-simulation environment. My job required me not to fall asleep, hers made her wish for sleep.

Dual incomes - The prestigious Harvard Journal of Law and Gender (formerly Harvard's Women's Law Journal) did a review of the book "The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke". I was surprised to see that they made a brief reference to the thought I had last week:

A number of factors explain the problem of rising costs, including a bidding war in the housing market, a marked rise in the cost of education, and the additional burden of providing a second vehicle for the working mother.


Of particular interest is the discussion of the bidding war in the housing market. When mothers first entered the workforce, much of the additional income generated by that shift was allocated to the welfare of their children. Given the nature of public education in this country, in which a child’s zip code determines her school district, the location of a family’s home is the prime determinant of its children’s educational opportunities. As dissatisfaction with schools increased, more and more families fled substandard districts in an effort to place their children in the best public schools. With two incomes to throw into the market, families bid up the price of safe homes in good school districts. The additional income generated by working mothers was in many cases applied to the demand side of the housing market, and in the end families found themselves working against one another. This bidding war is an interesting and plausible explanation for the increased cost of middle-class existence.

NPR - Whoa! Did hell freeze over? This in a recent spot on NPR's All Things Considered?

NPR's senior news analyst says that recent events in Lebanon and Egypt suggest that the Middle East is moving towards democracy. Bush may have had it right when he said that a liberated Iraq could show the power of freedom to transform the region.

NPR?! National Public Radio? To quote Fred Sanford, "This is the big one Elizabeth! I'm comin' to join ya!"

Dialects - Thanks to Alyssa for this pointer: The Yankee or Dixie Quiz. My result: "45% (Yankee). Barely into the Yankee category." I guess that's what happens when you grow up in the midwest, but spend a decade in New Hampshire.