Pick the best preschool

by eric

An article to stir the daily pot?

How To Pick The Best Preschool Environment For Your Child

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217 thoughts on “Pick the best preschool

  1. While we’re under no illusions that our child needs preschool, my youngest really enjoys it (and it certainly doesn’t cost $6k! talk about a bubble!), so next year is going to do the extended-day program for four-year-olds, which is 9-2 three days a week. If nothing else, they do a lot of crafts that we would never bother making such a mess for. The added benefit is that DW thinks this amount of coverage will be sufficient to no longer need a nanny because, collectively, they’re good at entertaining themselves for a while when necessary. We also know that our nanny has been getting encouragement from her parents to move on to a “real” job, anyway.

  2. Man this author paints with a broad brush! So, a couple of highlights:
    “often nowadays mothers strangle rather than enjoy the fruits of their husbands’ unique virtues in childrearing, such as briskly enforcing rules, evenly, immediately, and without remorse.” Mmmmhmmm

    “So when you run around all day wiping noses and kissing boo-boos and responding with love at the five-thousandth interruption, you really are preparing your children for school—and, far more importantly, life.” Because every stay at home parent has the patience to respond with love to the 5000th interruption, every single day.

    I’ll admit, I think pre-school is good, so I come to this without an open mind. At that age, there were not kids of the same age nearby, and mine loved the friends they made there. I’m not a Pinterest mom, so there was not a lot of craft action happening. The author’s sample size of preschools seems to be as limited as my experience. There is no way to know if being home with me would have been better for the sensory-sensitive one, or would have made kindergarten more difficult. I would not have known to get referrals for some of the testing if I had not had people with a lot more exposure to what falls in/out of the “normal” band to suggest it.

    My husband threw up every day, in class, at the start of kindergarten because he had never been around anyone but his mom. While I think both can be a good choice depending on the preschool and the parents, I don’t think it’s possible to make a blanket statement that one is “better”. And are we defining better as what is better for that specific child in the 18-30 months phase of his life, or what is better for the family unit with an eye to the long-term view?

    In my opinion, more manufactured controversy.

  3. The person who most needs preschool in my house is me. Plus the kids love it. They tromp around in the mud and do crafts and lots of other things that I wouldn’t do. And I think it is good for them to be away from me, in a group, listening to a non-relative adult.

  4. ” I would not have known to get referrals for some of the testing if I had not had people with a lot more exposure to what falls in/out of the “normal” band to suggest it.”

    This, totally, MBT. Preschool identified some of my son’s issues that I didn’t have the knowledge to figure out. After all, my son was, of course, perfect. (Just like me.)

  5. When I was a toddler I used to scream and cry when my mother left me with babysitters – I stopped as soon as she left (according to what I’ve been told – I don’t remember). It was an act.

    I sent my kids to pre-school for them to have a chance to socialize, and I guess because that’s “what was done” in my neck of the woods. Since many people send their kids to private schools here it is helpful to have the preschool teachers do whatever recommendations they do – but I didn’t think about that at all – I certainly wasn’t mapping out their future educational pathway!

    My kids enjoyed pre-school, and in the 4 years they were there I had only one day that DD didn’t want to get out of the car, but a few words from Mrs. C convinced her to hop out and come play with Susie Smith and Tommy Brown.

  6. +1 to Kate

    I’m staying home next year but I’ve already signed my soon to be 5 and 3 year old up for the preschool down the street and it is definitely more for me. The five year old will go five mornings per week and 3 year old will go three mornings a week. They both have loved daycare so I think they’d miss going to school and I’m looking forward to three mornings a week to myself. I’ve worked part time since the older one was born so they’ve always had daycare in the mornings, then lunch/nap and then I pick them up which has been a really nice schedule. I”m a big fan of play based preschools and don’t agree with the super academic ones. And sure I could do all that at home but I’m more happy to pay for it.

  7. I did not read the linked article as it is blocked at work.

    Wow, am I looking forward to having my child in school full time. I am happier when I am not home taking care of my kid day in and day it. My kid also does not have siblings, so I am the constant entertainment. My kid will be 4 in a few months and is at that age where friends are interesting enough but not to play with all the time.

    We have cobbled together some daycare and some babysitting for now, but I am looking to go to work full time. Kindergarten is full day program, so I am really looking forward to it. They say that 5 years is also great age for kids.

  8. Kid 1 went to two daycare locations in the same city, grandparents would arrive at intervals, kid would spend two days a week with them, moved to a new city, started daycare, moved to a preschool one year before elementary. Kid 2 – two daycares in different cities, home with grandparents for sometime, two preschools (one was a tad bit closer than the other).
    No Mom, doing arts and crafts.
    Both are probably damaged for life.

  9. My mother put me in a Montessori preschool two mornings a week when I was a tiny child, and I don’t remember a thing except later learning it had a two-way mirror, and she was spying on me. It made me feel safer, once me and mom were together spying on brother, to know she had been there the whole time.

    I’m picking up a creepy vibe….

  10. DS has done two years of public preK. It is a needed break for DH and DS loves going. He goes half days and will have full day K next year.
    He has one more week before summer vacation. Summer is rough.

  11. On the whole “learn only at home” aspect of her article, I must say that my kids did not want to learn from me. I had a cute little alphabet puzzle, and I remember both DD and DS pushing back whenever I tried to teach them anything academic. They had no problem with a teacher teaching them, but I evidently didn’t know what I was talking about (fast forward to Algebra II homework with DS – nothing had changed)!

  12. A good preschool is probably not going to insure that your kid gets into Harvard, and two working parents and a mediocre/average care situation during your child’s 3rd year are also not going to leave your child emotionally damaged for life. GMAFB.

  13. 5 is a great age for children.

    I agreed with most of the article, although as a stay at home father, I am expressly prohibited by the article.

    I also agreed with PTM and others about the perspective a cohort and caregivers can provide a parent .

  14. Oh lordy, talk about in the bubble. My kids needed preschool, aka daycare, because I couldn’t leave toddlers alone for 8 hours a day while both DH and I worked.

    There are a lot of kids in this country who do need preschooll. Those are the kids who don’t have a dedicated fulltime parent who is going to sit there all day stimulating neural pathways. They may have a parent who doesn’t respond “with love at the five-thousandth interruption, “, but instead swears or ignores them. They may have a parent who doesn’t have much vocabulary or who simply doesn’t care.

  15. I clicked on the “many studies” link hoping for some actual references (why is it that general audience writing that makes scientific claims never include references so we can look up the sources easily?), but World of Trust, which I use to avoid malware, gives the site a poor rating. Guess no references for me…

  16. The author made a lot of good points. First, she distinguished between preschool (a few hours a day a few days a week) and full-time daycare, which is often inaccurately described as preschool. Second, she acknowledged the research that demonstrates what young children need, which isn’t actually all that much, but some of which (the two married parents who care about each other) is politically incorrect. Third, she pointed out that preschool is often equally or more beneficial to the family than to the child. I didn’t like her tone when discussing working moms, which was peculiar given that she herself has always been a working mom, but much of her article was common sense. I sent DS#1 off to preschool at age 3 because that’s what everyone else in my bubble was doing, and he hated it so much I had to withdraw him. He went at age 4, but didn’t like it that much either and in retrospect he didn’t need to be there at all.

    The biggest benefit of preschool IMO were the crafts and peer pressure to lose the pullups. And the 2.25 hours of free time it gave me 2 or 3 days a week when the youngest started. I didn’t expect my kids to be “ahead” as a result of going to preschool — how does that work in the bubble anyhow when every other kid is doing it? But I did want them to get used to being around other kids in a group setting where mom wasn’t present. And the younger ones WANTED to go because their big brother went to school every day.

  17. Milo – but they’re used!:) And you do have to have a Subaru in Vermont after all.

  18. A quick scan of studies on the effects of daycare indicates that they are all over the place. Some show more impulsive behavior, others don’t. Some show positive benefits for language development, others don’t. One of the things I hate about these sorts of very partisan articles, both on the right and the left, is that they present the research as SETTLED and DONE. And this is partisan, hosted at Federalist.com, which is a rightwing site. Today’s offerings on the site consist of lots of anti-Obama,anti-Hillary, and anti-Trump articles, plus an article titled “Bill Nye is a Huckster”. The Science guy?? Say it ain’t so!

    Just for the record, I take articles on far left sites, like Mother Jones, with an equal grain of salt.

    Parenting, though, is too important and too fraught with guilt, to be loaded down with partisanship

  19. “article titled “Bill Nye is a Huckster”. The Science guy?? Say it ain’t so!”

    To be fair, I often see his name pop up in Facebook posts making points about climate change.

  20. It’s good to provide your kids with hugs, kisses and cuddles, but it’s also good to provide them with food, clothing and shelter. In Oregon, I read that only a minority of kids go to preschool and plenty of excellent students in my kids’ classes never went to preschool or childcare. Preschool (and public school, for that matter) is one good way to parent. There are many good ways to parent.

    One issue I have with most parenting-related studies (on sleep, on preschool, on married two parent families) is that they are usually culturally specific. No one studies why, if sleeping with your baby is high risk, SIDS rates are often low in cultures (like Japan) where almost everyone sleeps with their baby. I think marriage is important in the US, where it signifies commitment, but evidence from Europe suggests it is having two committed parents, married or not, that lets kids thrive. I expect marriage will become statistically less important since working class families with unmarried parents more often benefit from programs (EITC, ACA subsidies, medical insurance for children) than working class families with married parents.

    I would love to see more studies of why things people in the US think are “normal” (sexual activity at ages much younger than in other countries, single parenthood) are much less common in other developed countries. The US is at a huge competitive disadvantage compared to other First World countries because single parenthood is so common here.

  21. Milo,

    New-to-us car #1 is a 2010 Subaru Outback station wagon, which we purchased for $12,000. Clocking in at just under 100K miles

    They spent $12k on a 6 year old Subaru with 100k miles!?

  22. With me, the inlaws have at times been critical of our child rearing practices. Of course their way is the best way AND of course they are right because their kids turned out well. We don’t have a time travel machine that will zoom us into the future so we don’t have the finished products to show them and prove that we are doing the right thing also, just half baked cookies right now.

  23. well, if they get 200k, they’ll break even, and come out a little bit ahead if the return on capital is better. Over 200k is all gravy.

  24. Milo,

    Not if you include maintenance costs, it’s a Subaru not a Honda. For example, if you blow a tire on a pothole in VT you can’t just replace one tire as it’s all wheel drive you need to replace all 4.

  25. your given example is independent of mileage.

    if the maintenance costs from 100k-200k are significantly higher than 0-100k, I’ll agree with you.

    But the other consideration is that if they’re really homesteady-type people, they may not drive it much at all. Especially considering where they live, the primary variables that deteriorate the car could be age and salt, not miles driven. (They may only drive it 75,000 miles in the next 15 years.) In that case, you’re better off acquiring it at 100k and driving it to 175k rather than buying it new.

  26. I found it hard to acknowledge her good points because they got lost in her tone and over-generalizations. Yes, preschool can be good for the family. Believe it or not, things that are good for the family often DO benefit the child. She is probably correct when she says that a parent reading an article about choosing the best preschool probably doesn’t have to worry– they have the resources/bandwidth to make sure their child gets what they need whether the child is home or attends preschool.

    Her dismissal of working mothers is flabbergasting. As WCE stated, there are lots of good ways to parent. I am not a pinterest mom, and I don’t do crafts with my kids. I do read to them and take them to the park, and if they were home with me instead of having attended preschool, I don’t think they would somehow be academically behind. At the same time, they enjoyed playing with friends, having time to craft, developing close relationships with their caregivers there, etc. On the whole, it’s a net positive for our family. Every situation has its own nuances.

  27. if the maintenance costs from 100k-200k are significantly higher than 0-100k, I’ll agree with you.

    They always and everywhere are.

  28. I didn’t read the article (big surprise) but both my kids were in daycare and I called it “preschool” to make myself feel better about it. Or I’d call it by its legal entity name but o could not bring myself to say “daycare.” It seems so silly to me now, but I have great confidence *in hindsight* about my parenting choices whereas back then, when I was in that moment, I mostly had guilt.

    I can’t tell you how much energy I wasted feeling guilty about things that I now believe we’re perfectly fine. What a shame.

    Now I need some chocolate.

  29. We enjoyed preschool. The kids enjoyed preschool. Our savings account definitely did not enjoy preschool. Insanely expensive, but very much worth it.

  30. I was working full time during preschool years, and I had a full time babysitter so I thought preschool was important.

    Even though I was barely around, this is where we met the families that we sometimes go on vacation with during school breaks. I love some of the people we met because they were looking for the same old fashioned type of preschool experience.

    I know DD loved it there, and she was able to continue at their camp until she aged out to sleepaway.

    It was a lot of fun, she made some great friends and she learned about how to function in school.

    They helped us toilet train too!! An added bonus in the 2s because they were experts.

  31. Most parents in my peer group believed that children need preschool, and I felt some pressure to sign my kids up. This is the group that she’s targeting with her piece. Yes, a bit of a bubble.

  32. Our preschool was not insanely expensive. Not even close to the in-parish rate at the Catholic grade school, which is pretty much the cheapest K-8 private school option. But it was housed at a church, did not teach Mandarin or yoga, and had no vegan or gluten-free snacks.
    The nanny was much more expensive on a per-hour basis.

  33. “They always and everywhere are.”

    My recent experiences with two cars doesn’t mirror that graph, especially if you control for costs. Each had a major problem around 50,000 or 60,000 miles, with a destroyed AC system that would have cost over $3k on one, and a dead center console that would have been about $2k on the other if I hadn’t convinced the corporate side to pay for them.

    But in the 100k-200k range, (cumulatively on both) there’s been one alternator, one O2 sensor/cat, a couple of brake calipers. But collectively less than either of those early repairs. (I guess if you graph it solely as *number* of problems…)

  34. Lauren, I truly believe I have disliked every pre-school, elementary and middle school Mother I’ve met. No kidding. Those women are tough. If Donald Trump were a woman, he’d have written “The Art of the Kid”.

    (Of course there are a couple of notable exceptions.)

  35. My recent experiences with two cars doesn’t mirror that graph,

    Well then, that settles it! :-)

  36. This article made me laugh. I loved how she knows everything. Good for her. Daycare saved my sanity and therefore allowed my kids to have two loving adults care about them to this day. My oldest is intense. His 5,000th interruption in a day would come about 30 minutes after waking up (before 6 AM). My village includes daycare, and his teachers have loved him.

    I’m grateful for this blog, because I’ve picked up so many great parenting tips. I remember not understanding why one would need a tutor (can’t Mom & Dad just help) until someone mentioned how it takes the emotion out. I didn’t get it before or when my kids were very young. I totally get it now. And I’m pretty sure I’ll have to outsource all extra learning to outsiders in order to preserve our family.

    We’re very fortunate and live in a bubble. We can afford an excellent center for our kids. If we had lived 150 years ago, our kids probably would already be working as chimney sweeps or on the farm.

  37. I’ve known a Kindergarten teacher who’s talked about how the economy directly contributes to the percentage of kids she gets each year who know letters (attended preschool). Not that she’s saying that she can’t teach them quickly, anyway; I’m just pointing out that for many parents deciding on preschool, cost is one of the biggest variables.

  38. “, I truly believe I have disliked every pre-school, elementary and middle school Mother I’ve met.”

    lol

    Rhett – It certainly doesn’t settle it, but neither does a graph of “problems.”

  39. The author is right that most of the time preschool is the opted for choice because the stay at home parent needs a break. Keeping kids engaged all day long is a task when the stay at home parent has/errands/cooking/laundry and myriad other things that become the things you take care of when you are STAHM/D. So preschool is a good choice to retain your own sanity and to keep the child engaged.

    Over the years the term “daycare” seems to have been replaced by school/preschool. Parents refer to their 12 month old attending school when it is actually daycare. Call it like it is. There is nothing wrong with sending your children to daycare.

  40. Rhett – It certainly doesn’t settle it, but neither does a graph of “problems.”

    What do you mean? You need their definition of problems?

  41. ” You need their definition of problems?”

    It would be nice. Is a brake pad in need of replacement a problem?

    It’s a little like the Hummer H2 having terrible, TERRIBLE ratings from the “esteemed” J.D. Power and Associates in terms of owner satisfaction.

    Chief complaint that contributed to the poor ratings? Fuel mileage.

  42. It would be nice. Is a brake pad in need of replacement a problem?

    The survey asks consumers to report problems in one of 17 areas:

    ENGINE MAJOR: Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbocharger or supercharger, timing chain or belt.

    ENGINE MINOR: Oil leaks, accessory belts and pulleys, engine mounts, engine knock or ping.

    ENGINE COOLING: Radiator, cooling fan, water pump, thermostat, antifreeze leaks, overheating.

    TRANSMISSION (and clutch)-MAJOR: Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

    TRANSMISSION (and clutch)-MINOR: Gear selector and linkage, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission, leaks.

    DRIVE SYSTEM: Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, four-wheel-drive/all-wheel-drive components, driveline vibration, electrical failure, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC).

    FUEL SYSTEM/EMISSIONS: Check-engine light, sensors (O2 or oxygen sensor), emission-control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, fuel-injection system, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

    ELECTRICAL SYSTEM: Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

    CLIMATE SYSTEM: A/C compressor, blower (fan) motor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate system, electrical failure, refrigerant leakage.

    SUSPENSION/STEERING: Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

    BRAKES: Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure, premature wear.

    EXHAUST: Exhaust manifold, muffler, catalytic converter, pipes, leaks.

    PAINT/TRIM/RUST: Paint (fading, chalking, peeling or cracking), loose trim or moldings, rust.

    BODY INTEGRITY (noises & leaks): Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals, and/or weather stripping, air and water leaks.

    BODY HARDWARE (power or manual): Windows, locks and latches, doors or sliding doors, tailgate, trunk or hatch, mirrors, seat controls (movement and temperature), seat belts, sunroof, convertible top.

    POWER EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSORIES: Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, alarm or security system, remote engine start.

  43. That should read, “Respondents to our survey are asked to identify problems they have experienced in a 12-month period in any of 17 trouble spots.”

  44. Speaking of school mothers, I just finished Big Little Lies and really liked it. It’s a total fluff book, so not for anyone looking for depth, but it had some very funny, totebagger-relatable parts. I’m sad this morning that I stayed up late to finish it because now it’s over, and I grew to like the characters.

  45. interior/exterior lights, the battery? you can expect to replace those. premature wear on the brakes? well whose fault is that? “check engine” light? that could be anything, especially when people don’t necessarily distinguish between check engine lights and maintenance required lights.

  46. MBT – I hadn’t heard of it; just looked it up on Amazon. Is it really sad, or more funny-sad?

  47. When my kids were small, the pressure was the opposite. The pressure was to be at home with the kids or have a nanny. The preferred model in this area is definitely stay at home mom or nanny with preschool 3mornings a week.

  48. Milo,

    It’s a pretty comprehensive list and it’s generally considered the best data we have on vehicle dependability. Your nit picking is unlikely to impact the data all that much. The fact is maintenance costs are going to be much higher from 100k to 200k than from 0 to 100k.

    It’s certainly true of commercial aircraft that as they age their maintenance requirements increase and their dispatch reliability falls until they get to the point they are sent to the breaking yards to be recycled. Why would cars be any different?

  49. Rhett – I’m not saying it’s false, I’m saying that it may be relatively insignificant compared to acquisition costs. It’s hardly surprising that from years 0-5, you’d see very few battery and taillight failures. And it’s equally unremarkable that after year 5, a significantly higher percentage of respondents will report such problems.

    But when we’re weighing the total ownership costs of a $12k car vs. a $24k car, a $100 battery and a $15 taillight are irrelevant.

  50. Ssk- I didn’t think it was sad, just funny, with likable, relatable characters.

  51. We’ve been through a lot of preschools (eight!), because we have moved a lot. One of my priorities for finding a preschool has always been logistics – walkable if possible, short drive if not. All were fine, the distinguishing features mostly being the amount of communication with parents (I like a weekly email). Also, I have been cost-sensitive (because I live in a HCOL area, and I’m basically cheap) – we have paid between $7-12 per hour for preschool. 12 hours per week, works out to around 6k per year. We have no public or subsidized options. (Well, right now we are in a city-run site, but I don’t think it is subsidized – it is $10/hr.) My first two have loved it, and it was money and time well spent. I do think my third really needs preschool – he is not good at listening to authority, sitting still, taking turns (even in an age adjusted way). Preschool helps run him down – like a tired puppy, and he gets to see a lot more modeling of good behavior than I can provide at home.

    Because we have a live-in child care provider, it has been harder for them to get the socialization that I think is important (perhaps not for all kids, but for my special snowflakes).

  52. MBT, I finished my book just at bedtime (Guards of Haven by Simon R. Green – recommend it for the fantasy fans) and am going through withdrawal today too. What will I read at lunchtime? I have about eleventy billion books on my Kindle but that just makes it harder to choose.

  53. Milo,

    Then your claim is that the difference in maintenance between 0 to 100k and 100k to 200k is fairly minimal? Then what is your theory as to why cars get crushed? Everyone I’ve known that keeps cars long term has kept them until ever spiraling maintenance and falling dispatch reliability force them to buy something new or newer.

  54. instead of half cookies, half baked cookies

    “just half baked cookies right now.”

    LOL

    sorry, that made me giggle

  55. “When my kids were small, the pressure was the opposite. The pressure was to be at home with the kids or have a nanny. The preferred model in this area is definitely stay at home mom or nanny with preschool 3mornings a week.”

    Oh yes, there was pressure to quit or work part-time. But on top of that there was the pressure for preschool, like the preferred model you describe.

  56. HM and MBT,
    I feel exactly the same withdrawal when I finish a book, even though there are dozens of books and even more samples on my Kindle that I will never get to in this lifetime. So now I have two more titles to add…
    DH is decidedly not a reader, so he just doesn’t understand the addiction thing.

  57. Same for my husband

    I’m reading Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #2) currently

  58. HM and MBT and Scarlett – ITA with respect to book withdrawal. One of the reasons I had to cut back on my consumption of novels when the kids were little was the trance I would go into while reading a good book. My kids could have been painting the walls (or each other) and I wouldn’t have noticed. It is nice to be able to go back to submerging myself in a book, but if if isn’t good, it is more like a chore. Some of the books in my bookclub are like that. I have to set a schedule for myself: read 50 or 100 pages each day – just get it done!

    I think I will give the book a try, MBT – thank you for the recommendation.

  59. I’ve read The Husbands Secret and I’ve been wanting to read her other books

  60. I just finished Curtis Sittenfeld’s redo of P&P, called Eligible. It was OK. I’d read Alexander McCall Smith’s Emma, which was also just OK. I’m giving it one last shot with Northanger Abby.

  61. Wine would you recommend The Husband’s Secret? Life has been high stress for a while, and I really enjoyed reading something light. I am looking for more.

  62. It’s hard for modern rewrites of Austen to really succeed. There just isn’t the same weight to the choices — it’s hard to find a way to put modern young women in a situation of marry-or-starve and without that lurking in the background you lose part of the meaning of the choices characters make. Emma might be the easiest to redo, since the main character there is financially independent so the threat of future penury just isn’t there for her, and indeed I thought Clueless was a good adaptation.

  63. MBT I really liked it, but it probably isn’t as light as the other one, it really was hard to put down, I had to know the “secret”

  64. Dell, it sounds to me like preschool would make perfect sense for your family’s situation for your kid’s 4yo year.

    “They say that 5 years is also great age for kids.”

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the years with my kids, but I found from about 3 or 4, when I could first start having conversations with them, until about 8 or 9 (DD) or 10 or 11 (DS), when peers started to become more important to them, to be especially delightful.

    I do miss having those cute little kids.

  65. and I liked the Australia setting, off the top of my head, the only other book set there I have read was On the Beach

  66. Ive never recommended a Kristin Hannah book, but I really liked The Nightingale. I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters after I finished the book.

    PTM, I think you might like these two women even though they’re lawyers. They have really interesting jobs, and they like a good drink.

  67. To get Junior into the second (not first) best preschool down here I had to join a church– before he came into being– and be active in the church. I was and still am. I fell into exactly the right church for me.

  68. “Then your claim is that the difference in maintenance between 0 to 100k and 100k to 200k is fairly minimal? Then what is your theory as to why cars get crushed?”

    Rhett – That is my theory that the difference is fairly minimal, particularly in the brands known for high reliability, just like I suspect you would say the difference between 0-50 and 50-100 is fairly minimal. After 200, I’d say all bets are off. But even then, I’m not sure that we’re crushing all that many cars with odometers below 200k, at least not domestically. I think we ship a lot of our old cars to other countries.

    I’m highly suspicious of the linear nature of that graph.

  69. “she pointed out that preschool is often equally or more beneficial to the family than to the child”

    Sure. When we make decisions like that, we look at the impact to the entire family, not just a specific kid, and try to do what is best for the family. But the kid is part of the family and thus benefits when the family benefits.

    A fried once told me that he and his wife explicitly decided that when their first kid was born, their lives would not revolve around that kid, and that he and his wife would continue with activities they engaged in for their enjoyment. Looking back (their kid is in college now), it seems to have worked out quite well for the kid as well as the parents.

    “The biggest benefit of preschool. . .”

    In our case was probably the financial stability we enjoy and the wherewithal to send our kids to their current school, where they have thrived. That probably would not have been possible had DW and I not both been able to continue our careers with minimal interruption for childcare.

  70. Milo,

    And, I think Consumer Reports lists the data by year and model and the source/nature of the problem reported and what you see is as cars age a basically linear increase in the frequency and severity of repairs. Other sites like truedelta report the same thing.

  71. What I mean is that the linearity makes perfect sense if you’re talking about minor and expected wear-and-tear items (you would expect a negligible number of battery failures in Year 1, a few more in Year 2, etc.) But that’s not what we really care about. For things that we care about, the major things–transmission failures, engines leaking oil past the pistons–I would expect that to be exponential, and even moreso when the graph is a cumulative representation. I would imagine that testing for major failures would show them falling on something like a bell curve, let’s say centered at 17 years for a particular automatic transmission failure, assuming recommended fluid flush and replacements were performed.

    Also, I just don’t think the data is all that meaningful. If Joe Blow takes his car in and they tell him it’s time to replace the timing belt, how likely is he to report that as a problem? A good percentage of them will call it a problem. How likely is he not to do it, and then blame its failure as a problem? It’s going to be all over the place.

  72. HM – I agree. I did see a film version of P&P that was set in Utah in modern times – I guess the Mormon push to get married early, plus the Bennet sisters transformed into 5 girls as roommates, made it work. Again, it was OK.

    Has anyone seen the Bollywood version – I can’t remember what it was called?

  73. Winemama – The Rosie Project (nerdy Sheldon Cooper type meets fun gal) is set in Australia – I enjoyed it.

  74. Also, I just don’t think the data is all that meaningful. If Joe Blow takes his car in and they tell him it’s time to replace the timing belt, how likely is he to report that as a problem?

    They have what happened. In the case of TrueDelta they also have what it cost to fix if you drill down. So, it will say 2006 Acura TL 155k miles – “Failed emission bad cat – $877.”

  75. minor and expected wear-and-tear items (you would expect a negligible number of battery failures in Year 1, a few more in Year 2, etc.) But that’s not what we really care about.

    I don’t think that’s how it works. You start getting ever more problems that are ever more expensive to fix. Heater core, ac compressor, blower motor, abs controller, window regulator, oil pump, fuel pump, radiator, coolant system leaks, etc. All of them “minor” but many costing ~$500 and when they start coming at an ever increasing rate eventually you finally pull the plug.

  76. In British English and Commonwealth English, it is pronounced /twæt/ to rhyme with that, or sometimes /twɒt/, to rhyme with hot.[3] In North American English, it is pronounced /twɑːt/, to rhyme with squat.[1] The word may originate from Old Norse þveit (thveit) meaning ‘cut, slit, or forest clearing’.[1]

    Something about the deadpan way that’s written is absolutely hysterical.

  77. When you googled that, did you happen to notice the definition listed first up at the top of the results page? Because it’s not a good term to apply to a woman.

  78. “It’s a 2009 Toyota Sienna LE with 111,000 miles. We paid $7,900”

    That still strikes me as high as if there is not a lot of excess value left. it’s a fair price but not a screaming deal.

  79. The conversation of the last few hours is like a gathering where the women are talking about preschool and books in one room while the men flee outside to the grill to talk cars.

  80. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the years with my kids, but I found from about 3 or 4, when I could first start having conversations with them, until about 8 or 9 (DD) or 10 or 11 (DS), when peers started to become more important to them, to be especially delightful.”

    @Finn – I agree. I have not generally been that sentimental about DS growing up, but I am really starting to dread the upcoming years where he doesn’t like hanging out with us anymore. He’s gotten more & more fun to hang out with every year since about 3.

  81. the problem is there’s no outside.

    Rhett – The big factor is salvage value. I know it’s popular for the frugal blogger types to say “…’til the wheels fall off,” but realistically, you’re probably more likely to unload it for $1500-$2000.

    So buy it for $7900, drive it for 100,000 miles, and sell it for $1500…you’re getting 100,000 miles of a 7-passenger car for $6400, plus maintenance. The first owners paid $25 and got $8 (actually, they probably got $6500 on trade-in). So for 111,000 miles, they paid $18,500 plus maintenance.

    While I’ll concede that the maintenance will be higher on the second hundred than the first, it won’t be that much higher.

  82. While I’ll concede that the maintenance will be higher on the second hundred than the first, it won’t be that much higher.

    I’m wiling to bet 0-100k the cost of repairs (not maintenance just repairs) is less than $500 and for 100k to 200k it’s ~$5,000. $5,000 being 10 repairs over 8 years at $500 a pop.

  83. I would put it at $3,000, but even if it’s $5,000, you’re still way ahead.

    And this is also predicated on driving a lot. If it’s a car for non-regular use, like the Frugalwoods seem to believe that their Outback will be, the equation shifts even more in favor of used.

  84. I would put it at $3,000, but even if it’s $5,000, you’re still way ahead.

    How do you figure?

  85. “how do you figure?”

    $(7,900 + 5,000 – 1,500) < (25,000 + 500 – 6500)
    $11,400 < $19,000

  86. Omg. Is this how you guys decide on a car? It makes me want to say screw the car and just ride my bike.

  87. Ivy,
    FWIW, our kids never went through the “we don’t want to hang out with you” stage. They have always enjoyed family dinners, trips, and movie nights. Though they were lots of fun as little kids, they have been even more fun as big kids and young adults. Plus, now they can do all the dishes.

  88. I retract my statement. I had it in my head that it was a Camry LE for $7,900. A Sienna for 7,900 is a much better deal.

    The Frugalwoods paying 14k for a 6 year old car with 100k miles when a new one sells for 23k on the other hand? Not a good deal.

  89. $(7,900 + 5,000 – 1,500) < (25,000 + 500 – 6500)
    $11,400 < $19,000

    I’m not seeing where you’re adjusting for the expect life of the vehicle. The new car with go 16 years and 200k miles. The used one will on go 8 years and 100k miles.

  90. “I mean twat: a person regarded as stupid or obnoxious.”

    Not sure I’ve ever heard it used like that. I didn’t google it, but I’m pretty sure the definition referred to by HM is by far the most frequently used definition I’ve heard.

  91. “Omg. Is this how you guys decide on a car?”

    Well, we’re not all in the $400 kid’s bathing suit league. ;)

  92. “FWIW, our kids never went through the “we don’t want to hang out with you” stage. ”

    Ours haven’t either, but there have been times when they specifically didn’t want us at event to which parents were invited. E.g., DD told us not to go to her end of the school year class picnic at the end of this month.

    They also increasingly want to spend time hanging out with their friends, without adult supervision.

    But they’re still looking forward to our trip this summer, and have enjoyed our family trips.

    Lately I’ve noticed another dynamic between the kids. Increasingly, DD asks DS for help and advice with school and music, rather than DW or me (I?). Then last night, I heard her excitedly telling DS about getting into the honors class for next year that she’d been studying for for the past few months, while she hasn’t told me or DW yet.

    We’re all going to miss him when he goes to college.

  93. We needed a third car with child #3. We bought a Pacifica with 60k on it – in a hurry, from a dealer and we likely over paid. Just a few little problems for the first three years, and routine maintenance. .

    This year (in Aug), the check engine light came one.
    -Took it to the local, Well-Loved auto shop. It was fixed for $60.
    In Oct, it began to surge when it was idling (foot off the gas).
    -Took it back to Well-Loved shop, couldn’t replicate the problem. Got worse in November. Started stalling at low speeds.
    -Took it back. Fixed something for a few hundred. Didn’t fix the problem.
    -Took it back, they put on a little recorder to see what happens when it stalls. Fixed something else. Well-Loved Auto didn’t charge for it, until we were sure it worked. Didn’t.
    -Made an appointment for Even Nicer Guy Auto. Took it in, changed a hose, didn’t fix the problem. Out $40.
    -Took it back to explain that the car was still stalling in parking lots and revving while driving. Even Nicer Guy said there was nothing left to do, we needed to take it to the dealer, though he didn’t recommend the two closest ones, they were terrible (and neither was actually close).
    -Took it to dealer. 4 days later, it was fixed for a few hundred dollars, and they related it to the part used to fix the “check engine” light problem at the first auto shop. Finally fixed on the 7th stop, 5 months later.

    All in all, it cost us less than $1000 in repairs this year – but what a headache. It is the kid car that the Au Pair used – they were essentially house bound for months – I couldn’t get her adjusted to driving in the US in a car that stalls and accelerates randomly.

    Never again. I’ll pay for the first 60k instead of the second 60k.

  94. The kids ones are a little over $100. So, expensive but an excellent addition to the father’s day gift.

  95. “I’m not seeing where you’re adjusting for the expect life of the vehicle. The new car with go 16 years and 200k miles. The used one will on go 8 years and 100k miles.”

    In that case, it’s $25,000 + 5,500 repairs – $1500 salvage = $29,000 for 200k miles, and the same estimates have it at $11,400 for just the back half of that. Either way, the value is in the back end.

    Another consideration is my state’s personal property tax, assessed on the current value of the car. It’s not insignificant.

  96. Chryslers aren’t known for reliability, and the Pacifica was particularly bad, I think.

  97. “The Frugalwoods paying 14k for a 6 year old car with 100k miles when a new one sells for 23k on the other hand? Not a good deal.”

    I took a quick look at that blog, and tend to agree with Rhett. Her rationale for buying used is a rehash of what I’d heard for years, that at one time made sense, but doesn’t automatically make sense now, as Rhett and I have discussed here before.

    Part of why buying new might especially make sense for the Frugalwoods is their characterization of their cars as only a means of transportation. Were they buying new, they’d probably get the base model with few, if any, options. Buying used, most, if not all, the choices they have would probably have features they wouldn’t pay for if they had a choice, and thus they likely end up paying for stuff that they don’t value.

    That’s what we ran into the last time we bought a new car.

    And as I’ve mentioned a few times recently, there have been a great number of safety features available on new cars that weren’t available on the same, or similar, models of a few years, or more, ago.

  98. Thanks Scarlett & Finn. I was looking at a 10-year contract today at work, and when I realized that is the year that DS should graduate from HS, I got a little sentimental about it. It’ll go fast I know. Although, sitting in the drizzle at his little league game tonight will go very slowly…

  99. “Although, sitting in the drizzle at his little league game tonight will go very slowly…”

    Especially if you don’t have an umbrella.

  100. My kids are pretty interesting and they definitely like us to hang around with them! They are really homebodies, even my 16 year old. They still like hugs, and walking arm in arm with me. And they know that we parentals still know more about their technology gadgets than they do. Maybe when they hit college, they will decide we are boring.

  101. @Finn – I’m sure it doesn’t matter to the Frugalwoods, but there are also tech updates like Bluetooth being near-standard even in cars on the low-end that were only available in luxury cars or as expensive upgrades even 5 years ago. I am really looking forward to getting a new car in the next 12 months or so to get some of those upgrades along with the safety features. I will be happy to sell off my 2007 car to the Frugalwoods with 90K miles on it. It’ll be a win-win as we will both feel as if we got a good deal and got the best 10 years out of the car.

  102. HM,

    Maybe it’s a regional thing? I’d use twat as the female form of twit. Or, it would be a euphemism that an old lady would use for vagina. I’d say with the c-word a 10 twat would be like a 1.5.

  103. Rhett – I’m with you on the use of twat. I think of it as a stupid person, not a vulgar word for a body part.

  104. “I realized that is the year that DS should graduate from HS, I got a little sentimental about it. It’ll go fast I know.”

    A reminder to make the most of that time with him.

  105. “I’d use twat as the female form of twit. ”

    Please don’t do this. No good will come of it.

  106. While I hear it primarily used as a term for a female part, it’s not necessarily vulgar. I’ve heard it used as a euphemism by women not wanting to use the more clinical term.

    OTOH, I’ve also heard it used as a vulgar term.

  107. “I’d use twat as the female form of twit. ”

    I wonder if that would lead to using twit as a term for a male part or parts.

  108. this song comes to mind
    Lily Allen
    “Alfie”

    Ooooo deary me,
    My little brother’s in his bedroom smoking weed,
    I tell him he should get up cos it’s nearly half past three
    He can’t be bothered cos he’s high on THC.
    I ask him very nicely if he’d like a cup of tea,
    I can’t even see him cos the room is so smoky,
    Don’t understand how one can watch so much TV,
    My baby brother Alfie how I wish that you could see.

    [Chorus]
    Oooooo I only say it cos I care,
    So please can you stop pulling my hair.
    Now, now there’s no need to swear,
    Please don’t despair my dear Mon frere.

    Ooooo Alfie get up it’s a brand new day,
    I just can’t sit back and watch you waste your life away
    You need to get a job because the bills need to get paid.
    Get off your lazy arse,
    Alfie please use your brain
    Surely there’s some walls out there that you can go and spray,
    I’m feeling guilty for leading you astray,
    Now how the hell do you ever expect that you’ll get laid,
    When all you do is stay and play on your computer games?

    [Chorus]

    Oh little brother please refrain from doing that,
    I’m trying to help you out so can you stop being a twat.
    It’s time that you and I sat down and had a little chat,
    And look me in the eyes take off that stupid fitted cap.

    [Chorus]

  109. “While I hear it primarily used as a term for a female part, it’s not necessarily vulgar. I’ve heard it used as a euphemism by women not wanting to use the more clinical term.

    OTOH, I’ve also heard it used as a vulgar term.”

    How did you make the distinction?

  110. I am pretty sure Tony Soprano used to use it for a vulgar word. So I am going with that.

  111. Drift…

    Yesterday I went to CPR training, and once again it got me to thinking about whether we should buy an AED (defibrillator). They’ve gotten more advanced, and less expensive, making it a more feasible purchase than the last time I thought about it, after the previous CPR class I took.

    Anyone else ever think about it? Our trainer said we could get one for about $1200 from a local distributor, and would need to replace the electrodes/batteries every 4 years; current price for those is $310.

    Online, lower prices are availalble, e.g., ~$800 for a recertified AED, and $175 for new electrodes/battery.

    Per the training, guidance to businesses is to have an AED within 90 seconds of all employees.

  112. I haven’t finished the article – spent today at a field trip – but one reason for preschool I haven’t seen mentioned is religious instruction. Ours does a lot, and it is really helpful. (It’s not even our religion, but I still love it!)

    We send ours to two years of preschool, because
    (1) they need some time away from Mommy,
    (2) Mommy needs some time away from them,
    (3) our neighborhood does not have any kids the same age as my younger two, and more than half the families we know have two working parents even at age 2-4, so play dates are tough to organize,
    (4) the aforementioned religious instruction, and
    (5) the teachers have the energy and patience to try ten different methods to get my kid to learn or do something, while I get frustrated enough to give up around attempt number three.

    We do crafts and music and active play at home, but I think that being in the more formal and structured setting of our preschool is better preparation for the full day kindergarten program we have.

    And I think the author was over the top with her criticism of working parents; my oldest was in day care for two years and hated every single day, but I am not convinced it scarred her for life. It scarred me :)

  113. Finn – do you mean for your home? Even at the low prices, it doesn’t seem like a good use of money. If someone in your family had underlying cardiac disease that made it likely they could have an arrest with a shockable rhythm, they would qualify for an AICD (internal defibrillator ).

    I would guess the average ED has exposure to several hundred thousand if not 1 million person hours for each use.

  114. So, also just caught up, and I think our first anon said it all. F her and her little dog too. Risk damaging the maternal bond, for the convenience of the mom? Who actually says that with a straight face? I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

    IDK, maybe if my kids had Perfect Pinterest Ladybug Mom, daycare would have been a big letdown. But they got stuck with me. Ergo, daycare was awesome — more kids to play with (DD), much better structure (DD), and much better toys (DS). If they hadn’t loved it, we’d have figured out something different.

  115. The library didn’t have a copy yet of Eligible (well, without a long wait list…) but I just finished Sisterland, also by Sittenfield, which was a fun read. Big Little Lies was a big funny-sad to me. Mostly funny, but serious in parts too. My book club is currently reading Room, but I have zero interest. Feels too close to real life cases!

  116. Perhaps if I have some time I’ll take a look at frequency of cardiac arrest vs. house fires and get an idea of cost/benefit for AEDs vs. smoke detectors.

  117. Finn,
    The house doesn’t go anywhere, so investing in smoke detectors seems to make more sense than investing in an AED that doesn’t protect you when you aren’t at home.

  118. Tulip – DD gave me Room to read, and it creeped me out a lot, so I just kind of skipped ahead until the good stuff started happening (not always good, but at least happier and more positive).

  119. I recall fondly the young woman in charge of DS at daycare. When he saw her, he demanded to be carried, so she toted him around on her hip. I am sure this was against the rules and unfair to the other kids but he did get royal treatment till he went to the toddler room. He did not want to move to the toddler room and took his own sweet time.

  120. Finn,

    What do the numbers say? It says 90% of people who experience cardiac the arrest outside of a hospital die. However, CPR soon upon onset doubles or triples the rate of survival. How much more does the AED add to that number?

  121. Synthesizing today’s thread: we should make Toyota run preschools without AED’s.

  122. With the book discussion on my mind, I remembered this sample and gave it a try: https://www.amazon.com/Magic-Manners-Austen-Chronicle-Book-ebook/dp/B01CI33LOI

    So far it is pretty much a P&P rewrite with magic, but well enough done that I’m inclined to buy it after I finish the sample. It’s interesting that there seems to be a regency-era subgenre developing in fantasy — The Magicians and Mrs. Quent and the Glamourist series come to mind. And of course the oldie but goodie, Sorcery and Cecilia et seq.

  123. I read Room and I don’t think I could watch the movie…

    I think Big Little Lies is going to be a tv series. I like Liane Moriarty books and always stay up too late when reading them. I have the Husband’s Secret on my Kindle but haven’t read it yet and I liked Three Wishes.

  124. Scarlett, it’s not an either-or decision, smoke detectors or AED. Doing the research and calculation would just give me a cost/benefit comparison of a precaution we already take (due mainly to building code mandates) against another possible precaution.

  125. AEDs have gotten cheap enough, and my mindset on spending money has changed enough, that getting one seems worth serious consideration.

    And Scarlett, I could take it with me when I leave the house. One situation discussed in our class was sporting events, since the instructor mentioned the likelihood of cardiac arrest was higher during heavy exertion that resulted in large changes in electrolyte balance.

    “Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is the primary cause of death in youth sports” (http://ksi.uconn.edu/tag/sudden-cardiac-arrest/)

    I suppose I could take a smoke detector with me too, but probably to less potential benefit.

  126. I cracked up picturing Finn at the swim meet or ball field bleachers with his AED sitting beside him.

  127. Finn,

    It would seem the AED doubles the survival rate. You make a compelling case for the device, especially as we get older.

  128. would guess the average ED has exposure to several hundred thousand if not 1 million person hours for each use.

    Why would an ED use a AED? Isn’t your AED the crash cart?

  129. Mis-spoken – “I expect the average AED has exposure to several hundered thousand if not million person hours for each use.”

    Imagine a stadium with 20,000 fans in it, and a few hundred people seriously exerting themselves (maybe a thousand if you count ushers and people selling popcorn). How many 3-hour events occur without use of the AED? Probably it is used once a season? Once per 40 events? So 120 hous x 20,000 people to get one use. Good for the stadium, bad for your house.

  130. You make a compelling case for the device, especially as we get older.

    CPR becomes less effective as we get older so there is actually less of a case to get one.

  131. I read here of an AED at a stadium saving a person’s life. BUT first one must know where exactly the AED is located. I know where it is at our church which is a venue where there have been calls to 911 during mass.
    And in weather news, I saw the headline, that summer is no where in sight for much of the U.S. and I was wondering whether the weather in Milo’s area had changed.

  132. We had a couple of nice days here this week, but I have to find my blanket to watch DD soccer game on Sunday.

    The weather guy said it reached 80 degrees on 8 days by this date in 2015, but only one time in 2016.

    I have annual visit by HVAC on my DIN list, but I haven’t called yet because I was still using heat last week!

  133. Loving this discussion! I thought the tone of that article was awful, but it does make me feel slightly better about being covered in spit up all day and just now getting a chance to comment. I do roll my eyes at calling 40 hour a week daycare for 1 year old “school.” BUT I also roll my eyes at a lot of Pinterest mom stuff. We’ll probably do a few mornings a week of preschool at age 3-5 or so because I have fond memories of my own experience, plus a break will probably be needed by then, especially since we’ll hopefully have another baby or two by then. It will be the cheap church variety though probably, though in theory I love the idea of language immersion. We probably wouldn’t be doing enough hours anyway.

  134. Oh and perfect timing on the car discussion! We’re about to buy a second car because we moved and my husband can no longer take public transport to work, so I’ve been housebound with a baby for a few months and I’m done with that. DH doesn’t want to spend more than 15k, ideally 10k. I think we should just bite the bullet and buy a new base model Accord or something like that, but he doesn’t want to part with more liquidity given job security concerns in a volatile industry. And he’s in more of a hurry than I am to do renovations on our house. Whereas I think we could just sell the car in a dire financial emergency. We’d still have 6+ months of emergency fund anyway. Of course we could finance but we’re probably a little too debt averse in a Dave Ramseyish sort of way. Only priorities are lowest cost per mile driven, safety (big part of why I want newer- blame new mom hormones), and reliability. If liquidity was less of a concern we’d probably buy a new Honda CRV or something like that because we’ll want something bigger in a few years if we’re fortunate enough to have more kids by then. Any thoughts? I’m thinking we’ll probably end up with a circa 2011 car with 80k or so.

  135. FYI we have a car topic coming up next week.

    By chance, does anyone know of a pill tracker app that allows the user to put in medication taken only once a week or three times a week?

  136. I think we should just bite the bullet and buy a new base model Accord or something like that,

    Why not a Civic? They are as big as Accord’s used to be and have tons of the latest safety features.

  137. Rio: We have a Accord EL-X and love, love it. My father got a CRV. Not a fan of the exterior, but the car rides like a dream.

  138. Sedans are not optimal for life with a baby; any sort of hatchback is better for the cargo-carrying versatility. Especially when the second comes and you want to go away for a weekend, you’ll have at least one pack-n-play, a stroller–possibly a double?, and on and on.

    I was going to recommend looking at the HR-V (in Theory, I like it), but reading some quick reviews on it says that it’s loud and the cost and fuel savings are minimal.

    So if it’s between a sedan and a crossover, I vote for the crossover in your situation. My SIL (on DW’s side) has a brand new low-end CR-V (low end as in plastic hubcaps over steel wheels) and I drove it through the mountains of Colorado in snowstorms and loved it. Huge improvements over my old one.

  139. And there was some discussion here on the Pilot a while ago. I saw several new ones in white in my area and they looked quite nice from the outside.

  140. Louise – weather is still dreary today. Tomorrow morning promises to be better, but then thunderstorms in the afternoon as a cold front comes in, and we’re having a bunch of extended family over Saturday afternoon and evening. I’m BBQ’ing a bunch of chicken. We can still use the porch.

  141. Rio,
    DS and DIL have a Honda Civic. They are having baby #2 this summer and have discovered that some double strollers will not fit in the Civic trunk. Two carseats will also be a tight squeeze.

  142. Traveling yesterday. No TSA wait on the return leg from Philadelphia at 5pm. And I mean none at all.

    As for preschool (I am old enough to remember when it was called nursery school), the only time in my circle of friends it was selected primarily for the child’s benefit is for an only child or for children spaced far apart. With multiple kids close in age, socialization and enrichment are fairly easy to achieve without a lot of driving around or expense. Hours, price, religious instruction, play group buddy attendance, driving convenience with older kids’ school schedule and location, those were usually the criteria for choice of program. I believe for high competition private schools the youngest class at the school, pre K usually, is often an entry point, or there are feeder pre schools, but that is not part of my universe. However, the justifications for publicly funded preschool for disadvantaged children are a) that the parents can’t or don’t provide basic home environment that preps well for elementary school and b) kids in need of services should be identified at 3, not 6. There is no way the government wants to spend money just to give mom or grandmom a few hours respite.

    I once wrote to the moderator Old Site complaining about the use of twat by a poster. My understanding is that if the C word is a level 10 slur, that word would be an 8 when applied to a human female as opposed to a vulgar descriptive term for a body feature. It appears that for many it has been conflated with twit in common usage and lost entirely its strong pejorative origin. Much as scumbag originally meant condom, often a used one.

  143. The Weather Channel app says that weekend overnight temperatures will be in the THIRTIES. Now I will have to move the (heavy) hibiscus and jasmine trees that just went outside back into the garage. Well, someone else will have to move them, at my direction.

  144. some double strollers will not fit in the Civic trunk…..Two carseats will also be a tight squeeze.

    Do they have a 2016? The 2016 is 2″ wider and 1.2″ longer and the trunk volume goes from 11.7 ft^3 to 15.1 ft^3. Just something to keep in mind.

  145. Milo,
    It is exciting for all of us, though when they tell the current baby to “walk to grandma” I still think they are talking about my mother, not me.
    They also just bought a house for less than our first house in Arlington cost in the late 1980s. I think that their mortgage payments will be $600 a month. Unbelievable. But now I have a destination for lots of the spare hoses, shovels, rakes etc. cluttering up our garage, not to mention the boys’ childhood beds gathering dust in the basement.

  146. ” I think that their mortgage payments will be $600 a month. Unbelievable.”

    Indeed. My first apartment, well over a decade ago, and in South Carolina! (not known as a pricey area), was $680 a month for a one-bedroom.

    Of course, the area looked a freakin’ tropical resort. It was awesome.

  147. It’s forecast to get near freezing on Sunday night here, with a high of 49 that day; I guess the annuals will have to wait till next weekend, but I’ll get a couple of shrubs in the ground tonight and put the hanging baskets in the garage before going to bed Sunday.

  148. We’re getting down into the 40s. I trust that our mint will survive. DW, also hearing the same advice from some friends, relocated it to a planter that hangs over our deck railing, which works out better because it’s much more readily accessible. I had three mint juleps watching the Kentucky Derby coverage.

  149. I can’t complain about our weather because there have been nice sunny warm days, with intervals of rain (I’ll think of RMS and her pharse). The weekend is forecast to be sunny and a bit cooler which is nice, it was getting hot and summer like.

  150. I trust that our mint will survive.

    Mint will be here after The Bomb.

  151. Weather forecast this morning said summer is here. We will be back in the 90’s this week, with no breaks expected, and thunderstorms to provide that delightfully steamy experience Houston likes to offer. I need a summer home up north.

  152. MBT,

    I can’t wrap my head around how the south was populated before the advent of AC. I worked in Atlanta one summer it was so humid the car windows would fog up on the outside.

  153. Atlanta is misery in the summer, but sleeping on summer nights on Cape Cod with only a fan in the window was sort of miserable too.

  154. LOL at the mint. The owners before us planted some that survived everything we did (or did not do) to the yard, and ultimately my dh managed to dig it up. A tiny patch of mint along the house (maybe 2×3″?) took him ages. After he dug it up it would come back and he’d have to re-dig two or three times before it stuck.

    Rio– We have a 2012 Civic that was our main car before we had kids. When we got the double stroller it fit, but not one other thing fit into the trunk. Two car seats fit in the back of a civic, but there wasn’t more than a few inches between them. I don’t think 2 kids means you need an enormous car, but room for groceries and the like is a plus. Add me to the vote for something with a hatchback.

  155. Milo – I think mint survives anything. It’s the cockroach of the garden. Did she move it to a container to keep it from overtaking the other plants? I have read that happens a lot.

    We aren’t expecting any frost here, but I think I will still wait until next weekend to plant my rooftop garden. Planting in 60-something sunny weather is much more pleasant than drizzly 50’s. My ideal weather is somewhere in the 60’s unless actually swimming/at the beach, so I don’t really mind the late-onset summer. Lately, it just seems to shift back into 90-degree days in September anyway.

    Since we are talking about weather – the sun came out & it was actually a gorgeous evening at the Little League field, so my umbrella did not come out of my bag.

  156. The folks at Honda have heard your lament. May I present the 2017 Civic Hatchback:

  157. “It’s the cockroach of the garden.”

    So true! We’ve had the same mint plant on our deck for four years. It’s indestructabel

  158. “Did she move it to a container to keep it from overtaking the other plants?”

    yeah, it’s in a container on the railing, and our porch and deck are about 1.25 stories above the ground at their outer edges.

  159. Rio – I hate SUVs, so the way I pick a car is by dragging all of the car seats in to the dealership and seeing which sedan can accommodate them along with the other kid stuff I typically use. It is a bit like Jenga and the sales people think you are nuts, but it works. So maybe take some of your baby stuff along if you want a sedan.

  160. Rhett – I agree. My husband had a job offer in Houston a couple of years before our transfer and was telling me about having to use his windshield wipers in August because of the condensation when you turned on the A/c in the car, and I was adamant I was not moving to that swamp. 20 years later…..

    Not only did they not have A/C, they didn’t have swimming pools to cool off in, and they didn’t shower as frequently. I can’t imagine.

  161. Also, my prediction is that Trump’s running mate will be Tim Scott (SC senator).

  162. “Not only did they not have A/C, they didn’t have swimming pools to cool off in, and they didn’t shower as frequently. I can’t imagine.”

    Just like what I said about sailing and being dirty and uncomfortable for a week or so, once you get used to it, it doesn’t bother you.

    As for manual labor, those with economic mobility weren’t doing it.

  163. they didn’t have swimming pools to cool off in, and they didn’t shower as frequently.

    And, you’d still have to go to work in a suit! A seersucker or linen suit, but still.

  164. Milo,

    In the summer days of yore – the time before air conditioning – the term “trickle down” had little do with economics and a whole lot to do with daily life in Houston, where proper ladies dewed and wilted, and everybody else sweated like a horse.

    Even town boosters like Sam Houston’s friend, Texas diplomat Ashbel Smith, conceded the midday heat was so brutal that “most of us lie in the shade and pant.”

    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Hot-enough-for-you-Crank-up-the-AC-and-stick-4613389.php

  165. I love that back in the 60s they attempted to air condition the outdoors:

    Ahead of its time, a unique feature of the park’s infrastructure included 2,400 tons (8,400 kW) of outdoor air conditioning powered by systems built by Carrier Corporation. Underground pipes carrying chilled water radiated out to most areas of the park and provided cool air to queue lines, picnic tables, shops, restaurants and other large open spaces. Air conditioning ducts and grates were disguised and blended to match the area’s theming

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Flags_AstroWorld

  166. In the home country, summers meant leaving the sweltering plains and coastal areas and heading for the hills or mountains.
    Our summer vacations for many years was to places in the hills. The beach was great in the winter. Didn’t stop people from going to the beach in the summer but it was very hot except in the evenings.

  167. ” back in the 60s they attempted to air condition the outdoors:”

    If you believed that nuclear energy would be “too cheap to meter,” why not?

    Kind of funny, there was a guy on the MMM forum, who lives in Hawaii, b1tching about how someone had plugged in his/her Nissan Leaf EV into a “free” charging station at the store and was running the car’s A/C while shopping, presumably just so that the car would be nice and cool upon returning. Other commenters were debating about whether it was an automatic battery cooling function that he mistook for A/C.

    Then the guy was complaining that neighbors (again, Hawaii) who had never used residential A/C before had now installed PV solar at their house and used it all the time “because it’s free.”

    I can argue it either way, but I didn’t bother.

  168. I love that back in the 60s they attempted to air condition the outdoors:

    Ahead of its time, a unique feature of the park’s infrastructure included 2,400 tons (8,400 kW) of outdoor air conditioning powered by systems built by Carrier Corporation. Underground pipes carrying chilled water radiated out to most areas of the park and provided cool air to queue lines, picnic tables, shops, restaurants and other large open spaces. Air conditioning ducts and grates were disguised and blended to match the area’s theming

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Flags_AstroWorld

    They still use misters around here in the summer. Think tiny little sprinklers attached to the ceilings of large opensided buildings.

  169. “the guy was complaining that neighbors (again, Hawaii) who had never used residential A/C before had now installed PV solar at their house and used it all the time “because it’s free.””

    A big reason DW wanted to PV on our roof was to facilitate more use of AC. We also know a lot of people here who similarly decided to install PV to facilitate more AC use.

    In fact, with the combination of the local utility dragging its feet on approving installations, and recent changes to net metering, PV companies are now pushing PV-powered AC that’s off grid, for homes that are on grid.

  170. “The Weather Channel app says that weekend overnight temperatures will be in the THIRTIES.”

    Local highs are projected to be just short of 30. Celsius.

  171. Rio, if you’re a SAHM who doesn’t require a car on a daily basis, a heavily depreciated car might make sense for you.

    But a lot of what you decide would seem to depend on what you have now. E.g., if your existing car is at least several years old, and big enough to accommodate a potential 2nd car seat and double stroller, then the Civic might make a lot of sense. It could then become your DH’s commuter car, probably getting better gas mileage and more safety features.

  172. “Rio, if you’re a SAHM who doesn’t require a car on a daily basis”

    I don’t think that’s really true for anyone any more, at least not middle class and up.

  173. Misters make a big difference in cooling down the outdoors in a desert climate.

    I just drove by a ghastly looking home in my neighborhood that has solar panels covering most of its front-facing roof. The color of the panels clashes with the house, it looks weird, and to top it off it’s at the end of a T-intersection so you see it for a couple of blocks as you’re approaching it.

    Finn, you crack me up, in a good way, of course!

  174. If Rio could get by being housebound without a car for a few months, that suggests to me that she doesn’t need a car on a daily basis.

    But if she does, that does change things. That’s when depending on what kind of car they already have, the new Civic with all the safety features might make sense.

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