Friday, September 01, 2006

Budget Revision 4.0(a): The Big One

Step (a) is accomplished: the withdrawal letter has been written. Step (b) is to actually give it to the nice director at the older kids’ daycare center.

It is sticking to my fingers like a $20 bill. (Which believe me, is pretty sticky these days.) But, if I can shake it loose…that’s $950 a month back into the budget.

Let me just say that again. Nine Hundred and Fifty Dollars.

I’m not saying I’m going to rush out and actually get one (and I’m not saying I won’t, either), but I so could be driving a Lexus right now!!!!!

I have very mixed feelings about this one. On the downside, it means that I’ll have my older two kids underfoot a lot more. It isn’t that I just hate being around my kids so much…actually, it’s the opposite. I’d rather play than work. And I imagine that if my kids were home saying, “Mommy, can you help me make a dragon?”…well. Which would you rather be doing: Wrestling with complicated SQL statements and trying to figure out why you’ve got a ‘12’ when it should be a ‘14’, or sculpting a Play-Doh dragon?

Not to mention the fallout that can occur when civil war breaks out between the two girls just when you’ve logged into that Very Important Conference Call with Uppity-Up-Up-Upper Management.

“Yes, thank you all for phoning in today. First of all, I’d like to start by saying that while we are asking for a $500,000 budget for costs associated with the rollout, we feel that the projected benefits will be…”
“I didn’t DO anything!!”
“STOP IT! *shriek!*”
“No! No!! Put it down! I HAD IT FIRST!!!”
{whack, smack, thump, BONK!, thumpa-thumpa-WHAM!}
{breathless pause}
“I’m telling FIRST!”
{chorus} “MOMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” {wailing, shrieking, crying, talking very fast in very high-pitched, squeaky little voices}

Eh. That’s a tad on the embarrassing side. What am I supposed to say unto the Gathered Elite? “Ha ha, oh, those interns! They’re just getting younger every day, huh?”

It also leaves us somewhat exposed on the ‘things can change’ front. Right now, sure. We telecommute, and take turns going into the office. One of us is ‘always’ home. But things do change. It would be darned awkward if Life threw us one of those curveballs shortly after we withdraw them. The onsite school has limited openings, so we aren’t too likely to be able to just pop them back in again if Things Change. Also, they punish you for doing that: registration fees double each time you re-enroll. So instead of $75 per kid, I’m looking at $150 per kid if we change our minds and put them back in.

But on the other hand.

We could eliminate an awful lot of madness, the crazy-early mornings trying to get them all dropped off before this or that cut-off, the evening rush of trying to simultaneously make dinner, get them all bathed, get homework done and/or proofed, finding out that I was volunteered to bring 144 cookies…tomorrow…that kind of stuff.

We’re only talking about two, maybe three hours in the afternoon. I’m already not willing to pay the extra $52 for days the school itself is closed, so they’re usually at home with us on those days anyway.

All complaints to contrary aside, they’re also very good at entertaining themselves; I don’t generally find that they are hanging all over me looking for constant interaction. Noisy, yes; demanding, no. They aren’t the types who will hang off your chair moaning, “But I’m so booooooooooooooooooooored!” all day.

They’re old enough to correctly interpret the Glare of Doom as meaning, “If you do not stop that noise this very instant, I shall end you!”

And, I can always just close the office door if I need (relative) quiet.

And…it’s $950. I mean, shoot. Nine hundred and fifty dollars a month. More than a luxury car payment. In exchange for having my older two kids around one hour longer in the morning, and two to three hours longer in the afternoon.

I think I can handle it.

But I reserve the right to fling myself on the kitchen floor screaming, crying and pounding my feet and fists if it doesn’t go my way.

The Score Thus Far
SacrificeMonthly Payoff
Maid Service$400.00
Cable $45.00
Phone Service $12.00
Wine Club $57.00
After School Care $950.00
Grand Total $1,464.00



Very Herodotus said...

Ha! I totally guessed it! I just didn't type it in, but I did guess correctly. Honest.

And dang, I'd be tempted to put that maid service back in, say every other week instead of every week, since you've just freed up a bunch of budget money. The holidays are coming, and you'll have enough other stuff going on that you won't have time to clean. And you've got sweaters to knit too.

21st Century Mom said...

Good Lord! That is some really expensive after school care. Maybe you just need to co-op with some SAHMs so you can get emergency coverage when needed. 6 hours of care/week * 4 weeks/mo = 24 hours of care for $950!!???? I'll bet you could find an at home babysitter for 1/2 that hourly fee. Several, for that matter.

Way to go cancelling that. Way.To.Go!

And I agree with VH - get yourself a house elf twice a month. You deserve it!

21st Century Mom said...

oh wait- bad math. So it's 2*3*4 *5 = 120 hours/mo so it's a mere $8 bucks an hour. But still. Almost a grand for a couple of hours a day = no good.

Unknown said...

$950 a month? That's our mortgage!

(before you stone me, that also means you'd have to live in this forsaken city...)