Musings from Verna
Verna, Spring, 2015
Fun at Little Friends!
Each year during July and August we shift gears a bit to present a change in our regular curriculum to an extra fun summer program for our Little Friends! Each week is themed and includes things like on-site ‘field trips” presented by special guest visitors to LF such as the Norwalk Aquarium, Stepping Stones Museum and Children’s Performers. We have special snacks or lunches, dress-up days, crafts, jumping castles, picnics, water play outside and mini-camps with super soccer stars, yoga and critter caravan. Miss Chelsea is working on the camp calendar as we speak and we will send it, along with the camp details out to all families in May.
Welcome Miss Sophia! Miss Sophia has been working with our Toddlers, Twos and Sr. Twos Classes since joining the LF Family mid-February. Miss Sophia studied Elementary Education at Becker College in and has prior experience working with young children at the Boys & Girls Club and in her practicum experience for school.
Welcome Miss Miranda! Miss Miranda is currently a student at NCC and she has enjoyed working with children at the JCC. Miss Miranda has been working with our Preschool Classes since joining us in late March.
Welcome Miss Ashley! Miss Ashley joined the PSB Class in the beginning of April. Miss Ashley has a degree in Public Health from Monroe College and experience working with young children with special needs in a classroom environment at Westchester ARC School for Early Development.
We are delighted to have these Teachers with us and they are already comfortably involved and contributing to the classrooms in wonderful ways. The children are already very comfortable in their company.
An audit of our staff to student attendance trends for the first three months of 2015 clearly indicates an imbalance between registered schedules for families and actual time in/time out times. Please remember, if you are not enrolled for the early am (before 8am) or late pm (after 6pm) schedules, please make sure you are dropping off and picking up between those hours. Certainly the occasional need to extend your day on either end will be accommodated, however if you are going to regularly require additional time in the morning or at the end of your day, it is important that you add this to your schedule. Our school is open 12 hours a day and our staff members arrive and leave on a staggered schedule to allow for consistent classroom coverage. When families extend their schedule regularly outside of their registered attendance schedule it causes compliance and staff scheduling issues. We understand that life happens and again, we are happy to accommodate your occasional need to adjust your times in our out, but please confirm that with us in advance whenever possible and if you find yourself running late for pick up, please let us hear from you if possible so that we can plan for staff adjustments if necessary. Thank you so much.
The awning has been ordered and the plans have been submitted to the Town for the installation approval. The new awning will extend out further on the turf side to create a larger covered area so that even on not great weather days the children can go outside to have circle time, or snack and to stretch their bodies. The contractor estimates an installation in 3 to 4 weeks’ time. Hooray!!
That is the news for now. Please let me hear from you if I can answer any questions for you or be of assistance in any way please let me hear from you. After hours I am at 914-420-8543.
IS THIS AT ALL NORMAL?
What is “normal” behavior in young children? It is difficult for parents to assess for their own children, partly because they are your only frame of reference and you have an emotional stake that will likely cause you to think in extremes – do they need to be institutionalized?! (PS that is totally normal parent development). To help you gauge, here is a quick look at Social Emotional, Cooperative and Character Development in Early Childhood*
*This is a range and a quick glance, it does not allow for differences in personality, family culture, parenting styles and environmental factors.
Esposito Family Fun
My daughters are only 11 months apart in age, very similar in many ways and polar opposites in
others. I congratulate myself for whatever part I had in making this happen because it has worked
out really well! Chelsea is the more practical, yet easy-going of the two whereas Brittany is more
prone to strict routine and close parameters. I will consult Chelsea about all things requiring
diplomacy and flexibility and Brittany for the hard truth and an unfiltered lens. Not one of the
three of us have a lick of sense when it comes to certain things; like during our annual spring and
fall shopping trips when we have confidently advised each-other to purchase items such as
studded Valentino sling-backs, swearing that we will “live in them”! Guess who is NOT living in
those super reasonably priced 5” heels? Anything of significance (or not) that happens in any of
our lives will be discussed, picked apart, re-discussed, analyzed and revisited among the three of
us. Define significant you say? Well, it depends. Let’s say for example there is a big decision to be
made (buying a house, getting married, naming a baby, picking a bag for the season), then we are
better equipped to each handle our own regular personal decisions and we hone in on those big
decisions together. But, when things are a little less interesting, then the regular decisions rise to
“the committee” (How will we blend the 70’s vibe into our spring wardrobes? Can I continue to
wear distressed jeans now that I’m over 50? Should we try a soul cycle class or just buy the
pants? Should Georgia get a haircut? That poor girl is doomed, the only girl, with a team of
stylists, social secretaries and us hovering over her like she’s our combined mini-me). There are
a couple of rules that never change: Chelsea and Brittany will always defend each other’s position
when the conflict is with me. I will always defend the other when their conflict is with each other.
We will always defend each other against any outside conflict, real or perceived. The only
exception being their father, in which case he is almost never wrong and I am defenseless no
matter what the issue. But this story is about the time a situation looked to be going my way and
he was on the wrong side of the Esposito girls! Victory was in sight. Especially if he or I ended up
I will explain:
11:48PM our dog jumps off the bed and starts running around the bedroom. She never does this,
so of course I wake right up. Now keep in mind that I basically have the sleep schedule of a
toddler so by 11:48pm I have been in bed for hours. I open my eyes and try to get a sense of what
is happening when I see something flying around the room. It lands above my closet doors
near the ceiling. It takes a second for me to orient myself and when I do, I realize that it is a BAT.
Erik is sound asleep as he too is on the toddler sleep schedule.
Me: “Babe, there is a bat in our bedroom” very scared whisper voice.
Erik: “Who is in our bedroom?” as cool as a cucumber, as if visitors regularly show up at 12am in our room.
Me: “Not a person – A BAT” still scared whisper, but also a touch of irritation.
Erik: “A bat? Where?” (finally, his eyes are open)
Me: Pointing up to where the bat has taken a rest from circling the room in flight for God only knows how long. “Right there hanging on the wall.”
Erik: “Should we go sleep in the guest room?”
Me: “That’s your solution? Just turn our bedroom over to the bat as if he is houseguest? Nooo, we need to get it out of the house.”
Verna: “What do you mean how? How would I know?”
Erik: “Google it”
Meanwhile our new friend decides to take another lap or two around the room.
What happens next is kind of a blur:
Erik jumps out of bed, throws me his phone and I take Sofie and dive under the covers, creating a
fort. I don’t hear anything that sounds like bat riddance progress, so I peek out and see Erik
frozen in place.
Me: “What are you doing???????”
Erik “Waiting for instructions what are you doing?”
Me: “oh right, okay…”
I google and start yelling out rapid fire instructions from my comforter tent “don’t kill it!” “but don’t let it bite or scratch you!” “what kind of bat is it?” I hear footsteps running down the stairs so I can only assume Erik is chasing, or being chased by the bat. Then, footsteps running back up the stairs before I can disentangle myself from the fort. Erik stops following my instructions, refuses to answer my questions and somehow, involving a broom, some towels and an impressive kick to the window screen, he gets the bat out of the window. My Hero. Until… I keep reading and discover that we should really capture the bat to have it tested for rabies or we should get a series of rabies shots ourselves because it is supposed to be hibernation time for bats and apparently if you wake up with a bat flying around your room it may have bitten you and you’d never know! OH NO!
Me: ‘Babe, is the bat alive?”
Erik: “I didn’t check I just threw him out. If he died from the fall it was an accident.” Typically I am very protective of all living things and he’ll get in huge trouble if he even thinks about killing an insect so he’s conditioned to report live removals of wildlife only.
Me: “Well you threw him so that technically is not an accident, but you need to go see if he’s out there under the towel. We have to take him to the health department to be tested for rabies OR we have to get rabies shots! He might have bitten us and we would never know!”
Sometimes, Erik just listens to what I say. Not that often. But in the future, I am going to weave
the word “rabies” into anything I am saying that I actually need him to listen to because he was
back down those stairs lickety split. I feel terrible about the bat death, seriously, I do, but I am
afraid of Rabies, Rabies Shots, There potential side effects and the $20,000 they cost according
to my online research.
A few minutes later as I am remaking the bed, Erik reappears and tells me that the bat is gone. Apparently it was able to fly away once thrown out the window.
I look up the signs of Rabies and prognosis for humans who contract rabies. The news is not good.
Now, here is the part where I finally got to be right and fully supported by my beloved daughters:
Upon arrival at LF the next morning, I share the incident with Chelsea and Brittany, along with some handouts about rabies and an outline of directives in the event symptoms appear. They are (not surprisingly) horrified. Together, we decide that we will contact any doctor we have ever met (those foolish enough to share their contact information with us. (We are sorry Dr. Murphy, Dr. Spada, Dr. Mendelsohn and The entire Staff at Valley Pediatrics). I was assured that unless we were under the influence of something that would have rendered us unconscious (and I do not think an entire container of Talenti Gelato counts) that it is not recommended medical protocol that we get rabies shots because chances are we would have felt the bat land on us, never mind bite us. Whew.
Not “Whew” for long because a few days later we coincidentally have an unannounced group inspection by various health department representatives for licensing review here at LF and as I am entertaining the inspectors with my bat story, one of them casually mentions that if it were her she would get the shots and not take any chances because she heard of a bat biting someone and they died. WHAT?! I call Erik and the Health Department and do some more research. Oh noooo. We should have had them within 48-72 hours of being bitten! Too late. Now I have to break the news to our daughters that we are not necessarily out of danger and we have to watch for symptoms, which, by the way can appear weeks later! Erik is completely unimpressed by this information and is not going to lose any sleep over it. I am being ridiculous he says. We are not getting rabies. In spite of his based on zero knowledge proclamation; I do more research and discover that the only human survivors of rabies were saved by something called the Milwaukee Protocol which is essentially being put in to a medically induced coma while your body develops antibodies and fights off the rabies. I texted this information to the doctors (again, sorry) and to everyone else that should know in case I am too rabid to provide instructions. Erik, by the way, remains unconcerned about developing symptoms and is refusing to read any of the medical community papers I have forwarded to him. He was, however, overly annoyed about the $399 I spent to subscribe to the research papers website, causing me anxiety as his behavior definitely could have fallen under the “aggression” symptom category. I told him we’d see how he felt about that $399 when his LIFE IS SAVED. You’re welcome Erik. He was further annoyed that I told the girls about the potential rabies situation as the following occurred:
Brittany checks in every day with the symptoms checklist because a. she is a hypochondriac and b. a hypochondriac by proxy so she is constantly on the look-out for dread diseases and she schedules medical appointments for all of us like it’s her job. She is very disappointed that there is no way to test for rabies in advance.
The three of us combined our crazy and now he has to a. meet with a bat extrication specialist from the department of agriculture to decide whether or not it is advisable and/or permissible to remove any bats that may be hibernating in the vent space above the attic (even though the wildlife control company has already set up an exit only device, ensuring that any other bat friends can get out, but not in) b. be awakened minimally four times a night by the sudden flood of light, my leap off of the bed and/or scream when I think I have heard the flapping of bat wings because the girls and I have convinced each other that it’s only a matter of time… c. spend a ridiculous amount of time looking at house listings we send him through Zillow because clearly we need to move. To a bigger house, with a pool since we are moving anyway and the grandees will enjoy a pool.
Chelsea and Brittany have an actual argument about who would take possession of my jewelry, handbag and shoe collection should I become rabid. I tried telling Erik that this is why I like to have a minimum of two of each of the extra special items (I’m gunning for a white gold Cartier bracelet so I can stack them – so cute!) because I do not want the girls to suffer any additional heartache when I’m gone (or in a medically induced coma, in which case my collection will be returned to me upon awakening, in fact, I can wear the bracelets during the coma, I see no reason not to accessorize, so that my visitors are not offended by my bad hospital outfit). He said it’s a non-issue as he plans to sell all of my belongings so he can finally retire, to an island, far away, where he assures me he will wallow in grief for the remainder of his life. I’m not so sure.
His response to all of this crazy is to text the girls in the middle of the night during one of the ‘bat checks”:
Text #1: Mom is rabid.
Text #2 She has been for 30 years.
Text #3 Can the protocol go into effect now?
That’s so sweet.
Well it turns out we don’t have any signs of rabies, but the damage was done when he appeared indifferent to a potential family tragedy and he punctuated that by threatening to sell my belongings. Big mistake - I win.