Paul has the day off today, and the schools are out too. We have William's friend Clarissa here for the day, because her parents both work for companies that don't get Columbus Day off. Every time there's an odd day off like this, I get cranky again on behalf of working parents. People can't be taking every third Monday off for non-celebrated holidays, Teacher Workshop Days, etc., just because they have children. What a huge pain in the butt for them! There has to be a better way.
One idea would be to form little groups---like carpools, but HolidayPools. Except that term makes it sound like sharing a holiday, when actually it's more like sharing an unpaid vacation day and the care of children who would normally be in school or daycare. And SchoolPools would be catchy, but sounds like a homeschooling concept. Well, let's use HolidayPool for the purposes of this post, but with the understanding that it's only a working title until we think of something better.
Let's say two 2-child families HolidayPooled: every other holiday, ONE family would arrange take a day off, and BOTH sets of kids would stay with that family. If all four parents were able to take one day off each, that means each employee would only miss one day of work for every four problem days.
Or, for example, in Clarissa's family, she's the youngest, and her older brother no longer needs care on days off. If there were four such families, each family would cover one out of every four problem days (and could be on call in case any of the four older siblings had an emergency)---but if there were eight parents, that means each employee misses only one day of work for every eight problem days.
Sigh. But oh, man, what a hassle to set up the groups each year, and lots of people don't know enough families with same-age children, but also wouldn't want to leave their kids with strangers. Well, it's a huge hassle no matter what. And it seems like a ton of people must be in this boat. Surely there is a market for a business to handle this? The school sometimes has partial coverage: like, during week-long vacations and Christmas break, they have a (pretty expensive) program kids can attend. (Which also provides jobs for any teachers who can't afford to take the vacation time.) But right now they don't have anything for one-day holidays or for Teacher Workshop days. And even in a household with an at-home parent (Beth Fish had an article long ago about how "never having to worry about taking a day off for all this stuff" is one of the benefits she hoped her working husband was aware of), I feel like these days happen really often---so they must seem all the more often to people who have to think of a solution every time.
Gift ideas for an 8-year-old, part 1 of 2 - I have TWO 8-year-olds to buy for, so I’m going to split it up into two posts. Today will be the things we’re getting for Edward. I dislike saying “Gift id...