Re: Bike thread

1

This is the most Portland thing I have ever seen.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 6:39 AM
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Those trail-a-bikes where the kids pedal can actually take more energy, from what I hear, as if the kids don't have the same cadence (well, cadence per whatever their gear is) as you all they're doing is keeping their wheels from spinning freely while you pedal.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 6:41 AM
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I do like that detachable-full-bike-as-trail-a-bike rig.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 6:51 AM
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I'm assuming the dad takes the car on his half-mile daily commute because he heroically donated his calf muscles to his wife.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 6:59 AM
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Having a couple of friends transporting 3 kids about by bike (one with a 3 person tandem thing plus child seat, one with a Christiana trike), I deliberately put off getting a bike again until my kids were big enough to get themselves about because I couldn't face doing something like that! So am always impressed by people who just get on with it.

Am thinking that in September, when I will have 3 kids in school, I really won't have any way to justify driving my huge van about with just me and kid D in it, so am planning on doing a lot more day to day cycling with her.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 7:04 AM
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I found many things about the article strange. She started riding a bike because her dad told her about peak oil? Are bungee cords really the optimal restraint system here? Also I would like to learn more about the on-board sound system.

I imagine the husband rolling his eyes and rushing off to work earlier every day, but that's probably overly mean-spirited of me.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 7:12 AM
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I talked to a woman with a six-year-old riding one of those trail-a-bikes and she said the kid was doing a fair bit of the work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 7:14 AM
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She started riding a bike because her dad told her about peak oil?

The article gives the impression it was a more general process - she had been very environmentally unaware, and getting to know her dad she switched over.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 7:20 AM
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I can't speak for carrying a ton of kids around, but transporting a ton of stuff using a bike is oddly satisfying.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 7:27 AM
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Yes. But "peak oil" seems like an odd metonym for environmental awareness, and also then at the end she's all "I'm not actually doing this for environmental reasons, I just like it".


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 7:28 AM
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10 to 8. I sort of assume her actual reasons are more coherent but the article is written in a way that had me constantly raising and wrinkling my eyebrows.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 7:29 AM
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I just bought a bike! I am really excited about it. (My old one, which was very nice, got stolen.) But a friend is going to Ox/ford and so I managed to buy his road bike off him cheaply.

It is red and goes quickly and I am like a small boy again.

But funnily enough, now I can see not having to walk everywhere soon, walking is intolerably awful.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 7:29 AM
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I'm so terrified of cars hitting bikes that I'm too scared to ride around here, especially with the kids. It's absurd, but there you have it.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 7:51 AM
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13: Me too. Plus I get headaches. Those are maybe fixable if I got a properly sized bike.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 7:56 AM
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4: Wasn't the short commute from when they lived in Williamsport? There are indeed many sentences in that article that could have been written with more clarity.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:00 AM
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I don't think it's absurd! Kid C will be cycling to school in September, but by his choice he will be doing the slightly slower, slightly longer, more off-road route, which seems perfectly sensible.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:04 AM
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14: If your bike is too heavy to comfortably wear on your head, you should definitely get a new one.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:06 AM
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Yes. But "peak oil" seems like an odd metonym for environmental awareness, and also then at the end she's all "I'm not actually doing this for environmental reasons, I just like it".

But she doesn't say she's all about peak oil, she speaks of it as a prompt after which she started thinking more about her own circumstances:

I started looking at my life... I was living in a giant house and had a nine-person Suburban. I remember thinking, there's no reason I can't walk or bike around town.

So it's about her life and how she prefers to live it, before and after. Not inconsistent or strange, I think.

At the same time, I suspect she may be glossing over more of a political journey, what with also being "the town freak" in central PA, having three home births, and moving from there to Portland. (Reflexes from living among Christian conservatives?) Saying her carbon footprint isn't lower overall, as she does at the end, isn't the same as being environmentally unaware - she does at least feel guilty about not doing other things like composting.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:06 AM
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It sounds god-awful.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:15 AM
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Apo, there's more to the article than just someone having 6 kids.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:19 AM
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Heh. I meant lines like "especially when it's pouring down rain and everyone's angry" and "on the bike, it's all out there, for everyone to see".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:28 AM
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One of the things I wonder about when people have a poop-ton of kids is, how do they afford it? Because I assume each new kid adds a roughly fixed amount of cost to the yearly house ledger (how much per kid anyway? $10K? $15K?). I suppose it's rude to ask about that sort of thing, but I do wonder about it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:33 AM
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You marry a neurologist and sell your SUV. Didn't you read the article?


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:35 AM
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This morning I'm ready to sell these kids and buy a neurologist.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:42 AM
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I've no idea how much extra each child costs. I know C's salary supposedly puts us in the top 10% (i.e.not neurologist level, but not bad) but we count every penny. Our van for example costs us nigh on £250 pcm - what's that, $400? Some of that would be saved if we didn't have it, but of course there would still be transport costs.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:43 AM
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It's like none of you have ever watched Cheaper By The Dozen!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:45 AM
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I've heard $20,000/year but I have no idea what that's based on and it seems like something that would vary wildly with a lot of local and individual factors.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:48 AM
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it seems like something that would vary wildly with a lot of local and individual factors.

I think this.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:49 AM
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||

How early is too early to knock on a college student's door, on a Sunday morning? Is 11 am ok? Wait till noon? I want to ask her if she can take care of our cat next week, so it's not urgent, but better sooner than later.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:52 AM
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each new kid adds a roughly fixed amount of cost to the yearly house ledger

I think there are fairly large economies of scale with small children: hand-me-down clothes, toys, etc.; buying in bulk and just having fewer leftovers... It's paying for an education that scales linearly.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:53 AM
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The answer to 29 also varies wildly in my experience. Can you email her?


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:53 AM
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32

I would say that no one can think anytime after noon too early -- even if they're still in bed.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:53 AM
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Daycare ranges from $400/mo for something someone is running out of their home, to $1500/mo for places in expensive cities (Jammies' sister's price in Denver), so that's 5k-17K right there, if you're paying for daycare.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:54 AM
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It took me a long time to parse 32. I assume because it's still before noon here so I can't think (too early).


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:56 AM
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33: Yes but nobody with six kids sends them all to day care, do they? Even with just two or three kids it would be cheaper to hire a nanny or au pair.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:57 AM
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||Not sure if this should be in a sex thread or an exercise thread, but the place I was hiking in yesterday had mountains named 'Sex Rouge', 'Sex Noir', and 'Sex de Moullette'>|


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:57 AM
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29: Text messages are acceptable after 9 AM.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:58 AM
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35: Some of them would certainly be school age. After-school care here is about $120/month, and that's only 9 months a year. And right, eventually you probably pay for a nanny. Or the oldest gets old enough to watch some of them.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 8:59 AM
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I don't have her email or phone number, but I'll wait an hour.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 9:04 AM
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to $1500/mo for places in expensive cities

Ha. Ha ha. Ha hahahahaha. If only! The daycare we're looking at (a Bright Horizons location) is something like $2500/month (slightly more for under-15-month infants), and other ones around here are similar.

Massachusetts leads the nation in day-care costs, largely because we lead the nation in requiring low caregiver-to-child ratios.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 9:28 AM
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On the question of how people afford lots of kids, they do it by dropping their standard of living. Women drop out of the workforce to do child care, and spending on each kid drops. A family with two kids and a family with six kids might easily be living in precisely the same house, with the excess housing spending for the other four kids being limited to bunk beds.

Kids take as much money as you have -- if there's something that costs money, and you think it would be good or fun for your kids, it's very hard not to spend the money unless you have a compelling reason not to. If the compelling reason is that you don't have the money, though, simply keeping them living indoors, fed, and clothed isn't going to go up by that much per kid.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 9:32 AM
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$2500/month (slightly more for under-15-month infants)

OMFG.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 9:38 AM
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43

Women drop out of the workforce to do child care, and spending on each kid drops.

I don't think this is accurate. Or at least it varies widely and is heavily influenced by the local cost of daycare. I know people who would like to stay home with their kids but can't afford to, but not the other way around.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 9:40 AM
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At that point, a three-kid nanny-share sounds like a profit: if you could work a four-kid share it'd be a serious win.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 9:40 AM
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Kids take as much money as you have

Especially when they're small. A three and a two year old didn't cotton on to things like that we were living in a shitty duplex and their clothes were all bought used at the "womens's and children's" semi annual sale at the local Methodist church. Let them run around with their soccer ball and splash in their little plastic frog pool and they were happy as anything.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 9:43 AM
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43: I think it's more heavily influenced by the earning capacity of the woman (as it interacts with the cost of daycare). I've got extended family members who don't work because they couldn't afford daycare for three kids under five, and while I think this is generally something where the best solution would be to scramble to work something out to preserve continuity of employment/experience/benefits/SS pay-in and all that, if you're fairly low-income with a whole bunch of kids, it can get pretty impossible pretty fast.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 9:44 AM
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46.cont: Higher income, of course, the calculus flips in the other direction, and maddening as though the small percentage of income that's left after paying for lots of childcare is, it's a clear profit rather than an impossible deficit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 9:45 AM
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But if you're doing daycare out of someone's house, you can probably get 3 kids for $1200/month. And it's hard to have more than 3 kids under 5, and it's hard to be fulltime employed and earn less than $1500/month.

(I do agree with your continuity of employment argument and agree that most people don't actually take that into consideration.)(Also, this is all presuming two involved parents, which is a relatively cush situation. The real financial crisis starts when there's only one adult in the picture.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 9:53 AM
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Obviously it's not always easy to find fulltime employment, though. But I think this is all impossibly complicated by the stats on how many lower-income families are single-parent. Where's that recent NYT article?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 9:55 AM
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This one: Two Classes, Divided by 'I Do'.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 9:56 AM
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The "can't afford to work/can't afford to stay home" depends on locality and person, but I'm quite familiar with both sides. One side growing up, the other currently (a bit).


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 10:01 AM
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it's hard to be fulltime employed and earn less than $1500/month.

That's around the bottom end of full-time employed, but there are an awful lot of people at that bottom end. And of course daycare isn't the only expense you incur with fulltime employment -- commuting, probably clothes, more convenience food because you don't have time to soak beans all day... And it's timeconsuming and difficult to find daycare spots, and if something goes wrong and you can't find replacement care immediately what do you do?

I'm strongly on the 'stay employed' bandwagon, but if you've got a whole lot of kids and you're married low-income, I think it's pretty easy to be in a situation where it seems impossible to have both parents working.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 10:04 AM
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it's hard to be fulltime employed and earn less than $1500/month.

No it's not. That's 8.65 an hour or so take home. There's a shit ton of people at or under that level.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 10:06 AM
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53: But Heebie lives in the free-market paradise of Texas, nobody would be so weak-willed as to earn the minimum wage there.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 10:14 AM
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53: Fair enough.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 10:15 AM
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I'm guessing it's geographic.

But also, the $1200/mo for 3 kids honestly seems high. A friend in Austin had the following dilemma - $300-400 for in-home daycare, which was low partially because she was friends with the mom, or stay home with her kid and accept some neighborhood kids to watch, essentially starting her own daycare.

I think that's common for people earning minimum wage - that if you stay home, you start an informal daycare and cut your friends a price-break, or you work and hope for a price-break from one of your friends or a grandparent.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 10:21 AM
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I'm not sure exactly what I'm arguing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 10:22 AM
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Also I'm still staggered by the $2500/month, above.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 10:25 AM
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56.last: so I've heard. Not always available. Obviously also the problem with unpredictable, uncontrollable shiftwork. E.g., getting told that you're working a split shift today, or overtime, or not tomorrow we don't need you, or yes all this weekend-or-you're-fired, etc., is a really big deal at the low end of the wage scale.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 10:26 AM
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I know. And I know that's all horribly common. It just sounds inhumanly stressful and awful.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 10:28 AM
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60: Welcome to the land of opportunity!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 10:30 AM
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I agree that there are plenty of situations where staying at home is the decision made base on financial planning.

I was just resisting the universality of this statement: On the question of how people afford lots of kids, they do it by dropping their standard of living. Women drop out of the workforce to do child care, and spending on each kid drops.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 10:31 AM
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I think you are right that informal daycare, either family or gray market is going to be much more common and much cheaper at the bottom end.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 10:33 AM
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getting told that you're working a split shift today, or overtime, or not tomorrow we don't need you, or yes all this weekend-or-you're-fired, etc., is a really big deal at the low end of the wage scale.

This sort of thing, and the accompanying stress, as well as the stat that 2% of children in the US are homeless, is what makes me say "Not a 1st world country!" but then Stormcrow gets mad at me because nobody actually has dung floors here and most everybody has access to an emergency room, at least.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 10:35 AM
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We should start calling it "gray-care".

There were two situations recently where I couldn't get the word-smush "graaape" out of my head. One was when Dan Savage kept talking about gray-rape, and now I can't remember the other one. Great apes? Gray grapes?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 10:38 AM
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Looking at the Consumer Expenditure Survey, expenses in most categories increase as much between 2- and 3-person households as between 3- and 4-person. But there's a whole lot of endogeneity in there - for example, 4-person households probably have older and more affluent members than 3-person, and are more likely to be double-income.

3-person households do spend $157/year less on alcoholic beverages than 2-person households, though!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 10:51 AM
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http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/articles/2010/12/12/the_day_care_squeeze/

A year and a half old, but still basically correct. Also worth noting that the waiting list for these places is so long (a year is not unheard of) that you have to sign up well before the child is born, if you have anything like standard crappy American maternity/FMLA leave.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 10:52 AM
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Great apes? Gray grapes?

Down in the jungle where the celebrities go, there is an ape, and he doesn't know...


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 10:55 AM
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64: Be the provocative exaggeration you want to see in the world, heebie. You should welcome my anger.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 11:58 AM
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Childcare in the SE of England is amazingly expensive. So I could see having lots of kids being impossible unless you were rich as fuck, or had one stay-at-home parent. But food and clothing, given lots of hand-me-downs, can't be that expensive, per extra child.

To compare to heebie's numbers above, childcare could _easily_ cost you £1000 [i.e. $1500+] per child per month here. I have at least one friend who has given up his job -- he's in a skilled manual job [machinist in a high-tech industry] -- and child care costs are high enough that it's not economic for him to continue working.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 12:16 PM
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She has at least two kids over six. Why aren't they on their own bikes, riding alongside? My sister has had her boys riding on their two wheelers next to her since they were three or four. Takes some faith that they'll stop at corners, but it seems better than that contraption that Ms. Finch is riding. The 11yr old could be riding solo, for sure.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 12:43 PM
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Way I see it, Olivia through Nathan should be on their own bikes, leaving Ms. Finch with Maya and groceries.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 12:44 PM
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I'm sure she'll value your input.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 12:54 PM
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||
35 minutes til showtime!

Everything is complete chaos, so that seems to bode well.

||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 1:23 PM
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40, 58: $2500 is jaw-dropping. I'm paying $1750 for a six-month-old in Manhattan. I believe the ratio is 3-to-1. Does MA require 2-to-1 and/or expensive credentials?


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 1:25 PM
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74: Break a leg.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 1:28 PM
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76: ++

75: Have you priced au pairs?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 1:38 PM
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And people are finally showing up! Go figure.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 1:39 PM
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What do you all pay for baby-sitters? We pay $10/hour. I have no idea if we overpay for this area. (Or underpay, I suppose.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 1:41 PM
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78: Woo!! I feel like I haven't been paying attention though. What's up?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 1:41 PM
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We pay our (college) babysitter $15/hour, as needed. We also apparently pay $475/week for preschool.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 1:47 PM
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80: Haven't talked about it much. Just our annual student show. But it's a big anniversary this year. Technically, you're supposed to say "Merde!" I guess.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 1:49 PM
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83

Wow, not per month?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 1:51 PM
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If 83 is to me, then, no, weekly. Keep in mind that's for a package of two.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 1:55 PM
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Better be some gold-plated preschool.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 1:59 PM
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SOLD OUT!!!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 2:15 PM
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Whoa, 83 has it right.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 2:28 PM
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75: Somebody at work was talking about their problems with their au pair (homesick, unpracticed at basic child care tasks, didn't keep the kid from walking out into the street) and it made me think I don't want to simultaneously parent a clueless foreign teenager _and_ and infant.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 2:28 PM
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Wait, $475 per week is way less than $2500 per month. Why is it more shocking?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 2:30 PM
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88: Not to mention keeping Pete Campbell from down the hall in your building from taking advantage of her.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 2:33 PM
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89: And for two kids!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 2:33 PM
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MA requires 3:1 for infants and 4:1 for toddlers (hence the price break at 15 months), and some early-childhood education credentials. If I'm remembering correctly, half the staff at a center has to have an associate's degree in ECE, and that's being upgraded to requiring a bachelor's degree in a year or two. I'm surprised that Manhattan manages to be cheaper. That's for a center, not for in-home?


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 2:35 PM
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90: I am but a simple peasant, and I do not understand your city humor.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 2:35 PM
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92: Yup, in a center in downtown Manhattan close to my office. It's not especially posh, but it's not cut-rate either.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 2:43 PM
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89: Preschool vs daycare. For some reason that surprised me more than the daycare cost.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 3:53 PM
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I can beat that- our daycare is 11-month contract Sept-July (optional August.) If you want to reserve an infant spot for a baby born in, say, October, and they don't take babies under 3 months, you have to start paying the monthly charges in September even though the baby doesn't attend until January. Also if you drop out you have to keep paying until they find a replacement. In theory you could not reserve a spot and hope to have someone drop out but that's not likely. We're skipping the first year at there in favor of a less expensive home day care. Next year when we have two kids there, though, it will be a net loss financially (wife's take home salary less than cost of daycare for two.) Only one year of that situation, though- she's a teacher so continuity/seniority is important to maintain.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 3:56 PM
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I think Texas is 4:1 for babies under 12 months old, 5:1 over 12 months, and for two years and up maybe 6:1 or so.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 4:18 PM
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I have done the callous cost-benefit analysis that if we're going to be down one income this fall, we're better off with a second child who brings in almost $25/day than without, but I was also being selfish because I want more than one kid and could see my chances disappearing.

Obviously our situation is different since some things are state-subsidized. With aftercare paid for by the state (though maybe not if there's only one working parent) and a child getting breakfast and lunch at school (through a grant because so many kids in the school and all in foster care get it free) that money can go pretty far toward food and extracurriculars. Though right now I'm paying $200/month for YMCA membershp plus two tumbling and two swimming classes. Summer school for Nia isn't subsidized since she could stay home with Lee, so I'm paying $160 every two weeks for four days a week of that. I think after subsidy we pay $12/day for Mara and she can stay in her preschool next school year regardless.

I hate that I'm doing these kind of calculations, and they depend on the zoo and museum memberships already being paid for the year. It sounds callous and horrible and I thought about going ridiculously presidential just so no one can link this to my blog. But I'm going to be honest anyway, though we're in no way characteristic. And I'll add that for all the people who grump about foster parents raking in money, we'll be paying more to board a dog and a shared cage for two cats than we'd take in for a day taking care of two kids, and we get a better level of reimbursement than the basic one. It's still a huge privilege to have any kind of inflow whatsoever linked to kids and I'm not disregarding that at all, but whatever.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 7:01 PM
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98: Umm, I don't think that there's a single person here (other than maybe Shearer) who would begrudge you a dime of that. Absolutely nobody thinks you're a callous person trying to rake in money.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-22-12 7:38 PM
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re: 96

Bloody hell. I can't imagine signing up for a contract quite as usurious as that, under any circumstances, but I presume you had no choice?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-23-12 12:23 AM
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99 seconded.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-23-12 1:09 AM
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I take the two kids in a trailer to nursery. All up it's about 40kg of added weight. (That's 88lbs for the unwashed.) It makes going uphill slow work, but the upside is that I crush hills now when I'm riding solo. I cannot imagine dragging six lazy fat-arses around behind me. As usual Megan nailed it up-thread.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 07-23-12 2:38 AM
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Christ.

Before we rolled out, I met the young Finches: Nathan, 11; Mary, 9; Lucy, 7; Ben, 5; Olivia, 4; and Maya, 2.

Nathan, Mary and Lucy should get their own bikes. Arguably Ben too, but I can imagine that he's perhaps slightly too young. But why persist in schlepping the others around yourself when they should be perfectly capable of riding their own bikes?

Or is that just American paranoia about child safety combined with the still les than perfect accomodation of bikes in traffic?

I come from a largish family myself, but we were riding our own bikes at six, seven, with only the youngest being transported by mum or dad.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 07-23-12 2:40 AM
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If you need to get somewhere in a hurry, it's better to have the kids on or attached to your own bike. I've been taking my nephew and niece cycling (on their own bikes) since they were seven and five, but they are not fast: if I plan for three miles an hour (including stops for ice cream) then I am not disappointed.


Posted by: Gareth Rees | Link to this comment | 07-23-12 2:52 AM
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99: It just seems kind of tacky to talk about when everyone else has kids who bring nothing but expense, and yet everyone knows it's true. Aiming for a breakeven method of fostering is going to be different, as always before I've known I was losing lots of money. It's just another version of LB's rule that kids cost whatever you have, but I've definitely curtailed my own spending a lot and then with Val and Alex and how unhelpful Lee was with them, I ended up missing enough work that my average weekly hours are down this year and so I get paid less for all my vacations and whatnot. It's just hard to avoid, though, as most of the social service offices close at 5 or 5:30 and that's not compatible with my normal workday if I need to spend at least an hour there and often more if things are running late.

Anyway, my point was mainly that we're paying a friend of mine as much to feed our cats and water the plants once a day as she would make as a beginner foster parent, so she's definitely chosen more wisely from an economic point of view. And that kids are expensive, yes. Though we bought Nia a great bike at the yard sale for $20! I just need to lower the seat and then switch a tire from her old one to Mara's or otherwise deal with the pepetually flat wheel, then convince both of them they can actually start without a push from me.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-23-12 3:45 AM
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It's just hard to avoid, though, as most of the social service offices close at 5 or 5:30

That stuff is a total pain. I really don't like m job, because I have to spend so much time schlepping around in the community on public transit, but because of that an hour or two here missed is fine, and I can catch up on paperwork in the evening. If I have to, I can make arrangements to visit clients on the weekend.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-23-12 5:28 AM
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100- The choice is to not send the second kid for infant year, which is what we did- I'm not paying 25k+ for seven months of care. We'll send her for one year old room, we get sibling priority and there are more spots added each year so we're most likely not locked out by not doing infant. As for the commitment to pay all 11 months, yeah, sucks, but we're pretty stable as far as staying in the area. You do have to pay a reduced fee for not going in August too, to hold your spot for the fall- $250 to not attend for a month.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-23-12 6:12 AM
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As for the original topic- when we do have two in day care I'll need to bike both and I'm leaning towards the Madsen bucket next year- I listed various options on a previous thread. Connected bikes are pretty unstable I've found- you are always imperceptibly leaning and correcting to balance, a kid on the back amplifies those and you over correct the other way, he does too, and eventually you're swerving back and forth.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-23-12 6:16 AM
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I'm pretty sure six kids could power this thing.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-23-12 6:21 AM
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I feel like I've humble-bragged obnoxiously much about prices here lately. Which feels doubly obnoxious because I'm actually disgusted and angry with this state, so I don't know why I'd do a faux-brag.

At the same time, there's no other way to share that the most expensive daycare in this town is $650/month for babies, and $575 for toddlers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-23-12 6:22 AM
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If you need to get somewhere in a hurry, it's better to have the kids on or attached to your own bike.

I've never tried to teach mine to bike yet, but it is hard to keep him moving continuously, especially if you care about which direction you are going.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-23-12 6:22 AM
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re: 107

What I was thinking was more, 'Why would anyone give money to an organisation with contract terms so obviously the product of a bunch of utter bastards?'


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-23-12 6:52 AM
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Oh, well, the program is really good for the kids- the teachers aren't the ones designing the contracts.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-23-12 7:00 AM
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Well, er, yes. But still. Far be it from me to be judgemental,* but the fact that the people providing the teaching aren't utter bastards doesn't change the fact that I can't really conceive of a response to such a contract that doesn't involve a lot of swearing and/or derisory laughter.


* boilerplate preamble to actually being judgemental ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-23-12 7:04 AM
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Everyone compromises on infuriating shit, obviously. So judgey judge with a 'there but for the grace, etc. '


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-23-12 7:14 AM
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Collective action problem.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-23-12 7:40 AM
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92: A BS for half the staff to provide childcare? That's nuts and seems incredibly unfair to the providers who don't need all that education to be good at taking care of children.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 07-23-12 9:47 AM
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