Color Street Photography

Penny vs. The World

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My daughter cruising the streets down by Colfax & Broadway in Denver.

After spending four years with Penny as a stay-at-home dad my college career has reached a point where I must attend classes during the day in order to continue on toward my degree. Today was her first full day of preschool. I think she quickly realized how relaxed the rules are here at the house.

When I asked her how her first day went, she sighed and said “They have A LOT of special rules.” I instantly felt guilty for not preparing her better. Penny and I had a good thing going, we get each other. I suppose some outside structure will do her some good. The best part is, she only has to go Tuesday and Thursday. I told her from here on out every Wednesday is “No Rules Wednesday.” She seems to like the idea.

The classes are huge, and I don’t really feel entirely comfortable leaving her there. Luckily I am on the same campus so I am only minutes away if she needs me. I like the real world experience she gets from it. Riding the packed trains in the morning, seeing all the diversity.

She sees everything I see, the guy smoking the funny smelling stick walking down the street. A homeless person passed out drunk in the middle of the park. Occupy protesters. Business people. People who use the word fuck a lot, like in between every word they say. I guess you can’t shelter your kids forever, but I’m sticking close by. Call me paranoid.

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6 thoughts on “Penny vs. The World

  1. Midwestern Plant Girl says:

    I don’t have chitlins, however your plan sounds good to me to expose her to the world’s as it is. I had a sugar coated childhood. Big surprise to me at 18 when I went out into the world!

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    • Last year Penny was in a class with 12 kids. This year it’s doubled to 24 kids. The ratio you mentioned is the same here. My concern is this: I picked her up and they were in the ” big room” because it was raining. I let her finish the activity and participate in the clean up before I took her out for the day. On the train ride home I noticed her glasses were smashed and filthy and on her face all crooked. I’m not sure how it happened and I’m not getting any real explanation from my daughter. I’m still on the fence because I am skeptical about leaving her at any day care or preschool. It isn’t my first choice at all. In order to reach certain goals I have set for myself it is necessary. I want to think positive and hope for the best, but I’m still worried. I hope it was just an accident and her glasses didn’t get destroyed by some bully going unchecked. She didn’t seem traumatized in any way and she is anxious to go back. So we’ll keep trying. I’m probably just being over protective.

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      • I can totally understand your concern. I would ask the teachers face to face to see what has happened. In my experience (32 years), preschool is very busy. It is great to see that they have good ratios, but no matter how hard we try to keep up with everything going on, sometimes things happen. However, a teacher should have noticed her broken glasses and at least spoken to you about what happened, even if they weren’t 100 percent sure. Hopefully it was an accident.
        A good quality daycare/preschool (with proper rations) can have great benefits to a child’s development. I don’t think you’re over protective…I think you are just being a very caring and wonderful father. Good luck! Hope this all works out. 🙂

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  2. She’s growing up and you have to let go a little. But rules for children are important. They need to learn there are boundaries beyond which it can be dangerous to venture. That’s one of the most difficult things for a parent., especially a father of a little girl. How much to protect, and how much freedom to allow. You don’t want to cramp her style and make her conform to rules and regulations that any person with a spark of initiative should challenge in their own way, yet neither do you want to lever her exposed to experiences and situations she can’t handle. The parental dilemma. Looks as if you are doing just great, though.

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