Photo: gaspi *yg, Flickr Creative Commons
I heard some good news yesterday. My son will be going to pre-K next year and my wife and I have been assuming that meant that the hundreds of dollars a month that we currently spend on a babysitter and a private 3-year-old program would finally get to stay in our pockets as Little Gandhi went off to the public pre-K.
Then the whole budget crisis thing pops up and we get a new governor who almost immediately comes up with a budget that switches the pre-K program to a half day instead of a whole day. Honestly, I couldn't get all that upset. Sure, that would mean that we'd have to continue spending money on daycare, but it wasn't like the guy was trying to kill the program. In fact, Deal was cutting hours in order to expand the program. I have no problem with this. It's a great program, especially for poor families who can't afford private schools for their pre-schoolers like we could. The programs have large waiting lists in many areas and this lets a few more kids into the system. Still, my selfish side was pissed off that I was going to be spending money again, even though it would have been less than I was spending now.
Luckily for me, the new plan returns to a full day, meaning we'll not have to find a babysitter to cover the last couple hours of our workday. Instead, it cuts a couple of weeks off of the school year in order to keep the extra slots funded. I'm happy with this compromise. We'll be able to make use of family to cover those days when we'll be at work but the kid will be at home, especially if they spread those days over the entire school year. I know that any reduction in the time school is in session is a disproportionate hardship on poorer families, but I think a few days will be easier to manage than part of every day.
So, to celebrate my newly re-found future wealth, I think I'll go blow it all on beer next month. Beer and a fancy new road bike for my triathlon. Beer, a fancy bike and drugs. Lots of drugs. Drugs that I will give to the homeless people on the streets because I don't take any drugs besides alcohol, caffeine, and Aleve Cold and Sinus. I'll keep the beer and bicycle for myself. I'm sure that this new budget plan is set in stone and we'll never have any unexpected costs suddenly arise in the future.
This is where my friend Hank came in (who I ran this idea past before the blog post). He asked if I meant penicillin and the like when I said drugs. I was thinking more like heroin, but penicillin could be nice too, I guess. I like the fact he didn't question my assumption that my plan was a wise one. Smart kid, that one.