Browsing Tag



The Playground Skill I Hope to Learn from my Four-year-old

July 1, 2014

Yesterday, after dropping by my wife’s job at CNN in Columbus Circle, our four-year-old daughter jumped eagerly in the Time Warner lobby: can we go Central Parkkkkkkk? My New Yorker’s instincts told me this was a very lousy idea. After all, it was 3 o’clock and we had to get back to Brooklyn. And nobody wants to be stuck on a rush hour F train forced to tell a four-year-old we can’t sit down. Seriously. That sucks.

But admittedly, there was another fear squashed way down deep inside me: I knew she wanted to explore and find a playground. And playgrounds, if I’m fully and completely honest, scare the crap out of me.

Off to the park we went, and while climbing on rocks, a playground I never knew existed rose out of the ground to invite us. I was toast. We spent the next two hours there. She had a fantastic time, and I did my best. I pushed her on the swings, explored a rather cool area with tunnels and ladders, and sat happily as she made friends in the sandbox. It was amazing to watch. She settled in with another girl named Emma, and the two of them started building a sand castle, working together to make it perfect. It grew to such a height that it even attracted the attention of a pair of boys “on holiday” from the UK. They added a train bridge.

In the space of an hour, my daughter was able to do effortlessly what I’ve never–as a child, or as an adult–been able to pull off: painlessly making friends. In fact, the longer my daughter laughed and played with Emma, the more I felt awkward not seeking out her father, who, as luck would have it, kept his distance, watching his daughter from a just-at-the-limits-of-acceptable-parenting distance, and aside from a regular glance at his daughter, kept his focus firmly on his cellphone.

Had he been standing closer, and had he been more involved, the pressure on me to introduce myself–to simply talk–would have been crushing.

I don’t know how my daughter does it. As a kid, I was screamingly shy. I did a little better in college, but as an adult, aside from workplace banter, I’ve been remarkably inefficient at making adult friendships. I just haven’t got a clue how it’s done. So I watch my daughter, and marvel. She literally walks up to kids her age and talks to them. Just. Like. That.

I, on the other hand, would agonize, plan, run it through in my head, and settle inevitably on inaction. Yesterday, when I was finally able to get her to leave the sandbox, she said she needed to run back and talk to Emma. She ran over, asked her if she lived nearby, and if they could meet again for a playdate. I was stunned. It was a concrete effort to take a chance encounter and build on it. I guess, maybe, that’s how friendships are created?

Watching her, I wondered where she got that kind of confidence, those guts. That fearlessness. I don’t know if maybe I had it once, and lost it, but I did promise myself: I won’t let her lose it, and if at all possible, I’ll try and learn from my daughter. If she can do it at four, there’s no reason I can’t make a Dad friend, too. What kind of example would I be to my daughter not to have healthy friendships and let her see them?

I just hope she’ll be patient with me. I haven’t a damn clue what I’m doing. And those playgrounds. They’re so intimidating! Any nice Dads up for a playdate?

[Originally published at The Huffington Post]

Source: @standupkid

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Around Brooklyn

Cobble Hill’s Linden Tree Preschool Looking For Assistance In Relocating Facility

April 22, 2013

Susan Kuhlmann, the Principal of Linden Tree Preschool in Cobble Hill, informs CHB that the facility it has used for the past nine years, Christ Church at 180 Kane Street, is being closed permanently after the building was struck by lightning and severely damaged last July.

At that time, Kuhlmann says, for safety reasons, the school had to immediately vacate, “being told by Christ Church we’d be back within weeks.” Since, it has been operating out of St. Stephen’s Church in Carroll Gardens. But now, “weeks and months have gone by and in January (2013), we were informed by Christ Church that they are closing Linden Tree Preschool as of June 30, sending families clamoring for alternate preschools and leaving nine dedicated staff members unemployed.”

Linden Tree Preschool is now searching for a new permanent home. Kuhlmann notes:

In order to continue to serve our families, staff and greater community by providing a beautiful preschool experience, myself and a colleague, Jennifer DeLuna, have formed our own LLC, Building Bridges. We require a minimum of 3,000 square feet but are willing to exceed that for the right opportunity. We are also willing to sign a long-term lease.

As you know rental space in our community is costly and difficult to come by. We have been searching for months and continue to. If anyone can help us please reach out, we need a home and can provide a nice income stream for a rental space. We appreciate any assistance.

Susan Kuhlmann:
Jennifer DeLuna:

Source: Cobble Hill Blog

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Yikes! A Bed Bug (As In One) Found On Premises At The Carroll School

May 17, 2012

And we thought the bedbug epidemic had bitten the dust. But according to a notice sent to parents of The Carroll School Tuesday, the pesky little critters are still gnawing in Carroll Gardens… or at least one is. The Patch reports that a notice was sent home with kids alerting them that a single bedbug—yes, as in one—was found on the premises of P.S. 58 at 330 Smith Street. A flyer from Principal Giselle McGee dated May 14 stated that “there are bed bugs in the school,” according to a parent that contacted the Carroll Gardens blog.

“We recently found a confirmed bed bug in your child’s school,” the letter reads. “Finding a bed bug does not mean that our school is infested. Bed bugs are often unknowingly brought into schools by building occupants and as a result we may have future sightings.” The notice also includes a description of the symptoms of a bed bug bite.

Patch contacted the school, where a source acknowledged that “a single bug” had been identified on a child and that a technician will be coming in for a second time later this week to check for a potential… second bed bug.

Source: Cobble Hill Blog

From the Web