Taking the Plunge

I’ve done it..it being, signed the Babe up for daycare! I went with the place I mentioned in my last post after I ran over there in the middle of the morning. Adults interacting with the children, everyone happily eating snack, everything fairly tidy and very clean. There was cheery music playing, and in general, the place seemed pleasant. The director was happy to see me, the assitant director was sweet, and so I plopped down a deposit.

I feel, in a way, like a weight has been lifted off my chest–we made a decision! Of course, I’m still talking myself into the fact that she is, in fact, going to daycare at all, but that’s beside the point. L stopped by on Friday as well, and said that it seemed fine to him, and he met the staff as well.

So starting May 30th, I’ll drop her off and then head to work! L starts summer school this Wednesday night. He’s working on finishing his B.A., and for the next 18 months, most nights of the week he’ll be down at the local college til sometime after 8pm. Thankfully his job has tuition reimbursement!

I’m hoping to be able to have some “quality time” with the Babe each afternoon after we get home and she naps for a bit. Usually there are about 3-4 hours between her afternoon nap and bedtime. Up until he starts school, this time was L’s, because I was always heading off to the tutoring center. Now it’s my turn to take her to the park, do bath time, etc. I’m hoping that a few times a week we’ll be able to meet daddy on campus for a picnic dinner of some sort.

Other things on my mind……I’ve read 2 stories in the paper lately that really make me question whether common sense is still common in America. They were both stories of illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants who were brought here as children for a better life. Children raised in this country, but now living in the margins as adults because they don’t have the proper paperwork. They live in fear of being found out, being deported–even though in both cases they are hardworking young men who are contributing in society. One is a landscaper, the other a studen studying robotics. Neither is a threat to national security. Both were brought here by well-intentioned parents. Both consider the US to be home–neither has seen their own “motherland” for a long, long time. One has a child, who is an American citizen. These profiles make me feel that illegal immigrants need to be treated with more respect, and need to be given a road to becoming citizens. I know the borders need patroling, I know border states bear the brunt of huge expenses. But for people who were brought here through the actions of others, it just seems to make sense.

Back from Being Over the Edge

Ok, so I’m over not getting a SpringBreak from being a Mom, and really enjoying my week with the Monkey and my girlfriends. Earlier in the week I had a very weird fantasy about signing the Monkey up for child care–sending her to one of the billion places around our house instead of lugging her to school every day. See, the school thing is good til Summer–then I have to make other arrangements anyway. I’m teaching through the summer, but the person watching her won’t be at the school.

So I had this fantasy of signing the Monkey up somewhere else, thinking, “Wow, maybe one or two days a week after work I could do something like grocery shop or get my hair cut or go to the bookstore by myself..” Because right now the minute I’m done with work, it’s a race home to get her down for her nap.

I called a few places, and found out that I’d have to pay for a full-time space. Ouch. But I thought I’d check them out anyway. FANTASY OVER.

The two things I wasn’t prepared for:

1) the smallness of the “young toddler” rooms (once you can crawl, pull up and eat some table food, you are a young toddler, apparently). There can only be 5-10 children in one room, and of course you want your facility to be a profitable as possible. So the young toddler rooms are really no bigger than the Monkey’s bedroom. Granted, she’s got a big bedroom, but still! And one of the facilities had no windows or natural light whatsoever.

2) the babies playing on the floor, by themselves, with two caregivers sitting the rocking chairs, the room completely silent. No adult conversation, no interaction with the children, no music in the background…

FANTASY OVER. Now I know not every place is like this, and I’ve been teaching long enough to know that you can’t judge a classroom on a two minute glance. But I’m thinking that if nothing else is going on (feeding, diapering, soothing, putting to sleep) that one of the caregivers should in, some way, be interacting with the children!

So now I’m on a mission to find Mary Poppins and keep our current routine of bringing the Monkey to school everyday and knowing that every day at 1pm I will be headed home and crossing my fingers that she doesn’t fall asleep in the car.

And on days when I’m close to the edge and whiny, I’ll just think back to where the Monkey could be instead, and realize that this moment too, shall pass.

The Downside to Having it "All"

The downside to having it “all”, is well, you have it all…..all the time. Her childcare is tied to my job, so that if I’m home, she’s home. Spring Break is a break from work, but not from being a mom. I know, kind of a “duh” statement, but remember, this is all new to me!

I think the Babe’s illness and recovery has made this motherhood thing perfectly clear: I AM THE MOM. I’m the one who gets puked on and throws my shirt aside to take care of her needs first before taking care of mine, I’m the one steam cleaning poo out of the carpets, I’m the one calling the doctor every day, I’m the one she wants at 4am. Which is all well and good and really what I did sign up for…..but WOW. It’s exhausting.

I realize that none of this is new, nor unique to my situation or really all that interesting to read about. But for some reason, it’s all becoming clear in a whole new way.

The upside: While singing the Babe to sleep, whipsering really, while laying next to her, she grabbed my hand and pulled it to her chest. In that moment, I realized it was all worth it. That this is it–I AM THE MOM. And I wouldn’t want to be anyone else. Although a day at the spa would be nice.