Friday, February 11, 2011

Lack of Nanny Diaries

At the start of the school year, I was a full time teacher. Once Silas was born, visions of me sobbing at my desk while attached to my pump (this was standard for the first few weeks with my other two) haunted me every time I thought about returning to work. There has to be a better way I thought. Ideally, I would stay home and throw the pump to the wind- but both Ella and Hanna would have to change schools since we wouldn't be able to afford tuition without my faculty remission. So, tough choice, them or me. It should be me. Well, really, it isn't about me. It is about Silas and why shouldn't we all sacrifice for his sake? Even so, the girls love their school, and it would break my heart to have to have them somewhere else. So how could I keep them there and still stay home? Really, I couldn't. But perhaps... I could do a little of both. The plan, which was carefully crafted, researched, and presented with convincing argument, was that IF I could get the school to agree to let me go half-time, the kids could stay, I could at least spend that much more time with Silas (and that much less time on my pump), and life at home would hopefully be less hectic and chaotic. The school agreed, and more amazingly, Dave agreed (though he still throws a jab in there every now and then about my $43 paycheck- hey, someone needs to cover the toilet paper expense around here!). I decided to split a nanny with another mom and agreed to drop Silas off at her place. She needed care for more hours than I did so this made sense. We had a nanny for a week, actually two nannies for a week (one did two days a week and the other did three) but long story short, it didn't work out and they were released into the work force. Actually, one of them got another job and would have quit anyway. So there was a mad scramble to find someone, but through divine appointment, I was chatting with a lady who knew of someone, and she was perfect.  She is from Peru, mom of two, experienced, sweet, loving, really all you could ask for in a caregiver, plus she was obviously fluent in Spanish which immediately made me picture Silas being fluent by the end of the school year, or at least be able to make wet, razzing sounds in Spanish. It seemed like a great situation to me, but after less than a week, the lady I was sharing the nanny with decided that she was going to put her daughter in full time day care due to her schedule. Scrambling again (which is somewhat where I am now)! I figured I had the worst luck in nanny history, till my neighbor called and told me her nanny was being deported. Both of our other kids had been full time daycare members so this whole nanny thing was new to us, and frankly, as much as I hate daycare centers, there are some definitely bonuses. There is always accountability at a daycare. Daycares don't close because of "sickness" or cars getting stuck in the ice. Daycare centers are reliable. OK, so they are extremely germ filled and occasionally, kids get fed another mom's breastmilk (I have no record of this actually happening, but I am sure it has at some point to someone) or crawl through another kid's drool, or maybe even spit up (this I have actually witnessed) ... but in general, they are kept safe, fed, rested, and cared for. A nanny could do just about anything, and short of installing a nanny cam, no one will know what happens in the house when you are gone. Yes, I should have more trust in the goodness of mankind, but really, the first two nannies killed that for me. I should note though that Silas is crying in his crib and I am sitting here at the computer writing this blog instead of tending to him, something I would fire a nanny for doing... then again, no one is paying me for my time, and I do give the kid plenty of attention. Plenty. He is one of those kids who is happy when he is being held or talked to. Leave him alone and it sounds like you've severed a limb from his body. Speaking of limbs, should I be concerned that Silas has discovered his distinguishing male feature in the bath tub? He grabs on tightly and I wonder if the lack of blood flow could cause permanent damage? At times, it seems like he is trying to physically remove it from his body. Having had two girls before him, this is not something I am used to. I try to show him how exciting rings and rubber duckies can be. He seems disinterested. I suspect if I am blogging about this same topic five years down the road, we may have issues. And if you are the parent of a boy who knows I will be blogging about this five years down the road, don't tell me. We'll let the daycare handle that one!

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