Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Calm Before the Storm

Today is a sad day for me. It really shouldn't be, but it is. Today is the last day Baby Girl will be in daycare. It is a day I knew would eventually come, but I hoped it never would.

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I love my girls. I worked full time 6 weeks after Baby Girl was born (fear of Corporate Employer firing me--another story, another day). At any rate, Baby Girl has been in daycare since she was a wee one. Even after I left Corporate Employer and started working part time for Nice Employer, she was in daycare three days a week. After the birth of Peaches, we figured we should keep her schedule for a couple of reasons. We had just rocked her world with the new sister AND we were moving across country a couple of months later and we didn't want her to think we were pulling out the rug from under her. After we moved to Ohio, we decided that she still should go three days a week here.

Baby Girl has really flourished. She adores going to "school" and seeing her teachers, "Miss Amanda and Miss Sara." She talks about her friends and sings all kinds of songs in English and Spanish. Her time at daycare has allowed me to bond with Peaches, which has been wonderful.

There are just two problems. Number One, daycare is expensive. Since I am no longer bringing in the dough I used to, this daycare scenario has been an expensive luxury. While I have been so grateful to be able to do it, I would much rather use this money to fund other things, like college funds and my mutual fund. The other problem is that Baby Girl is completely incapable of playing by herself. I am certain that daycare has something to do with this. She is stimulated and played with for 7-9 straight hours every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The days she is home with me are REALLY TOUGH. She doesn't care that I have work to do or another baby to care for. She is constantly wanting me to play with her and flies off the handle if I have to say no. While I certainly love playing with her, I don't feel that it is my sole duty to be her constant entertainer. I am hoping that by being home full time, she will eventually learn to entertain herself. I also know that eventually the girls will learn to play together(or fight) once Peaches gets a little older.

So, I put a pretty dress on Baby Girl this morning and took her to school with Peaches in tow. I said goodbye to Miss Amanda, who started to cry. Baby Girl, of course has no idea what is going on. All she knows is that Mommy brought cupcakes to school and she is going to have them for morning snack. Later this morning, Peaches and I are going to enjoy our last day of "freedom" by going to the mall--something we have not done alone in a long time.

I guess starting tomorrow, I'll have to be a real full time parent like most everyone else.

14 comments:

Crissy W. said...

I think what you are doing is wonderful. You guys are stepping into a new adventure. A hard adventure but worthwhile none-the-less. Hope you days go well!

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LoryKC said...

Good luck! My daughter JUST NOW will play by herself for a LITTLE while and she is in 2nd grade! I think it's the oldest child thing because my son has never had a problem. Of course, he's always had his sister around (with exception of school) so maybe child #2 likes having a few minutes alone!
Having said that, he's getting older and NEEDING me to play with him more and more too...except when he's playing video games...that can give you a little sanity but I know it's cheating!
We're on the other side of this battle--my son just started going to a preschool/childcare 3 days a week and he's making new friends and I'm just now getting some time for my stuff. However, he is moving my mouse right now, yelling, PLAY WITH ME!
So all I can really say is: GOOD LUCK!!!!! It will all work out and when Peaches is older, it will be great to let the girls play together!

Missy said...

It will all fall into place. Transitions are hard at first,but you are a good mother and you will find your way. Just don't put pressure on yourself to be perfect.Because nobody is. June Cleaver was a myth, a spotless house, warm cookies and perfect pot roast are on t.v. Enjoy every day for what it is. Those kids will grow fast enough, enjoy them.

M&Co. said...

It is sad about leaving daycare. I think we decided it was more of a sanity issue for us. The Husband was going nuts being with the GirlChild 24/7.

About playing alone. I don't know that that is a result of daycare. My daughter has always been in pre-school/MDO or something of that ilk. She has also always been able to play alone and entertain herself well as well as playing well with others. The BoyChild started pre-school at 2 after having spent his first two years being cared for by my step-mother. He has never been very good at being alone or entertaining himself.

Candace said...

OOooooh, now you can come to my house for Three Martini Playdates!

Good luck; if you need to "talk", email me!

Susan said...

Nothing like advice from the Internet . . . Are there Mother's Day Out programs in Cincy? The ones we have here in OKC are through various churches (Charlie's is at an Episcopal church); they typically offer care two or three days a week for five or six hours. Not really daycare, per se, but a little break--hence the name. And I pay about $15.00 a day (for five and a half hours of care) as opposed to $10.00 AN HOUR for a sitter. Just thinkin'.

And you know, you already ARE a full-time parent, even when you're not with the girls 'full-time'. And from what I can see, you're a damn good one.

Now take Misfit up on that playdate--and the martinis! Whoo hoo!

Oh--and grab that home equity loan, pronto!

Misfit Hausfrau said...

Well, Baby Girl is already part of two play groups and has two new friends that she plays with on a regular basis. The problem is that it is never enough for her. The more we go and do and play, the more she wants it. I already have activities planned for out of the home this fall, but I don't want to overextend myself just to make her happy. It would also cancel out the money we are saving by not having her in daycare.

Again, I shouldn't complain. People with many more children than I manage just fine everyday...

The June Cleaver Diaries said...

You could have my problem---- after staying at home with me for the past three years, he announced, "I want to go to daycare. Go to work, Mommy." Niiiice. Nothing like a pat on the back for a job well done.

Mary P. said...

Sounds to me like Baby Girl is the classic extrovert: she gets her energy from interacting with others. An introvert (like myself!) gets their energy from their time alone.

My youngest is an extrovert. I stretched myself out of myself for her, which was probably good for me, and she had to learn, like it or not, to make do with her own company as well. Which was definitely good for me. Oh, and for her, too! It's about balance. We worked it out, and I'm sure you will, too!

LoryKC said...

OK--misfit, can we get that address and time for the three-martini playdate?
My son did go to a "Morning Out" program last year (they let him in w/out being potty trained--yea!) but it was one morning a week for 3 hours. Lord but I looked forward to those 3 hours! ; )
Good luck! Just take a deep breath and it will all work out just fine.

Rita said...

I can sympathize. My oldest can't play alone for any length of time. Just a personality trait, I guess. My younger child is content to play alone for extended periods of time.

The playgroups are a good idea. If there is a very compatible friend that lives closeby, you might consider trading days with that mom (girls with her for a day, and then girls with you for a day). That would be a way to have a playmate for 2 days a week at no cost.

Everything will work out. You are doing the most important job in the world.

Mainline Mom said...

Good luck. I'm sure it will be very hard to get used to being with the two kids ALL the time. I am looking forward to when my little one learns to walk so he can jump the waiting list and go to daycare twice a week.

Jenette said...

I just found your blog, and really enjoyed the parts I read. My son just turned 3, and we despaired of him ever being an independent player... but wouldn't you know, this week he started preschool at the school where I teach, and every afternoon when we've gotten home, he's wanted to play by himself. Either he's gotten too much time with other children, or the whole maturing thing has started to kick in. Hang in there. I was a full time stay at home mommy this summer, and there are really rough days, just like with any job.