Tag Archives: day care

Today/A Lesson

Today was not a great day at work.

Today, work sucked. I made an error (a dumb, frantic error). No one died or got hurt (and no one will), no money was lost and no milestones will be missed because of it. But because of the nature of my job, this error was very public. And it meant I received a follow-up phone call from an executive who was frustrated and wanting to “problem solve.” (He was very fair and solution-oriented, but it still wasn’t fun.)

By the time the end of the day rolled around (after my 5 p.m. meeting didn’t show, and the video I needed to upload failed), I wanted to crawl under a blanket and hide for a while. But Daddy-o had evening plans and we’ve got a busy week so I picked up Boopsie and took her to the grocery store. (Because I guess I wanted to flog myself a little.)

When I picked Boopsie up, I immediately realized I was going to be in for a long evening with her. She was wild and defiant. She’s spending most of the next two weeks in back-up care through my company because her day care closed for three weeks (starting last week) without warning. She was exhausted when I got to her (at nearly 6:00 p.m.) and was a scoundrel in the grocery store. By the time we drove home she was stripping off her shoes and socks in the car and whipping them at me from the back seat.

Every part of the evening was a battle. Going potty? Torture. Washing her hands? Despair? Dinner? Well that started with a meltdown and a demand for me to hold her and feed her. I was standing there, calculating my options when it hit me… I needed to drop all the crap and baggage from my day and face her with as much compassion as I could muster. She’s two. She’s exhausted. Her schedule (and therefore a big part of her world) has been completely upended. She went from a home day care to a preschool setting, with an established class of kids she doesn’t know. While she’s doing great (lots of positive reports from the teachers) she is fried. Toast. And frankly, I get it.

So I dropped my expectations for one night. I held her in my lap and spoon fed her sweet potatoes and macaroni and cheese. I stopped doing the dishes to help her draw a turtle. I brought my focus much more to her needs. And you know what? It worked. It wasn’t all smooth sailing, but I got her fed, bathed and in bed with minimal additional melt downs.

For me, this was just a good reminder that no matter where I’m at, my job is to try and meet Boopsie where she’s at. This was not the night to force issues. Hopefully tomorrow we’re both a little more rested and upbeat and she will go back to feeding herself. And going potty without a hissy fit. And she’ll make it home without throwing things at me in the car.

Until then: Amen, she’s in bed. And I’m going to have a glass of wine.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under day care, drudgery, feeding, mom guilt

Things She Cried From the Crib

Boopsie spent the most of the day with Grammie and Grampie, after they rescued us from a “President’s Day, which no one but schools, municipal employees and day care providers get off” crisis. And apparently she had just a little too much fun, because tonight’s bedtime stalling was epic. To be clear, I’m pretty sure on the inside, she felt like this:

Toddler sleeping in car seat

This is how tired she FELT.

But what she said, as she was being put to bed (and after) was quite different. Here are the things she said:

“Elmo need to go potty!” (Okay. Elmo taken into the bathroom to go potty. Her? Not so interested.)

“Puppy need to go potty!” (Hmm… no.)

“I need a snack.” (Crying pitifully. Daddy-o and I puzzled over what to do for a couple of minutes… was she actually hungry? Then she transitioned to…)

“I need to color.” (Err… no. And no snack.)

“I pooped!” (She didn’t.)

“Change my diaper!” (No. This is an ironic request given how she treats 9 out of every 10 diaper changes as sheer torture.)

“NOT THOSE BOOKS!” (She gets to take two books to bed. She was hysterical, unwilling to accept several pairs and then unable to pick two of four offered. I left all four in there. None of the four were “correct,” apparently.)

“I NEED A KLEENEX!) (*Over and over, wailing as though the world was ending. Almost as suspicious as the diaper change request, but funnier, by far.)

“I want to sleep with you!” (No, sorry. I want to wake up with all my teeth. And still love you in the morning.)

“I need Dora Rocks! I need Dora Rocks!” (A book previously deemed unacceptable and thrown from the crib.)

“Cover me up!” (Apparently unable to reach the blankets bunched at her feet.)

“I want to see your jammies!” (Yes, I was wearing my jammies at 8 p.m. Judge away. She has never made this request before…)

“I need another blankie!” (Apparently four is not enough.)

After all of that, I think she fell asleep basically mid-cry. And she’s still sleeping. (Knock on wood! Quickly!) Let’s hope she stays that way until morning.

*The Kleenex request was my favorite. I wish I would have tape recorded it…

1 Comment

Filed under drudgery, sleep, Stuff Toddlers Say

Potentially Cheesy Thankfulness Post

The last few weeks have been tough. Not seriously tough, like terminal illness or death or any really horrible things. Just day-in, day-out, demanding job and sick toddler and traveling husband and multiple expensive house repairs tough. We’re tying to juggle our jobs and Boopsie’s multiple (mostly not serious) illnesses and still trying to have a life… not easy. Oh, and I’ve been peed on twice in two days.

This afternoon I almost cried. At work. About things like PowerPoint slides and an over-abundance of meetings. And because Daddy-o and I had to split the day to stay home with a sickly Boopsie. And because I didn’t know which dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free sweet potato recipe to make for Thursday. I think it’s safe to say my priorities have been knocked out of whack.

It’s Thanksgiving week. What better time to try and get my head put on straight again? So here we go…. the many things I’m thankful for (in no particular order…):

Thankful? Hell yes.

  • It’s almost time to listen to Christmas music (day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Day)
  • A healthy family
  • A healthy me
  • A job that enables me to afford (mostly) to pay for the raft of unexpected home repairs
  • Recovery (I think) from a sh&tty knee injury without surgery
  • A little girl who love, love, loves Christmas lights
  • My Amazon Kindle. (Geeky, I know.)
  • Having a two-car garage (Holy moly! No scraping the windshield!)
  • Raspberries
  • My favorite afghan
  • Friends… old ones, new ones and all the ones in between
  • Health insurance
  • Along that line, living in a city with rapid emergency response and not just one, but three children’s hospitals to choose from (more on that another day)
  • Having my parents around. Grammie and Grampie are not only fun to be around but they also save our butts on a regular basis.
  • The marriage amendment was defeated in Minnesota… woot woot!
  • The Amazing Race — Daddy-o and I watch it (via iTunes) every week. It’s the one TV show we both enjoy and we have fun watching together. Totally worth the $20 iTunes season pass. Plus, I wager on it at work. Go Dave and Abba!
  • Listening to Boopsie sing. The current repertoire: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, ABCs, Rock-a-Bye Baby, Old MacDonald, De Do Do Do, Skip To My Lou… I can’t wait to introduce her to Christmas Music.
  • Red wine
  • Our cats… even though they puke on the carpet and meow when we’re trying to sleep
  • Movember – all those moustaches crack me up
  • The Internet. Seriously, how did we function before we had all that information at our fingertips?
  • Clean water, accessible and affordable food
  • Working with people I like to be around
  • Travel, especially to visit loved ones
  • Daddy-o. With Boopsie. With me. Funny and kind and a great partner.
  • Hot tea on cold days
  • Sleeping through the night (usually… how cool is that?)
  • Fitting into (finally) my most unforgiving pair of skinny jeans. Shallow? Yes. But still reassuring.

There. Not an exhaustive list, but just some of the many reasons I’m feeling thankful these days. Here’s to not crying about PowerPoint slides and conflicting demands.

What are you thankful for?

Leave a comment

Filed under adventures, mom guilt

10 Days

Today Daddy-o took off for a 10 day business trip. Yep, 10 days. In a row. And of course I have 8 a.m. meetings tomorrowandTuesday. Sweet. That should work out well, especially since her day care opens at 7:30 a.m. and work is about 35 minutes away. (Although I think I can do tomorrow’s meeting via the phone…. woot woot and thank you Alexander Graham Bell.)

Anyway, Daddy-o is gone for 10 days. On the down side, life gets more complicated, we miss Daddy-o, and it takes oodles of effort to keep the wheels on our little bus. (Seriously! Single parents, you are amazing. I bow to you.) I’m entering “one day at a time” mode, which involves planning for each day

On the upside, I can watch old episodes of Dawson’s Creek on Netflix without Daddy-o judging me. And despite this evening’s post-Boopsie bedtime shenanigans (really exciting things like scooping cat litter, taking out the trash, making sweet potato puree and washing sheets), I just painted my toenails for the first time in approximately six weeks. WIN!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under drudgery, problems middle class parents have

Five things….

Here are five things I’m thinking about today:

  1. Is there a problem with my kid eating ketchup? I don’t mean she dips something into ketchup to eat it, I mean she eats ketchup. With a spoon. Nutritionally not great, but do Daddy-o and I have to hide the ketchup when we use it as a condiment?
  2. How can we get Boopsie to stop crying every time we drop her off at day care? She stops before I get to my car (I can hear her turn it off), but it’s a daily bummer.
  3. Since when does taking a bath = torture? And why?
  4. Will she EVER stop throwing food? Seriously, this is totally out of hand.
  5. Where is her other silver sandal??

That’s my list, what about you?

2 Comments

Filed under adventures, day care, drudgery, feeding

Just a tiny heartbreak and some raging against the machine

Just a little one, so no worries. No one has been physically harmed or irreparably damaged.

Yesterday Daddy-o jetted off for a week-long business trip. After Boopsie and I waved good-bye to his taxi, we finished getting ready and headed off to Miss A’s (her sweet new daycare… more on that later, though I know better than to think anyone’s been waiting on the edge of their seat for that!).

My first clue that things weren’t going to be easy were when Boopsie wouldn’t walk to the door. She wanted to be carried. When we walked inside, she immediately performed her trademark “spider monkey” move, grabbing on tight with both arms and squeezing around my torso with both legs. She also started crying…”No… nooo.”

I took a deep breath and started working with Miss A to get her engaged in one of her favorite activities, looking at a book. No dice. She got even more upset, and screamed in frustration and (what felt in the moment like) fear*. I gritted my teeth, told her I loved her and her grandparents would pick her up and peeled her off me. She cried, “No, Mama! No! Mama! Ma-maaaaaaa!”

It was a good thing I had my big girl undies on (and my big girl high heels). I wanted to pick her up and walk out for the day — leave day care and work behind. I wanted to enjoy a nice long time with her on a perfect summer day. But I had to work. I really did. I had meetings, and tasks waiting, and even an event to facilitate. So I left Boopsie wailing for me. And my heart broke a little.

There was something so plaintive and defeated in her small sentence: “No, Mama!” It cut me to the quick and I cried in my car on the way to work. And I thought about her all day long, even though I tried to follow the advice a female executive had shared with me before: Put your head and your heart where your feet are. That didn’t work yesterday. I literally counted down the hours until I could get back to Boopsie.

I stopped fooling myself a long time ago, even before I had a child. I don’t entertain any secret leadership ambition, despite the fact that I work at a giant company, have had quite a bit of success and could potentially parlay that success into “greater opportunity.” I don’t want opportunity that makes me travel a ton, or work more than I do. I don’t want the life of the women vice presidents I see around me — most work a LOT and either have a “house husband” who doesn’t work, a super full-time nanny (one was looking for recommendations for a nanny who could work a minimum of 60 hours per week), or no children. Yes, I think it sucks that this is the way our culture seems to work (literally and figuratively), but I’m also realistic. There are 24 precious hours in any given day and that’s not going to change any time soon. I’ve chosen to try to have a very good career, not a remarkable one.

Recently the VP of my area asked me what I wanted next from my career and I couldn’t tell her. Instead, told her what I value: autonomy, flexibility, a boss who understands that if I’m not well rounded I will go insane. A lot of people in the corporate culture where I work would probably think that makes me soft, and weak, and short-sighted. Some of those women VPs would say I’m selling myself short. I say it makes me focused. And clear-headed. And unafraid.

Even with my potentially Faustian bargain (time for my life at the cost of potentially chopping my career off at the knees), I still had to do the hard thing yesterday. And. it. hurt. I don’t think Boopsie was harmed by it. In fact, I’m quite confident she got over it faster than I did. But it hurt.

 

* Don’t call Child Protective Services. I don’t think she’s actually afraid, nor do I think she has any reason to be. And drop off today was much better.

5 Comments

Filed under day care, drudgery, mom guilt

Holy Gun Shy, Batman.

I just hired a new day care provider. Gulp.

And very soon I have to tell Miss C that Boopsie is moving. GULP.

It will be about six weeks before Boopsie starts at her new day care. From my first conversation with Miss A, I got really good feelings about her and how warm she is. Daddy-o and I interviewed her and we liked her and the environment a lot. She has the kids spend a LOT of time outside in her nice big, fenced backyard (complete with play houses and structures, etc.) and she does a little curriculum with them each day during the school year (circle time, counting, letters, songs, etc.).

Then I called a reference (whose kids go there and who is a backyard neighbor), who said, “Even before I had kids, I was really impressed with how Miss A runs her day care. The kids have a lot of fun and she keeps them in line without ever yelling.” The reference also brought up (without me prompting) how open she feels the communication is between her and Miss A as one of the best things about the day care. The other favorite was how warm and caring Miss A is. As for anything the reference would change? Just having Miss A open on Fridays.

Yes, you read that right. Miss A is closed on Fridays. And yes, we’re a little nuts for doing this, even though I usually don’t work on Fridays. But I think it’s the right thing. I pray it’s the right thing.

So now I have to break up with Miss C. And I actually am hoping we can keep Boopsie there on some Fridays. And now that it might be over, I’m really finding myself focusing on all the (many) good things about Miss C. How’s that for wishy-washy? I almost wish she would do something to tick me off… like give Boo some peanut butter or something. (Not really, but it would make it easier. And for all of our challenges, I do respect her.)

And advice on day care break-ups?

2 Comments

Filed under adventures, day care, mom guilt, relationships