Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The one about the daycare.

I fell awake an hour and a half ago.

Just... I was asleep, then I was awake. And suddenly my brain went all fritzy and it's too hot and my head itches and I can't believe I ate all that ice cream tonight or should it be last night now I mean does this count as today or as tomorrow yet fuck me it's three a.m..

So after an hour of that and wasn't that fun I decided to come downstairs and at least surf the web until Howie needed to eat.

He's going to daycare today/tomorrow. Well, now it's 4:30, which starts to count as really fucking early today and not as really crazy late yesterday, so I guess he's going to daycare today. That has nothing to do with why I can't go back to sleep.

Shut up.

We're paying for August, we figured, so let's make sure we've got this whole routine figured out before I have to go back to school, so that if I have to I can get him in the middle of the day or at least bring him something or whatever baby daycare emergency might pop up for someone who can't even roll over yet much less will still grin for anyone who holds him, the flirt. Anyway, so, yeah, we're taking him to daycare tomorrow. I mean today.

The whole daycare thing has been a weird convoluted saga. We started looking for daycare when I was four and a half months pregnant, and we were getting on waiting lists all over the city. And getting on waiting lists with the Waiting List Guardians sucking their teeth and saying that we should be sure to register at another daycare somewhere because... they couldn't promise anything but they were pretty sure we'd never get into that daycare in time. Jesus McPeet, people, I barely know that this fetus has arms and legs, and I'm not early enough for getting on the daycare lists? And apparently at a corporate daycare that rhymes with Blikey they had to institute a rule that you couldn't get on the waiting list unless and until you were actually pregnant which inspires two thoughts: a.) no wonder I was on waiting lists across Portland and 2.)who are these crazy bitches who think "I'm going to get on a daycare waiting list because I will not only get pregnant when I mean to but will give birth to a healthy child and then I need to have Blikey daycare just in case!!"???? Okay, maybe it's not such a shock that a company whose name rhymes with Blikey might employ a Type A personality or three.

So anyway, waiting lists, yeah. We got into one (1) daycare in all of Portland, and it was the least favorite, most expensive, corporate child kennel. But it was worth the $100 deposit to have a peace of mind that at least someone would feed my child and maybe change his diaper if he pooped. We got on the waiting list of the all organic spelt-feeding no-plastic-toy-having hemp-sling-wearing hippie haven that I thought was my first choice. We got on the waiting list of the daycare that awesome people already went to (but knew we'd have no chance of getting into for various reasons, that mostly involved the fact that this daycare was subsidized by her husband's employer and that said employer was neither my nor my husband's employer). We got on the waiting list of the oldest daycare in Portland, that has operated since 1908. Who knew that there were daycares in 1908?

We had a daycare. I could relax, right?

Ha. So that daycare--I didn't like it. First of all, aesthetically, I didn't like it. And second of all, it was so freaking expensive! And as I made the decision to go back to work part time (oh, yeah, hey, I'm going back to work part time, y'all! more on that later) it just cut waaaay to close to the bone. So as I was nine months pregnant, I started freaking out about daycare. And I lugged my ten months pregnant self (and dragged along certain awesome people) I made a new round of daycares in the desperate hope that I would get in somewhere. Wouldn't my twelve-months-pregnant body inspire aid? Anywhere.

I went to the local-down-the-street daycare. I went to the sort-of hippie downtown daycare where they had their own jail-esque playground. And I called all of the previous daycares to see whether they were still in Teeth Sucking mode or whether me working half days or maybe if I only needed four days because my parents would take him for a day would make a huge difference on moving me up or down the waiting list.

And no and no and no and no.

So we had the babe and we named him Howie and the heavens parted and shone their great ray of Cutest Baby Ever on him, and we were happy, except that whole Daycare Sucks thing was still niggling in the back of my head because dude, why is this so hard????

And then in the past three weeks, we've had calls from three different daycares, and then we were spoiled for choice.

We could go to the downtown childcare where his cousin currently goes. Then the local down-the-street daycare called. Then what had been our first 100% grain fed soy hemp solar powered wind generated organic gardening choice called. And suddenly we were spoiled for choice.

We ended up going with the closest to home choice, because it's ridiculously close to home, which means it's equidistant from both our works and it's ridiculously close to my parents' house. And it's conveniently the cheapest--by which I mean, least expensive--choice. By a lot. It's almost half the cost of the corporate child kennel we had originally reserved a spot with. As a friend said, our daycare costs have gone from the cost of a mortgage down to the cost of a pretty cheap apartment. And that's awesome.

I still have some residual guilt at not going with the inquiry-based soothing-sounds quinoa-serving granola-fed hippie kingdom, but as certain awesome people said, "For the $370-a-month price difference, that's a lot of lentils." What is more important is that when I went into the infant room, the ladies there have always been holding the babies. They use cloth diapers (and even better, don't send them home with me: they launder). They take walks. And they hold my baby.

So yeah, we got in there, and we're paying for the whole month of August even though I only work one week of it. I had to bring in diaper covers and a sheet and his immunization records and what-all. And I dropped him off for a few hours on Friday and that went well and I didn't cry as I drove away or anything. More than anything it just felt weird to not have my day's (or in that case, my hours') plans totally controlled by wheter this two-foot-long being was awake or asleep or hungry or in a good mood.

So, yeah, daycare. He's going. We're going to try a full day today. We'll see how he does. We'll see how I do.

Maybe I'll use it to nap.

1 comment:

Katrina said...

Sounds a wonderful place holding the babies (yay!) cloth nappies (yay!) I can remember the fight I had to et my kids into the childcare and have the cloth nappies (and that was with my providing my own bucket etc)
good luck with it all