Monday, May 9, 2011

Child Care

I believe I may be on the path to eradicate one of my big wake-me-in-the-night worries.  Child care for my return to work which is next month.

Quite a few months ago Steve told me of a co-worker who was hiring a nanny from overseas. This co-worker was interested in doing a "nanny share" with us.  The plan was that my kids would go to their house every day and their nanny would look after my kids while her kids were at school all day.  It would have cost us half of what sending them to a daycare would cost. 

I agreed. Reluctantly.

See, I never felt good about it. A few things bugged me.  Their house was in the opposite direction of my house and my work.  My kids would not have any other kids to interact with all day.  The nanny was yet to arrive in the country and nobody knew what her communication skills would be like.  Nobody in this country had ever met her before so who knows what she is like. Nobody to ask for references.

Then things started getting irritating.  There was a nanny coming from Amsterdam. Then Vietnam. Then finally the nanny was flying in from Hong Kong.  She was going to arrive in March. But then not. Then she was getting here in April. Then April was over and she wasn't here.  Then it was May.  Then we were supposed to get together with the other couple to finalize everything but that fell through. Nanny was to arrive May 9th (today) but last week that was pushed back yet again. 

None of this was helping to make me feel any more comfortable with the situation.

Finally, when the story changed again last week, STEVE (of all people) put an end to it.  He told his co-worker that we are out of the deal.  She wasn't happy (now she has to pay the full price for the nanny) but I was thrilled - although a little panicky about finding a daycare for a baby and toddler in such short notice. But not to worry, Steve was told by another co-worker of a woman who has two openings for June 1st.  STEVE phoned her and arranged for us to go visit the daycare.  STEVE did all this! 


We went today.  When we first got to the daycare Ruby walked right in and sat down and started playing with toys like she'd been there a million times.  The woman took Lincoln out of Steve's arms and my Mama's Boy didn't burst into tears!! There were a couple other kids there and they looked content. We looked around and I asked my questions.  She had all the right answers.  She was very accommodating.

The going rate for my kids would normally be about $1400 per month, but she will charge us only $1100. She will also provide all food and snacks. 


When we went to leave, Ruby cried. She wanted to stay. The woman gave her and Lincoln both a cookie and helped them to the door. 

It all seems good. 

There's just a few small things that bug me and I'm probably being petty.... First, the place is a bit run down.  It's an older basement and while it wasn't dirty, it was just in a bit of rough shape.  Then again, as I look down at my once clean and plush area rug in my living room I realize, kids wreck shit. As long as they are being cared for in a proper manner and the place is clean and safe, I really shouldn't worry about it not being a fancy, pretty place. Actually one of the mistakes I made with Ruby when she first went to daycare was that I allowed a fancy, pretty place to overshadow my gut feelings and Ruby's reactions to the daycare.

The other thing that bugs me is that maybe the woman was too nice? I mean, she was super accommodating and helpful and I thought, "Is she really like this or is she just trying to get our business?" Sad that I can't trust people and take them at face value.  Am I too cynical and untrusting?  Steve loved her and thought the place was just fine.

I do think that this will be the daycare we go with.  I think I'd probably be able to find some fault with any and every single place I looked into to.  It seems like this is the right place.  The way it came about, the price, how my kids acted when they were there - I think, I *hope* it is the right place for us.

I want to start sending them there part time in the beginning of June to break them in so that when I go back to work full time near the end of June, it is not such a traumatic event for all of us.


Jaclyn said...

If the other kids all seemed happy there, that would be the most important concern. You can't make children fake happiness.

I'm sorry - I just had a baby so my memory is completely shot - but I think I recall that Ruby is old enough to communicate with you. So you can try the daycare and she will be able to tell you if there are any concerns.

Alicia said...

It sounds like you found a place exactly like our Teri's place. Ellie was very happy there for over 3 years, and we still go back to visit because Ellie misses it so much (and Teri became a good friend regardless of our age difference). I had the same exact worries as you (a bit of a rundown basement yet clean and the "can she really be this nice?" feeling), and in our situation, I realized rather quickly that a) it was safe and b) she really IS that nice. So I wish you the best of luck.

And STEVE called? Holy cow. He gets mega points for that.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap! Steve wins man of the year for handling that - seriously, that is a majorly big deal for him to take that on himself and just handle it. Sigh. I confess to being a bit jealous...Maybe he can teach seminars to other dads on how to take charge and make decisions for the family?

Hope the initial good vibes on this daycare situation just grow and grow the more you get to know the woman and your kids settle in there just perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Tara, I would just like to reiterate what Jaclyn said. Now that Ruby can communicate, this will help tremendously. They (the kids) are your most important gauge.