Thursday, May 24, 2007

If You Leave Me Now

Daycare. The scourge I have dreaded for 8 months is finally a reality. I stayed with Millie her first two days. It was actually only two hours each day, THANK GOD. I don't think I could have hacked a full day of: a) being stuck in one room b) feeling like the worst mother on earth because my baby has no patience for waiting her turn c) watching the other charming but snotty-nose, diarrhea-laden kids trade swap spit via toys with my daughter d) lurking over the providers, feeling like I was totally invading their space and spying and e) resisting the urge to pick up all the other children who wanted attention.

Yesterday, I stayed for an hour and then it was time for me to leave her for two hours on her own. Okay, not on her own, but with two capable adults. Our strategy was planned: I would leave when she was ready to eat lunch-one of her favorite activities. Guaranteed to be a tears-free activity. Hahahahahahahahahahaha. Wait. Hahahahahahahaha. Okay. I'm done.

I said goodbye to her and tried like hell not to cry in front of her. The assistant director was at the front desk and took one look at me and I burst into a combination of laughter and tears. Okay, just tears, but laughter worked its way in in an effort to not look like a loooon. I stopped to talk to her for a moment and could hear Millie crying in her room. So, like the big girl I am, I scurried out the door, past the happy, playing kids and cried in my car. I haven't eaten lunch without either feeding or otherwise occupying a baby, talking on the phone, cleaning the house, or doing school work in 8 months, so I treated myself to lunch at a sandwich shop then took some schoolwork to the park behind the center. My husband called to see how things were and had the NERVE to ask me to tell him how I was feeling. DAMNED HIM!!!! I had composed myself and there I was, blubbering all over again. How DARE he want me to be in touch with my feelings. I'm Finnish-we don't do that. So, I get off the phone with him and think about what I need to do with our afternoon once I pick her up. Not two minutes later, the phone rings and it's my mother-in-law, asking if I wanted company later in the afternoon. We are working on getting Millie used to her (and vice versa), so I said SURE! My husband does that-he will send out the SOS signals to whoever he can-his parents, my parents, my aunt-whenever he knows I'm upset. Sometimes it helps and sometimes I'd just rather wallow in my loserdom.

Anywho, I drove back to the center to get my dearest daughter. Not a pretty morning, from what I gather, was had by anyone. The two caregivers in her room tried to calm her down. The assistant director tried. The director tried. She wasn't having any of it. She used to be a stinker for the babysitter when it came to taking a bottle, so I wasn't surprised she wouldn't take any milk, but it is unheard of for her not to eat. I think she'd eat fruit from Satan if he/she offered it to her. She finally ate just before I came. We went home and I nursed her, then proceeded to run around the house trying desperately to clean up before my mother-in-law showed up. Of course, the ONE time we actually have guests the night before and I decide to not do the dishes immediately has to coincide with Grannie coming for a visit. She's good about things like that-I think she agrees that there are more important things in life than having a spotless house, but STILL. She came and Millie was happy all afternoon for the most part. She didn't go to her Grannie, but didn't scream when she saw her, like she used to (that wasn't TOO uncomfortable). We had a tough evening, but she survived.

Today was day #2. Is this post as boring as I think it is? I feel like I have the verbal shits. Sorry. Feel free to wander off and check out the YouTube clips of Rosie O'Donnell scratching the eyes out of the Young Republican co-host on the view. I'm sure it's more entertaining. Millie did a wee bit better today, although I got the look from everyone as I came in. There's HER mother. She ate for them, but screamed her way through it. She was in the stroller when I got there by herself-not a great sign. What a big, giant faker she is. The minute she saw me she cried. The minute I picked her up, she was all cheezzzy grins. I missed her. I did, however, go shopping at Kohl's to find some cooler clothes to squeeze my increasing fat rear end into. I scored two pairs of pants for a total of $16 AND a pair of Sketchers sandals marked down from $44 to $19!!! SCORE!!!! I had to throw THE best pair of Sketchers sandals out last fall after Millie was born because with my pregnancy kankles, they were one of two pairs of shoes I could fit into. Tomorrow, she goes back for three more hours in the afternoon. Hopefully, it will get better with time. We'll see. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Work House Blues

I didn't get The Dream Job. Devastated doesn't even scratch the surface.

So, off I go this summer to The Museum. Not a bad option, but it leads to what I have to do today. We transition Millie into daycare this week. I get to stay with her today and tomorrow. Wednesday is the day I stay for an hour and then drop her off. To virtual strangers.

I have to go vomit. I'll let you know how it goes. The daycare, not the vomit.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Silent Night

I feel so odd. The house is quiet. Millie is blissfully asleep. My husband is asleep in our bedroom and it's only 7:48. He's been asleep since a few minutes past 6:00. This is not typical, but last night, Millie woke up 30 seconds after Lost started (which is 10:01 for those not keeping track of Wednesday nights in terms of Lost time), then again at 11:30, then again at 12:15 (at which point he brought her into our room), then for good at 3:00 A.M. Did I mention the AM part? She stayed up until she crashed until 7:15.

Anywho, in the last hour, I finished cleaning up the kitchen, folded all the laundry, packaged up some Christmas gifts (yes, Christmas gifts. I know it's mid-May.) to send to Rhode Island because I have abandoned all hope of ever getting there again before 2010, answered some emails, looked up directions to a new dentist for my first teeth cleaning since before I was pregnant (yes, I'm gross AND a neglectful mother), and made a cup of tea which I actually got to drink all at once rather than reheating it in the microwave for the next 6 hours before I found the bottom of it. Incredible what I can accomplish given an hour of peace. Now, there are a million things I should do rather than write, but here I sit for a moment. I SO want to watch the season finale of Ugly Betty, but my husband's asleep and we watch it together. That doesn't make me any less tempted, though. Bad wife. We usually catch it online since it's on against Earl, which we also love, love, love. I'll wait for him, I guess. He'd wait for me.

I realized I never did write about my first Mother's Day. We baptized Millie in a church I started attending while we lived in Hartford. I love minister and the congregation. The service is a little too Catholic for my taste (not that there is anything wrong with Catholic services, but I'm used to a little lower Episcopalian services with all of the ritual and none of the guilt). I usually attend the 8:00 service, but we did it at the 10:30 service, complete with incense galore and chimes and chanting. So, some of my family and all of Iain's family (all four of them) were there. We did a little lunch reception afterwards in the parish hall. It was a repeat of my wedding all over again. I HEAR the food was good-I wouldn't know. I didn't get any. I guess I was doing what mothers do-making sure everyone else was set and settled and happy. Have we met? I'm a total martyr. The ceremony was nice, I'm glad it's done, and my first Mother's Day with a born baby was spent with people I love. I could be snarky and bitchy about the day, but you get that enough from me. I'll just count my blessings for once. I'll save the sarcasm for another day. Most of it, at least.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wordless Wednesday 5/16/07

Kung Fu Millie on her 8 month birthday.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

I Don't Want to Miss a Thing

We made a decision on a daycare for Millie. It is killing me that I have to leave her. In reality, I should shut my big fat pie hole. She'll be 8 months old when I have to leave her in the hands of strangers, about 7.5 months older than thousands of children when they enter daycare. It's a nice place (and for the price it should be...however, having worked daycare myself I know that quality comes with a price and the staff should be well compensated for the super important jobs they have). They encourage a week of transition time where I stay with her for three full days then drop her off for two half days before she starts full time on her own. That, to me, is a good sign. They encourage parents to linger and see what goes on first-hand. I can always grab Millie like a football and sprint from the building, leaving my giant deposit behind, if I get a bad vibe. But I don't think I'll need to. It was clean, the kids seemed happy, even at 5:15 in the evening (which is more than I can say for my own wee one most nights of the week), and the teachers were all adults without teardrop tattoos on their faces.

Let me qualify that statement. I don't have an issue with teenagers watching children, NOR do I have an issue with tattoos. I babysat from the time I was 11 and worked in daycares through high school. I have a tattoo. However, I visited one center where there was no adult to be found and the "staff" consisted of 4 or 5 young women dressed like Bratz dolls, talking on their cell phones, drinking coffee, talking trash about their baby daddies IN FRONT OF ME. And then there were the two teenage boys working there (if you want to call it that) who looked like they just got paroled, one of whom came screwing into the parking lot and proceeded to almost run us over. Almost all the kids were crying or whining and it was only 9:30 in the morning. Not a good sign. Not really the kind of people I want Millie to be exposed to 40 hours a week.

Still, even if I feel like she's in good hands, they aren't MY hands, or my husband's hands, or the hands of the lovely, Godsend of a babysitter Millie was blessed with over the last 5 months. What if she's scared or tired or sad and I'm not there? They won't know that she loves to be cheek-to-cheek when she's sleepy. What if she falls and no one brushes her off and assures her she's fine? They won't know it's not the huge bangs on the noggin that make her cry; it's the ones that happen when she was almost to her climbing destination that make her the most upset. What if she just wants to be loved and no one has a minute to give her a hug? No one will know that her lip smacks are currently serving as her kisses. What if she's her crazy, yelling, jumping, eye-poking self and the teachers refer to her as the "problem child" and her care is reflective of that? No one will know that we have diagnosed her with "active baby syndrome" or "ABS" with all the love and pride in the world. What if she cries all day long and misses her momma? No one will be able to convince her that I'll be there shortly and that I am 60 miles away missing her like crazy. What if no one sings Do Your Ears Hang Low or If You're Happy and You Know It to make her laugh? No one will know that she loves the "If you're happy and you know it blow a kiss" the best and that clapping too sharply freaks her out. What if they know her day schedule better than I do? What if I miss the first step or the first word or the first dry diaper? What if she loves them more than me?

Okay, let me take a moment to compose myself and stop blubbering.

Cognitively, I know everything will be fine. It will help her to stop being squirrely with people other than me. It will get her used to other kids and a bit of chaos so we don't have an all-out melt down every time we have visitors. It will build her socialization skills. I will drop her off in the morning, she will eat, sleep, play and learn, and my husband will get to be the hero in the afternoon and pick her up. Life will go on. But it is killing me.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wordless Wednesday 5/9/07

Kayak weather is coming! I can't wait.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

School's Out for the Summer

Ah, the SNL special is on. SNL in the 90s. When it was funny and relevant and smart. Now it's just an embarrassment.

School is over for the semester. It was harder than I ever imagined. I learn something new every semester. My lesson for this semester: I SUCK. Maybe if Millie was a better sleeper, things would have been different. Maybe if I could have had more than 45 minutes to think. To read an article. To correct exams. To, God forbid, think about my dissertation. But, for the last three months, she woke up more times than I can count between the time she goes to "bed" and the time we relented and my husband took her to bed with him so I could get some work done. Of course, by then, it's late and I'm exhausted. If I don't get the job I am still hoping hoping hoping for and I'm still in school full time in the fall, I am holding on to hope that she'll be better by then. At this rate, I should get my dissertation by the time I'm 50. Not that there is anything wrong with getting your dissertation at 50. It's just wrong when you started at 31.

Maybe now I'll have time to breathe. To blog. To call my friends. If they still love me. I wouldn't blame them if they say, "And I should know you from?"

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