We were supposed to go out of town for the evening-not very far, only about an hour away. A good friend of mine has an art show opening, and we were going to get dressed up (ok, we were going to shower and put on clothes with minimal vomit stains) and hit the town, maybe grab some drinks with friends afterwards. My baby brother Casey was lined up to babysit, which is good, because he's more paranoid about my kid than I am, and can be bribed with fresh bread and Stripes on DVD.
Naturally, when I picked Henry up from school, I walked into his classroom and he was screaming. The teacher said "Yeah, he's definitely tired. He only took a few fifteen minute naps." As soon as I picked him up, he puked all over me. While it was tempting to dump my vomiting, crabby kid off on my brother and hit the road, I knew I wouldn't feel right being an hour away while he was sick. So home we stayed. Instead of a nice night out, I took a long bath, took care of some long overdue facial hair removal, and ate microwave popcorn and had a beer. I'm convinced that Henry senses when we have plans and finds a sick kid at day care to lick or have cough on him or something.
We've been pretty happy with his day care. That's a real challenge-we knew we couldn't afford for me to not work, even if we seriously downgraded our lifestyle. I was lamenting this on facebook when I was on leave, and some friends helpfully posted that they had managed to stay home by making some hard choices and giving up some luxuries. My sister, who thinks Ben and I live a pretty....well, destitute is not the right word, but we don't have a lot of stuff. She likes stuff. I sometimes wonder about genetics and how everything aligns, because you would be hard pressed to find two people more different than my sister and I. For example, I hate shopping, and do all of mine at Target or thrift stores. I find one thing I like and buy it in every color they have, just to avoid trying things on. I like camping and hiking and getting dirty. Shannon, on the other hand, has said that when she retires she wants to live in one of those condos that attaches to a mall by a tube, so she never has to go outside. We get along great now, but it was a long road to get here.
So she sees our lifestyle as pretty threadbare. When she saw the posts about "giving up luxuries" she said "What the fuck do people expect you to give up, electricity?" She wasn't too far off on that one.
So we had to start looking for day cares, which I did before the kid even popped out, because everyone who felt the need to give me advice basically said if you didn't get your kid on a waiting list five seconds after they were conceived, you were shit out of luck. I went to visit a few and became more and more concerned. At one home day care, when I knocked and the lady opened the door, the door knob fell off. I walked past a row of playpens, all housing tiny inmates like a preschool Shawshank. The looks they were giving me made me think of horror movies....that silent "Don't do it" stare. While politeness forced me to take their info and promise a call back, all I really wanted to say was "Actually, I wouldn't leave my dogs here, much less my kid."
But we found a nice place in a church that is a few blocks away, that was highly recommended by people both of us work with. He's in a class with seven other babies, the teachers are great, they seem to really like him, and normally he loves it there. Once I dropped him off and realized I'd left his formula in the car. I went to get it and came back in, he was playing in a bouncer. I went over and said "Ok, buddy, I'm really leaving this time!" And he gave me a look that said "Why the hell are you still here? I'm BUSY."
I guess I'd rather have that than one of the kids who cries and clings to his mom's legs when she tries to leave....but the past few days have been a different story. They don't say it, but I think Henry has been wearing the teachers out. My kid makes them earn that money. And possibly start saving for a hysterectomy.