I'll start by a side note to say thank you for your comments on my last post. Gummy has, as I hoped, knitted her morning nap to her night sleep. We've been waking up at 7am in our house lately. How civilized.
Funny how life changes so much in one year. Last year in September, I was having all kinds of foreboding ultrasound detecting large SCHs and other possible horrible things that could kill or maim my fetus (amniotic bands, anyone?). This year in September, I'm awaiting the fall activities we've signed up for to start (next week!) and wrapping my mind around my baby's impeding participation in day care.
I'm going back to work in March. If only you lived in Canada and got a year of maternity leave. Yes. I too wish you lived in a communist country that supports child and maternal (and paternal) health. It remains, and I'm not complaining just stating, that 12 months is not the best time for a child to separate from her primary caregiver. Just as you're dropping off the little grasshopper, she is at the peak of her separation anxiety days. What fun that will be.
Having become aware of the aura of stress around day care from everyone who had babies before me (which, at 39, that's the majority of my friends), I knew to start the search early. So I called up the place where Sattva sent her kids when I was about 5-6 months pregnant. They wouldn't put Gummy's name on the list because Gummy is apparently not an appropriate name for a child*. Harumph. This meant that as soon as I managed to prop myself back up after the birth and ensuing circus, I got on the day care mission. I saw a couple and settled on one I didn't really love, but had a full time spot for Gummy starting in February, making a good transition time when she would start day care and I would still be at home. It was there I learned there are only 56 spots for infants (< 18 months) in our entire city (in registered day care centres).
So, that was settled. It wasn't great, but it was adequate, which I came to believe was the best I could hope for.
Three weeks ago, Mr. A started talking about staying home with Gummy. That sounded better than any day care centre. But I was against becoming the sole breadwinner in the family. 'I will resent you. And you will resent yourself', I told Mr. A, and he could see my point. Part time day care was now our focus.
The mediocre day care doesn't accept infants part-time, so we had to find something else. Also, mediocre day care is on my way to work, at the other end of town, but not a place where Mr. A could fetch Gummy on foot or bike.** And so for those days when I'll need to stay later at work, picking up Gummy would be a logistic tour-de-force, involving car seat transfers and taxis (or cross-country skis on a snowy day, Mr. A noted).
The day care centre 2 streets over had been on my mind. I never had a great impression of it, but our good friends sent their son there from 12 to 24 months of age. And they had many more positive things than negative things to say about it. We went for a tour recently. I liked it less than mediocre day care centre. But they can take Gummy in April, part-time. This means she can stay home 2 days with Mr. A and be at day care only 3 days, with some early pick-ups when her dad is available. And it would be for a year to 18-months at the most. After that, she would go to a different day care centre because there are many more toddler spots in the city.
I wish I had more choice in the manner, but it feels like we need to take what we can get given the dearth of spots.*** I have so many criteria in my head about what constitutes good childcare, and these places are falling short on many of them. And I know my expectations are pie in the sky, and that Gummy will do fine given some basic care. But she's my precious girl. I want only the best of the best for her.
More on day care later. It's all the time I've got for now. Yikes! Is time for my own interests ever scarce these days. More on that too, whenever I can write.
* They have a policy of only putting babies' names on the list and not fetuses. The nerve.
**I'm the only one with a car in our family.
*** There are many home day care arrangements, but I do not want her in a home day care for a number of reasons. The main reasons being that there are practically no regulations around home child care arrangements so if something goes wrong, there is very little recourse with the law or regulatory bodies.