Sunday, August 17, 2014

Still here. Still, ahem, blogging.

 I could write more often, couldn't I? there are so many things I could do better, more often, with greater care, with better follow-through, and more mindfully. Shit. To be honest, I'm glad I remember to floss every night.

Being the working mom of a toddler is kicking my ass, admittedly. It probably doesn't help that my perfectionistic tendencies get kicked up a notch when I'm stressed. My perfectionism isn't pathological. At least not for the most part. Unfortunately, my husband's inattentiveness and forgetfulness are pathological, and making some things about family life quite difficult. There is more to say here, but I will have to leave it at that. Things are hard.

I changed jobs in July. I left my old job at the community mental health centre with much regret. I really liked it there and they really liked me. I also felt disloyal, since they had initially hired me on a contract, and then offered me the full time permanent position when I was 6-months pregnant, knowing I was soon to be away for a year. It was good work, and it had a lot of what I liked in being a child psychologist, but there were a few key things missing. A job came up at a university children's hospital 45 minutes away from Pleasantville, with better pay, better benefits, in an area germane to the topic of my MA and PhD research. The interview went quite well I thought, and I received a phone call a few days later saying that they wanted me. Turns out they interviewed 10 people, and hired me without a second interview. My ego had trouble fitting through the doors for a few days after that. I was very pleased with this outcome. It's true that I have worked my ass off for this, and it always feels good to be rewarded for my years of very hard work. And folks,  I'm one of those lucky people who LOVES what she does.

My Gummy girl is about to be 18 months. From April to August, she has been sick so, SO often. She's had 3 double-ear infections (needing antibiotics each time. ARGHH!), at least 2 stomach viruses (the one she had 2 weeks ago dragged on for 7 days, and Mr. A got it too, which meant taking time off work three weeks into my new job. Cue newbie anxiety). She looked quite thin a few weeks ago, and with the illnesses and the transition out of cloth diapers, she had an adolescent-boy-pants look going on. I went out and got her smaller shorts to wear, fearing that the ones she had were impeding her gross motor development. Luckily, she has been well since the last puke-fest, and is doing better with holding her food down and her shorts up.

The childcare situation continued to be a rock in my shoe. In addition to everything I've complained about on here, the fact that Shitty Daycare was making her SICK did nothing to help me like it. There was the 15-month ages and stages questionnaire (ASQ) that one caregiver filled out, stating that my child had no language. It lacked a lot of nuance and context, but I understand that the caregivers are not as well educated as I would like them to be. They sent the 18-month ASQ this past Friday, and in the process, voided any remaining chances I had resolved to give them. They described my baby as having "extreme mood swings for no apparent reason", which in my world is code for bipolar disorder. Could they not have described her as "still adjusting from being away from her parents?" Wouldn't that be a kinder, more developmentally and contextually appropriate way of talking about someone's development over months 16, 17 and 18 of their young lives?

Well, I'll save you the suspense. Gummy got a spot at the Good Daycare on the university campus (where Sattva's girls went) and we are withdrawing gummy's tiny ass out of Shitty Daycare pronto. I'm only just trying to figure out if I should call the Shitty Daycare director and tell her that as a child psychologist, I would have grave concerns if I was consulting to a daycare centre where care providers described infants/toddlers in such a way. And that as a mother, I find it unacceptable.

The new Good Daycare. Oh! The Good Daycare is beautiful. It has natural light, wooded outdoor playgrounds, play-based learning. I am a little awestruck, and I do realize that it will not be perfect. But oh-so-better than Shitty Daycare. Oh-So-Better. There is no where to go but up as far as I can tell.

Also, my child does not have bipolar disorder. She is, admittedly, entering the heart of toddlerhood, and is rather forward about expressing her needs, wants and feelings. She is a little girl with a temperament on the intense side, but who is otherwise quite adaptable, content, curious, loving, and yes, she is developing language. Her expressive language is lagging a little because she is growing up in a bilingual household. But her receptive language is right on target. She is doing well. I know because I'm her mother.

She is my everything, that gummy girl.