Monday, August 06, 2007

I can't just leave my baby with anyone!

I've been trying to figure out who will take care of my sweet baby girl for a few weeks now. Actually, I should have been thinking about this for months and months, but I've been in denial. For a really long time, August seemed very, very far away. But now it's August, so reality is starting to set in.

I thought I was going to do a nannyshare with a teacher who placed an ad on craigslist. I do think craigslist is an amazing resource. Anyway, this teacher placed an ad for sharing a nanny. It seemed perfect -- she and I have the exact same schedule, our girls are close to the same age. And sharing a nanny is half the cost of having one by yourself.

We met each other and everything looked good. She lives in Lincoln Square, and her condo is on the top floor of an old building, so I was concerned about how a nanny would get two babies down three flights of narrow stairs by herself. But I decided it would work out.

We interviewed five nannies, and only agreed on one of them. Then we did a background check on her and found out she had a burglary conviction in her past. So much for that. We decided we would just go through an agency, since we'd spent more than a week already with no luck.

Then the next day -- last Thursday -- she calls me and says she's really sorry, but it's not going to work out. She can't afford a nannyshare. I felt like I'd been dumped! She kept saying it's not me, it's her. And she hopes we can still be friends. Blah blah blah. I'm thinking -- this was your idea! Wouldn't you have made a budget and figured out what you can afford BEFORE placing an ad on craigslist and getting me involved???

So I was so upset and freaked out. I wasted a week and a half on this lady. And it's not easy finding childcare in Chicago. Especially when you can't afford 400 bucks a week.

One woman, who only charged 100 bucks a week, said that I could just bring Emiko's carseat with me, and she could sit in it when she wasn't napping in a play yard. I do not want my darling baby girl sitting in a carseat all day long! And she wasn't licensed and didn't pay taxes.

I made a billion phone calls and got added to several waiting lists. I also spent hours combing through message board posts on the Northside Parents Network regarding childcare. Any in home daycares that got positive reviews. Anything. Made more phone calls.

Met another woman who is licensed, but doesn't pay taxes, either. And she hosts sex toy parties on the side. Which is fine, just kinda weird. She has two girls at home with her, so I felt like she probably wouldn't pay too much attention to Emiko. Keep looking.

I then remembered that there is a house I pass all the time that has a sign in the yard about an in home daycare. I was at my wit's end, so Emiko and I drove by and got the number. Called the number, a really nice woman answered and invited us to visit. We got back in the car and booked it over there.

Hallelujah!!! It was great. It was spotless. Only a few babies -- close to Emiko's age. Two full time adult employees. Licensed. They pay taxes. They have all these stations -- there's a drama corner, a music corner. Tons of developmental activities. I called a couple of references and they love the place. And they had a spot for Emiko. Aaaahhh. Now I can stop freaking out!

I'm still freaking out about having to go back to work, but at least I know Emiko will be well cared for in my absence. I'm sure my back to work trauma will be another superfantastic post.

Oh, that teacher who dumped me called me this morning. She has emailed a couple of times, and now she's called. I think had we been friends beforehand, that would be different. But since I only just met her, and she let me down, I don't think I want to be friends with her. Am I being unreasonable and bitchy?

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