Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sitters Who Just Can't Handle Vegas

My DD turned 2 yesterday. Wow. I can't even begin to put into words how blissfully happy and how incredibly sad that makes me. She is our last child. Loads of "womb wistfulness" just like @caramama says. Amen.

We had a fantastic, fantastic, much-needed trip. We ate the shit out of the Big City. Saw my flaky, yet golden-hearted BFF and her new baby. Glad we could make that happen. I feel great about it. I also feel great about my marriage. Hard to believe we ever needed counseling (boy, did we though.)

Came home to an odd conversation from the woman who watches one or both of my kids a couple days a week so I can work. Apparently, her third daughter, who just started Kindergarten one month ago, is having a hard time 1) adjusting to leaving her house for school in the morning, and 2) eating lunch at school without her mother present. Let me clarify: her daughter loves her teacher, loves what she is learning in school once she actually gets there, but throws a tantrum and locks herself in the bathroom every morning that her mother is not there to personally escort her to school. Neither her aunt nor her 2 older sisters have been able to reach her. And she is apparently losing weight due to not eating at school unless her mother is there. The actual food quality is not the issue, it is just that she won't eat it unless her mother is there. Can you say 'Holy Manipulation, Batman!?' And she's been to the doctor with a lot of what I think is 100% psychosomatic stuff going on this month. I get it: this is a little, 5.5-year-old kid who Just Can't Be Without Her Mother. And a mother with Good Intentions But Very Poor Boundaries.

What I don't get is our sitter's chosen response to the behavior. Instead of finding some way to deal with the child's behavior, and actually work with her on it, she thinks she needs to acquiesce and just quit working so that she can be present at her daughter's school every day at drop off and lunch. WTF? This is the thought that apparently entered her mind when she told me about it: "Hmm, I'll ask my employer to give me 2 weeks off, and then I'll finally decide if I'm going to come back or not."

Um, it doesn't usually work that way.

Unfortunately, we don't live in a place with any decent daycare, nor with any sort of nanny placement agency. Sitters are all found via word of mouth, which actually works quite well in a small town with a strong rumor mill, but the lead time is very long. Ugh. Wish us luck, please. Because there is no work/life balance happening at my house right now!

I know what you're thinking. "Fire her! This is some unprofessional shizz on top of some other unprofessional shizz!" But seriously? I simply can't right now. There is no one else to replace her. Work-wise I'm so screwed if she leaves now. So I need her to hang in there for just a few more weeks. I need good help - a known quantity who I can trust both with my kids and my valuables. You'd be shocked at how hard that is to come by in Podunkville. We've tried. Say what I will about her choices vis-a-vis her Kindergartner, and her predilection for Too Much Honesty with me, her hapless employer; I know my kids are thriving in her care, and we're better off with her in our lives at this time.

The logistics of life really, really suck sometimes.

I just need someone who will show up for just 11 more months! Then DD can go to the Montessori preschool, and I can BREATHE.

Am I the only one out there with sitters who just can't handle Vegas?
P.S. Bonus points if anyone knows that movie reference.


NK: Style-ING w/ Children said...

I just spent the last 6 months (2 weeks left) living with my mother in law who graciously offered to come stay with us so Baby C doesn't go to a random daycare. Sort of helping us wait out the time we needed for THE daycare we love.
Needless to say, living with your mother in law is not something many people enjoy. It has not been easy. For both her and myself. It has been downright miserable at time. But we stuck it out, me and her, for Baby C.

All that to say that I so GET the whole need for in home care and the not perfect situations we must deal with in order to provide good care for our kids.

PS. Mother in law is awesome with Baby C. Absolutely great.

PSS. Before that we did a whole year with my aunt as a live in caregiver. Insanity... so glad we're done all that

mom2boy said...

Can she take your daughter with her to lunch with her daughter until this blows over? Everybody has to eat lunch, right? :)

Anonymous said...

Ditto to what mom2boy says!

We had college girls, who oddly always got "sick" around midterms right when we were busiest. But that was kind of predictable, and generally only a few days at a time.

hush said...

@NK - I'm glad you get it. Hope Baby C (and her parents, too) is adjusting well to daycare. A whole year of live-in with your aunt? WOW! Congrats on surviving that.

@mom2boy & @nicolemaggie - Our house is too far away from her daughter's school. We're talking an hour in the car, at least, roundtrip. Oh well.

Anandi said...

Not having childcare all of a sudden SUUUUCKS. Good luck - I hope it works out for you.