SUMmer SUMmer Time

I’ve gone dark. I think the last post you heard from me was expressing my desire to go on vacation. Guess what? I still want to go on vacation—but I still haven’t firmed up plans. (Yes, I’m a bit of a procrastinator.)

It was actually something other than planning a vacation consumed my days and nights for the latter part of May and some of June. It was the dreaded CAREGIVER SEARCH.


You see, O had been going to daycare/preschool two full days a week for the past year and a half or so. In late May, the director informed me they would no longer be offering at part-time option. We don’t need, and can’t afford, full-time care right now, so O’s father and I had to figure out what to do for the summer. (O is scheduled to start preschool in the fall at a local Montessori school.)

So, should O’s father give up a promising, part-time gig to take care of O full-time at home? It was going to be summer after all—that’s when kids should be footloose and fancy-free, right? Or instead of juggling two part-time jobs, should he try to get a full-time job, and we put O in daycare full-time five days a week? But it was summer after all—that’s when kids should be footloose and fancy-free!

Those damn questions fueled hours of “discussion time.” We finally decided that we should try to find someplace where we could send O two days a week, but try not to pay too much more than we were paying.

Yeah right, right? Like it’s just that easy.

It’s not. It’s damn hard. Trying to find a place that’s convenient to both workplaces, does part-time, doesn’t cost too much, has openings, yadda yadda yadda. I was in major stress-fest mode for about three weeks trying to juggle work and meetings and life, while running around interviewing and visiting potential caregivers.

We finally ended up with a summer sitter. A former preschool teacher, she has two boys of her own—just one and two years older than O, and she lives practically down the road. O spends his days playing, outside, with a few kids his age, in a home environment. He’ll spend the summer there, then start preschool in the fall, with two days of aftercare.

I honestly never thought I would go the sitter route—I’m fond of the more structured, daycare-type environment. I like the buzzer on the daycare door, and the fact that there are many trusted eyes watching over my kid. But this summer, something changed for me. First of all, it’s summer. A time when I feel structure isn’t as necessary, and kids should spend time outside playing, not cooped up a building. I remember my summers off of school fondly. I want my son to have the same sorts of memories. Secondly, O’s old enough to tell me if something’s wackadoodle. So, this mom is changing her mind yet again.

I tell ya, this childraising thing? There’s always something new to learn, and my thoughts about things are constantly shifting. I kind of love it—it’s the best, most challenging job I’ve ever had.

6 thoughts on “SUMmer SUMmer Time

  1. Anonymous says:

    Something that might also put your mind at rest is to have a serious, specific conversation with your son (and EVERYONE DO THIS no matter what your daycare situation) about safety, private parts, and more. After some horrible events with our doctor this year, I realized that I had only had the most vague discussions with my then five year old. I found a terrific book called "I Said No: A Kid to Kid Guide for Keeping Your Private Parts Private". I was really nervous about reading it with her, but it was actually terrific.

    When we coach our kids on things like crossing the street, we repeat it over and over. We make sure they do it. We explain why they need to do it. We point out cars as they come and say things like- if you didn't look both ways that car might have hurt you. We never give up until the message is sent.

    With privacy, inappropriate touch, etc. we have a really lame sideways conversation. We often don't give the kids words to use to name their parts. We do it once and say "phew. glad that is done. Good thing I don't really have to worry about it cause I never leave my kids with someone I don't trust."

    Not everyone is evil, but the people that get to our kids ARE people we trust. Take the leap of faith, trust and love, but make sure your kids are armed with proper information.

    I am taking every chance I can to encourage this- I never thought anything like this could even be in my life let alone directly involve me. I thought I was immune because I am a smart, with it parent with good instincts. I was wrong.

  2. I love your use of the word, "wackadoodle."


  3. Anon–I second, third, fourth and a hundred everything you said. I think I'll be getting that book this weekend. I hope you can find some peace within you and your family as you struggle through the situation with your doctor.

    Becky–that was totally unintentional, but now that I see it, I'm a bit embarrassed!

  4. GratefulTwinMom says:

    This is what I love most about parenting–it's changing, like you say. We can't get too complacent in any situation because the minute we do, that's the second it changes. I'm working on keeping one step ahead of the changes.

    @Anon–true that teaching our kids at a very young age about inappropriate touch, or even inappropriate talk, is important. I'm going to check out that book too.

  5. Ah… the caregiver search, I'm going through it now. I wonder why it is that it's the mom that ends up doing all the research… As if working full time and raising the kiddo was not enough!
    Great post, thanks for sharing 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.