Thursday, September 04, 2003

I thought I'd tell a funny story that happened this evening.

Right after I fed little Boogie her dinner, the doorbell rang. I didn't see any cars out in the driveway or on the street, so I figured it was my neighbor. It wasn't. It was a kid, maybe about 10 or 12, who was offering to paint our street number on the curb for us.

My husband had had a solicitor like this a few weeks before and had told him no. So I told this boy that I had to ask my husband because I wasn't sure if he wanted to do it.

Now those who know me know that for something like this, I wouldn't have to ask my husband. We don't have that kind of marriage. He isn't overbearing or "macho." But the way I said it to this kid, I sounded like a brow-beaten wife who didn't have a mind of her own. In reality, I just wasn't sure I wanted it done. You can read our number perfectly fine right now. It's not a money issue. I just didn't want to have to deal with it right then.

He persisted a little, saying that he was painting our neighbor's curb, that it wasn't expensive. I again said that I'd have to ask my husband. He said that was OK, that I could bring in the samples of the street numbers that showed how they could paint our curb. Just then, my husband came in from working out in the garage.

"Hon, he'd like to paint our street number on the curb," I said to my husband. "Do you want to do it?" He came over and looked at the samples. "No, not right now," he said to the boy. The boy took one look at him and said, "That's OK, sir, have a nice day," and left.

At first I was a little surprised that he didn't try to push his sales pitch on my husband. Then I really looked at what my husband was wearing and started laughing. Since he was working out, he'd put on a pair of long basketball shorts, and was just wearing the "wife-beater" undershirt that he'd worn under his shirt today at school. My husband started balding in his early 20s, so now he just shaves it close to the head. And he was wearing these black fingerless gloves that he wears when lifting weights. Since he'd just come in from working out, he was pretty bulked up (he's usually a pretty lean guy, but he does get bigger when he's been lifting weights). The whole package put together made him look like some gang-banger.

Those who know my husband would say that he's the kindest, most sensitive guy around. He's going to be a 5th-grade teacher for God's sake. But this little boy didn't know that. He must have processed what I said about having to ask my husband about whether to paint, then saw this shaved-head Mexican with an undershirt that showed his muscles, and decided that it wasn't worth it.

It was a funny ending to a long day.

On a side note, things are better with my husband. Thanks to all who had advice and words of wisdom. While it was harder leaving Boogie today (she cried so hard and clung to me when I had to go ... I was bawling when I left), she did get more than 2 hours of sleep during her nap. She was still fussy when she got home, but hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Forgive me for this post, but I'm a little angry right now. My husband and I had a fight about having little Boogie in daycare.

It all started this evening when I arrived home from work. He told me that he was really upset when he picked her up from daycare because she was sitting by herself, holding a stuffed animal, starting to cry. They said she'd cried a little more than usual today, and again, didn't get much sleep.

He also said that the room was a mess with kids running around, toys and books all over the place. He asked about whether we could get on a waiting list for the woman who used to watch her, because her house was never a mess.

I questioned whether anything would be different with her. He's concerned that no one will watch her or love her as much as we do. Which is true. If that's the case, then it doesn't matter if it's someone's home or a daycare place ... neither one will love her as much. We used to be the last ones to pick up little Boogie at the old woman's house. Of course there were no kids running around, and she had time to pick up while she was waiting for us because all little Boogie did was lay there, since she was only 5 months old. Plus, daycare has a ratio of 4 to 1. The other lady's was 5 to 1. How can she be more attentive?

I also reminded him of times when little Boogie sits by herself while we're at home, watching TV while she sits in her chair holding Elmo. And how at times, she cries for no reason with us. It doesn't mean we're neglectful. And I do know that our house looks like a tornado hit it when she goes to bed. And she's just one person. I can't imagine having four kids running around. There's no way everything would be put into its proper order. The daycare place obviously puts it in proper order because everything's back in its place in the morning.

I know it's going to take some adjustment, but I feel like maybe I shouldn't have even gone back to work. Or maybe he should just stop his credential program and stay home with her. I don't think he'll be happy unless we or someone from his family is watching her. He said before that no one's as good as family when watching your children. I agree that family will always love them more, and one-on-one time is great. But sometimes, outsiders can teach them things we can't or don't. Sometimes new people, new kids, help a child be more independent, social and outgoing. And besides, having family watch her isn't an option. We don't have someone who can watch her full time, five days a week.

I'm not saying that I just drop her off in the mornings and have no regrets. I do get teary when I have to leave her. But I also saw how she struggled to get out of my arms this morning so she could run over to kiss a little girl she met the day before. I saw how she happily sat down at the table to have breakfast with the rest of her friends. I do wish she'd sleep better, so she wouldn't be so temperamental at the end of the day. Don't we all just want to cry when we've gotten no sleep? And I do wish I knew if she felt abandoned or neglected.

I just don't know what to do. It's definitely taking its toll on us. We should be happy that our lives are moving forward, that we're becoming more financially stable, and that we're on our way to really making a difference in our respective jobs. But all we do is focus on how little we see Boogie, and whether we've done the right thing with daycare.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

My first day of work went well. I got thrown onto a couple of projects, which will really help my learning curve. And the group seems really great. A good fit for me. We went out for a two-hour lunch (I know I can’t get used to that), and really hit it off.

This morning was also hectic for my husband, who started his student teaching assignment today. But the hardest part was dropping off little Boogie at day care.

The woman who used to watch her ended up not having any openings, so we enrolled her in Kinder Care. I know they have a great program, and she’ll make friends with others her age, but this morning was so hard.

Actually it started last night. As my husband and I got settled into bed, he said, “I’m going to miss her asking for her show in the morning.” I said, “Yeah, we won’t hear her asking for ‘Sessa stree’ (Sesame Street).” And with that I started bawling. I felt so horrible thinking about how I’d complained for so many months about not having a job. Only to get a job and realize that it’s the end of my days with little Boogie. Why didn’t I enjoy my time? Why didn’t I cherish our lazy days? Why was I so focused on finding a job, as if that would be the best thing for everyone?

Don’t get me wrong. I really do like my new job. And it will be better so that we aren’t so worried financially. But I did miss her so much today. The good thing is she seemed pretty content when we left her in day care. It was just me and my husband who shed a few tears!