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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Breaking up is Hard to do

I don't give a shit if Allstate sues me for the title of this blog.

Tonight I will brief you on child care. I am picky. Sara is picky. And we should be. Everyone that has a child that needs child care should be. If there is one thing we should get right in this life it is the selection of the person who will care for our children if it isn't ourselves.

Sara and I got lucky the first go around. Sara was researching cloth diapers and came across a little in-home care center right around the corner from our house. We ended up choosing her. She stuck. Did we pick her or did she pick us? I don't even know, but I do know that she was one of the best things to happen to us and our daughter and our son.

Given that many children spend the better part of their waking time away from their parents, and that this was definitely the case for our two hooligans, I don't have a problem admitting that our provider did the better part of the raising. We supported her in this effort just as much as she supported us. We did our best to be consistent with things like nap times and meal times. And she followed suit with our standards of discipline. It was a joint effort and an effort that went relatively seamlessly for the better part of four and a half years.

But time happened and somehow we have a daughter that will be starting 4K this fall.  We need transportation for her to and from the 4K site. Transportation isn't something our current provider does and I don't blame her one bit. It's expensive to haul a bunch of juveniles around. I know. I work in insurance. Let's not even begin on the liability that would be involved. Certain safety features. Harnesses. Car seats. It's craziness. I used to ride in the front seat before I could even see over the dashboard. Laws Shmaws.

The looming schedule of 4K and Sara's less demanding hours required a different need of child care for our family. We needed to find someone who could do part time, be the chauffeur for 4K and swimming lessons, and provide a similar (ideally the same) level of love, nurturing, support, and discipline our babes were receiving with their current teacher. 

Sara did all of the leg work for this nanny thing. I was uninvolved until it came time to meet the candidates. She signed us up for this nifty nanny Web site, and reached out to at least a million people. (Okay, closer to 70).

We chatted with a few that could undoubtedly get the job done, but we needed more. There were shoes that needed to be filled. Then we found someone, a nanny I mean. She was young and responsible and a step ahead of me even. I fell in love with her. More importantly the most critical judge of all, Graisyn, fell in love with her.

It was heartbreaking and defeating when her fiance killed the deal. He wanted her to move to DePere and get rid of her vehicle so they could save money. I guess they want to get married and start a life or something. Jesus. Weddings are expensive. When the gays can get married I'll bet they throw all wedding related stuff on sale. It would be like Kohl's cash. Yup. She should definitely wait.

But she's in love, so she didn't wait. Instead, she politely declined our job offer so we sought other options. We looked some more and didn't find anyone worthy. I told Sara I was done and that we should wait until fall, closer to when school actually starts. She agreed reluctantly because neither one of us is a last minute person. We like the idea of proactivity.

I learned Sara was continuing the search under the radar when she called me at work to inform me a potential candidate was meeting us at the house promptly around the time I was to arrive home. I was not pleased and I was less pleased after I met the individual. She was an older woman (not that I'm age discriminating) who had little to zilch experience with child care. She did raise two of her own, but they had long since left the nest. I'm sure I quit listening when she asked if the kids needed to be supervised outside because I suppose it isn't obvious that a four year-old and an eleven month-old require pretty constant supervision. Needless to say, she didn't work out and it was very awkward the following Sunday when I saw her at Woodman's. #duckandrun.

Once more I pressured Sara to wait. Once more she agreed, but I should have known better. Secretly, she was corresponding with yet another nanny wanna-be. This nanny was the one though. She asked oodles of questions. Oodles. And this was before even meeting her. She came over for the first introduction and she engaged both children. Graisyn talked to her, something she'd only done with the long lost nanny stolen away by fiancé guy. Post meeting, she emailed Sara with more questions. She was engaging and the questions she asked showed the general care and concern she had for children. She seemed delightful.

Even in finding a teacher and nurturer that we're sure would be a good match for our children, the ultimate decision to take them away from their place of comfort and contentment was grueling. I've often wondered if I'm just dramatic about decisions like this or if other parents experience similar emotions. Still, past all the emotions, we knew our current provider would understand the need for change. We knew it would be hard for her too, but she would get it. She would squeeze her babies on their last day and send them on their way. And I know she will be hoping just as much as we are that this new person taking over her role demonstrates just as much love and care and concern for Grai and Kaz as she did. God willing.

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