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Question of the Week - Caring for the Child

I hope all the mothers out there had a happy Mother's Day. (At least for those who knew it was Mother's Day. hehe. I guess it's not as big a deal in other countries.) For those who are not yet mothers or are still trying to be mothers, I hope next year brings you a lovely Mother's Day filled with all you could have hoped for.

I'm gonna update about my weekend first, and then we'll get to the Question of the Week. Because I haven't complained enough about our lack of sleep. ;-)

My brother needed Londo's help moving on Sunday, so Londo gave me Saturday as a day off from childcare and anything else to enjoy doing whatever I wanted, which included a 2 HOUR NAP!!! and playing around on the computer for the rest of the afternoon. Alas, I still haven't caught up on all the blogs I like to read, but I was working on other things.

Unfortunately, Londo had to deal with a very fussy toddler and he was grumpy on his own anyway. These things kind of twinged my day a bit because I'm the type to feed off of others' emotions, especially those closest to me, and because I felt a bit guilty taking time off (oh that mother's guilt) especially when she has been so fussy.

We knew her second bottom molar was coming in, but by the evening we were starting to think she felt hotter than the slight fever she gets when teething. She hadn't been sleep well for a while (minus that one glorious night after her first molar broke through and she slept through the night), but Saturday night the Pumpkin was miserable. She was so hot and getting shivers. We gave her Motrin and try her in our bed, but she was kicking and flailing so much that no one was getting any sleep. Londo finally got her to sleep in her crib from about 4 to 6, but most of the night was pretty awful for all of us.

The next morning, she seemed fine and didn't seem feverish, just a little warm like she does when she's teething. So we went over to my mom's for a Mother's Day breakfast with my parents, my grandmother, my sister's family, and my brother's family, and we had a really good time. When we brought her back home at morning naptime, she was melting down and feeling miserable. I just held her for her nap and we both napped in the recliner, while Londo went to help my brother move. We napped about 40 minutes, but she woke up still tired and cranky and very clingy. It was kind of nice to have her so clingy and cuddly on Mother's Day, but it was a shame she felt so bad.

She fell back asleep in my arms an hour or two later, after eating very little. I was able to go online and type one handed while she slept on me (sorry to those who got my sloppy comments!). When she woke up again, she was still so groggy and hot. I finally decided to take her temperature rectally (the forehead thermometer just isn't accurate), and it was 104.3!!! That was when I got panicky and called my pediatrician's nurse on call. She made me feel a lot better and we talked about what I was doing to help the Pumpkin: medicine for the fever, liquids, saline swabs for her nose, foods when she'd eat them, keep her cool. I was doing all but keeping her cool enough. So I stripped her down to her onsie and light pants (not even socks) and gave her a couple of ounces of cold milk. After she finished the milk, she popped up, wanted to get down and started running around playing! She did so much better the rest of the evening!

We still had a rough night, and my back, arms and legs are so sore from sleeping in the recliner, but the fever has not seemed to come back. I'm taking her in to the doctor today even though her fever seems gone. She's still fussy and not eating much, but that's how she was with the molar teething before all this. I'll feel better after the doctor checks her out.

The Pumpkin and I didn't wake up from our sleeping in the recliner until 7:00, and then I nursed her for about a half hour, got her dressed and ready, and it was almost 8:00. I still was not ready at all, hadn't even used the bathroom! But the nanny arrives at 8:00 (or shortly after), so I just brought the Pumpkin downstairs and when the nanny got there, I was able to go up and shower and get ready without having to chase around the toddler! It was such a relief because I was running so late (I like to be out the door just after 8:00).

So, this got me thinking... Usually we parents are full of guilt about the choices we make for going back to work or staying home, for sending a kid to daycare or spending money on a nanny, for so many things that seem so important in raising our children. What if we take a minute to say some good things about our childcare situation, whether it be staying at home with the child, having a nanny or family member watch the child or the child getting to go to daycare. So the question of the week is...

What is great about your childcare situation?

Mine is that the one-on-one care for the Pumpkin has been really good for her, and the nanny at our house is making my time getting out the door so much easier. Also, if the baby was this fussy and I was dropping her off at my mom's, I would always feel so bad because she is mom my doing this favor for us, but when it's the nanny I have less guilt about the Pumpkin being fussy because she is watching just her and can devote attention to her when she is fussy and clingy and, let's be honest, because we are paying her I feel like it's her job to watch the Pumpkin through the good and bad. I don't know if that makes sense out loud, but it does in my head.

How about you? What makes you happy about who is caring for your child and how?


Kat said…
I have litterally just left M alone for the first time. What makes me hapy is that it is with my neighbour whose child I will be caring for full time. K x
Becoming Mommy said…
I'm glad about the days Sasha is able to be with his Grandma. Nothing can beat having your child cared for one-on-one by someone who loves them almost as much as you do, if you can't do it yourself. And on a part-time basis we're still able to do it and I'm grateful.
As for the other days, he actually seems to like his daycare. They seem caring an have a simple philosophy that resonates with me and is in keeping with how he's cared for at home and at Grandma's. He's been doing FABULOUSLY there so far, loves the people there, and has come home exactly like he would if he'd been at Grandma's all day.
Jan said…
A lot is great about my childcare situation. My kids are in a daycare/preschool ("early learning center", I believe). It's very Montessori-esque, from what I know of Montessori (emphasis on self-reliance, lots of learning through play and touch) and it's very kind. This place doesn't even (OK, rarely) use time outs. They use redirection, giving choices, all really positive discipline stuff. I've learned a ton, technique-wise, from the teachers there.

I also love the built-in social circle. I tend to be a little on the introverted side, and at least one of my kids is definitely NOT. So it's really easy for me to provide her with too little social stimulus for her to grow.

At last, but not least, it's awfully nice to have a backup for those days when I don't have to go to the office, but I really need a day without kids -- I can usually arrange for them to go on a Friday and it's familiar and totally simple. (Also, Friday is CHOCOLATE MILK DAY, which means it's a big hit.)
I'm Not Skippy said…
Grandma watches him. On days like today when I call and he's screaming because that first tooth is pushing in hard she takes goo care of him.
La folle maman said…
Our caregiver has 3 children of her own (all boys), one of which is only 5 months older than our lil' Monkey. He and Monkey get along so well. When I drop Monkey off, her son will toddle over and reach for him. That makes me really happy because it means my little guy is making friends!

Plus, our caregiver is just a good source of information, especially when dealing with little boys. I read recently in Parents magazine that daycares sometimes don't understand how boys play and that the normal roughhousing or play that boys tend to engage in is often discouraged. Having her boys, plus another two boys there (she only watches one girl), makes me think he will be able to BE a boy without ridicule.

She's also very flexible with times (we as parents are expected to be, too). For instance, today her middle boy had a music recital at his preschool that she wanted to attend without having to drag all of her daycare kids to the event. She asked the parents well in advance if we'd mind working around this schedule change and would let the kids stay longer either the same day or another day that week. This worked out perfect for us because we're having some carpet repaired later this week and the "window" they gave us would have made picking Monkey up at his usual time impossible. So it all worked out!
The best part of our childcare situation is that he will start daycare at a montissori next week!

I have to admit when the weather is nice and we sit outside together that is pretty wonderful, it seems like exactly where we should be... and it will be even better when I am refreshed cause I get a break!
- Dana said…
I really like that our parents take turns coming one day a week to spend a day with our little girl. She loves it and we get a free home-made dinner out of the deal :-) In July this schedule will change, but she'll be in a Montessori school from 9-3ish everyday. I'm excited to be able to pick her up early and spend more time with her in the afternoons. We are arranging the grandparents to come during her breaks, so I'm happy that they will still get to spend more time with her outside of the regular family get togethers. She loves her some "bamma" and "pop pop"!
Rudyinparis said…
Great topic. I really like that our daycare provider has been doing it for years and years and is a real pro. And also that she genuinely loves my kids while being able at the same time to respect my primacy as a mother. She is always generous in her praise of our parenting.


Caramama, thanks for your comment about reader privacy from several days ago--I was offline since Thursday at home, and am now on the road for work--only limited Internet access--haven't even been to Ask Moxie... ! (gasp!)
BrooklynGirl said…
The babysitter who used to take care of my son now watches my daughter 10 hours a week. I love that my daughter's eyes light up when she sees her and she claps and generally looks thrilled. Of course, I hate that too.

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