Thursday, August 21, 2008

Up All Night

My poor baby.

After the childcare plan collapse, I’ve been scrambling to find someplace for Mr. Baby to go every day. And I mean both that I’ve been scrambling for daily coverage and that the scramble happens anew every single day. This week, it’s been rare for me to know before 3pm where he’s going to be the next day. Fortunately, the only store-related credit I have remaining is with my former playgroup regulars, and St. Laura of Velasco has very kindly and lovingly taken up way more than a reasonable amount of slack as I flail about desperately trying to find a long-term solution to our babysitting needs.

In the meantime, my pleasant, easy-going baby is starting to show signs of cooperation fatigue. Our usually seamless morning drop-offs have become dramatic and teary, especially when those drop-offs involve leaving him with a total stranger in a totally strange, though fully licensed, location. I’ve had to return to the days of eating cold dinners, since nothing but me picking him up will calm his meal-time fits of separation anxiety. And our nights have regressed, with him up and nursing frequently, refusing to fall asleep without touching some part of me, flopping his half-awake body toward me and resting his head on my stomach, using me as a source of physical comfort in a way unseen since his newborn weeks.

And yes, okay, I realize that four days of somewhat unpredictable but generally familiar care isn’t going to cause permanent damage and it probably doesn’t explain every recent change in his behavior (there are pretty solid hints that he’s got more teeth coming in, plus he’s about three hours away from walking), but my guilt and stress and fear over not having the childcare issue resolved feeds into my every perception about his well-being. I just won’t feel like he’s okay until I find a place for him to be okay.

In the meantime, Miss M is taking kindergarten by storm, marching into her classroom every morning with barely a glance back in my direction. We’re struggling a little in the off-hours, as the early mornings and time-restricted lunches catch up with her, but she’s doing great while she’s there and I don’t have to think about it every minute of the day, so that’s the best I could hope for right now.

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