Thursday, August 30, 2012

On daycare

I really like having my kid in daycare. This is partly because I have a job so I don't have much choice, and partly because I’m a raging extrovert who gets really weird without grownup interaction. I know my limitations, and I don’t think being a stay-at-home parent would be a great fit for me.  My sister and I have been having conversations lately about in-home daycare vs. center-style, and I think there are a lot of benefits to either. (In our county, in-home daycares must be certified, and can choose to work directly through the county to accept foster kids, so we got a list of daycares, both in-home and center, to pick from in our area when we got certified to foster. Our kid goes to a branch of a center-style daycare about a mile from our house.)

All of that said, there are a few things that routinely bug me about our daughter’s daycare:

1. At least once a week, I have to hunt for her pacifier before we can head home. She has a pacifier clip. She enters the building with it clipped to her shirt every morning. Unless they’re changing her clothes (see next item) I don’t have any idea why they’d have to unclip it and leave it, say, on the bookcase, or draped over the arm of the bouncy zebra toy. I’m not in love with the baby being as attached to her pacifier as she is, but that’s our choice, not the daycare’s, and I don’t like having to hunt for it. Especially because I don’t usually notice it’s missing until she’s buckled into her carseat, so I have to unbuckle her, haul her back inside, and find a small item in a large room.

2. Lately, our girl has been resistant to wearing a bib at daycare. This is interesting, since she has never fussed about or pulled at a bib at home, with the very rare exception of when putting the bib on slows down the process of getting food into her face. Anyway, in the last week or so, the daycare has just let her eat without one. We do baby-led solids, which means our almost-nine-month-old gets a lot of chunks of fruits and veggies. So regardless of what she’s wearing, they let her eat peaches, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, green beans, whatever, without a bib. And then afterwards, after there’s a bunch of organic matter smushed into her clothes, they just change her into one of the backup outfits from her cubby. And stick the messy clothes into a grocery bag, tied shut. For me to deal with, up to eight hours later. This has meant a huge increase in the amount of Oxyclean I have to use on her clothes, which sucks because the baby has eczema and I try not to use synthetic shit on her clothes (and I haven’t been able to find a natural stain remover yet), and a doubling of the amount of clothes I have to wash for her every week. But I haven’t said anything, because I can’t tell if this is the battle I really want to pick. Maybe I should get a few thrift-store shirts in a bigger size for them to throw on like a smock?

3. This is the biggie. The usual lady who runs the baby room is on vacation this week, which coincides with the start of a new baby. Yesterday, I dropped our girl off to the usual backup lady, who we know and are comfortable with. The new baby was on the floor with a woman who I assumed was her mom. NOPE. It’s a new employee, who made very limited awkward small talk with me but who didn’t bother to even INTRODUCE HERSELF in the ten minutes I was there. She was there when Andy picked the baby up, and introduced herself to him, but no one at the daycare mentioned the baby would be with a new person (which, hi, attachment issues mixed with visits in the last few weeks, would have been fucking cool to have been notified of) and that she would be in charge of my kid. What the hell, daycare?

It feels weird telling people what to do, especially for someone who curses a lot but is painfully polite in real life, and it’s even weirder when you’re telling them to do something totally different from how everyone else does it. Explaining baby-led solids to the usual lady was not fun for me, nor was the conversation a few weeks ago where I realized they aren’t feeding her like we do (i.e., bottle of three or four ounces of formula plus three or four ounces of solids equals a meal – they’d been giving her small bottles at mealtimes and solids separately), especially when I called yesterday about the visit and they were doing it “their way” again.

What do you all think? Are these minor issues that I should just let go, knowing my kid’s well cared for and happy, even if it’s not the way I’d do it? Is slight adjustment part and parcel of having your kid in someone else’s care all day? Or do I speak up? Should I talk to the director about the food thing, or about the not-introducing-herself thing? What would you do?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I've missed you, Internet.

I'm typing this on my husband's iPad, which is weird to type on, but my laptop is telling me it can't find my operating system, so that's fun.

Since I last posted:
- We went camping. I'd link to old posts on that subject but I don't know how on this thing so you'll just have to search for them the old-fashioned way. It was exactly as stupid as I expected it to be, with the added bonus of the part where I managed to get stung by a goddamn bee on my goddamn INNER THIGH and spent four hours walking around like Yosemite Sam. (The bee flew between me and a chair I was in the process of sitting in. It wasn't to do with any sexy anything, because camping.) Also, I was the only person the whole time to get stung, and also the only person there who hated camping. Not funny, nature.
- I took advantage of the fact that we were living in the woods for three days to switch to a natural deodorant, because who the fuck cares what you smell like when you're living in the woods? It worked okay, but not terrific, so I finally gave in and embraced the crazy and this evening I made my own deodorant out of arrowroot powder, coconut oil, baking soda, and tea tree, lavender, and bergamot essential oils. I bought the arrowroot from the public market yesterday and the dude asked what I was using it for and I almost lied because I realize how crazy this shit is. He did tell me I was the first person he'd ever have buy it for that purpose. I'll let you know how it works.
- The baby cut her first two teeth, finally, at just over eight months old.
- The new teeth plus eating some acidic foods (ratatouille and pineapple) combined to give the poor kid some fucking awful diaper rash. Every time she poops she sobs. Heartbreaking. We've been doing a lot of naked time (actually, she usually has a shirt on to clip her pacifier to) and we bought extra Burt's Bees diaper rash cream.
- The baby had been visiting with her dad, who had been showing up late or not at all, even though he has to call the morning of the visit to confirm that he's coming. Last week he called to confirm and then didn't show, so starting this week if he wants to see his daughter (my brain just corrected that to "if he wants to see MY daughter"), he has to be in the visitation center an hour and fifteen minutes before the visit starts. If he's not, they call and cancel the baby's transportation. We'll see how he does. I'm really curious to see if he can make it work, because he has literally never been on time to anything I've attended.
- My sister, who is awesome, and her husband sent me and Andy a rosebush to plant in memory of the baby we lost. People have been overwhelmingly kind to us and we're very grateful. This has been especially difficult because I don't know if I mentioned this but said awesome sister is pregnant. Our due dates were five days apart. We were fucking psyched about this, so it was a huge blow to both families when we lost our pregnancy. Thankfully, everything looks really healthy on her end and I can be really happy for her while still grieving our loss. For no particular reason, I think she's having a boy and am psyched to find out in a few weeks if I'm right. I suggested Rachael as a middle name for this baby, regardless of sex, since it worked so well for their first kid (who is my goddaughter and whose middle name is Rachael, duh).
- Andy and I are doing pretty well and are starting to talk about trying to knock me up again. The trying is the fun part, after all, and we know there was nothing we could have done differently last time to change that outcome. We'll chat with my doctors about this at a checkup I have later this week.

As always after I take a short blogging break, this got way longer than I expected, especially because I keep trying to rest my fingers on the iPad keyboard and typing gibberish that I then have to erase. Hope you all are doing fucking fantastically well.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Slowly returning to life

This is going to be brief: We're doing moderate-to-okay, mostly. Some days are rough, some days are fine. Our friends and family have been heroes and very thoughtful and kind, which helps.

Our foster daughter had another visit with her dad, and the worker indicated that she thinks he's going to start stepping up, which means I've been freaking out about losing her too. The worker reminded me that saying isn't doing, but hey, it's something to worry about and we all know I'm good at that.

We're taking a long weekend this weekend and surrounding ourselves with people who love us, so that should be good.

How y'all doing?

Monday, August 6, 2012


We lost the pregnancy.

It sucks about as much as you probably imagine, plus a little extra.

I'll spare you details, but it sucks to be me, mentally and physically, right now. I'm working on being kind to myself and on letting people do things for me (which I'm not terribly good at). I hope to be back in fighting shape soon.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Yesterday we had court, and the very brief summary is that nothing has changed.

The longer version goes like this: Last time we had court they set yesterday as the date for two custody hearings, one for our girl and one for her four-year-old brother. There was some back-and-forth with the brother's case, and since the parties can't all agree on what the outcome should be, the judge set a custody trial for the brother for early September. Then we turned to our baby's case: same outcome - the parties don't agree, so we go to custody trial in early September.

The grandma has filed for custody. The mom supports placement of the baby with the grandma. The dad supports temporary placement of the baby with the grandma, so, in his lawyer's words, she's with family instead of with strangers (i.e., us, the people who have raised her), and eventually the dad plans to get custody himself, even though he hasn't filed for custody in the last six months and he's not even a respondent on the case. The county doesn't support the baby going to the grandma, and even if the dad's home is ready for a baby (as his lawyer asserts) the county still has some other stuff they want him to do. Since there's no agreement, we go to trial, where the judge will hear all the parties' sides regarding our baby.

I spoke with the county attorney after the hearing and she said that as far as the county's concerned the baby will be with us for a while yet. They'll still give everyone every opportunity to do what they need to do to get this baby back, but even if the dad does every single thing he can in the next month, they won't just hand the baby over at the next court date. Speaking of which: he could have had visits both yesterday and today, but didn't call to confirm. So that's fun.

The most interesting moment came after the hearing. I have a terrible cold, and I had to blow my nose a few times during the hearing because the cold medicine I can take didn't do shit. As we were all getting up to leave, the baby's dad came over to see if I was okay, because he thought I was crying. Now, I know this dude to be a manipulative guy. I know that he is a charmer to get people to trust him. I just can't figure out what he was trying to gain there. I was so taken aback that I actually laughed out loud - and then I remembered that I want to be involved in this baby's life even if she ends up with him, so it's in my best interest to have him think I like and trust him, so I said, very politely, that no, I had a cold, but that it was very sweet of him to ask.

So we get at least another month with this awesome baby, and have just as much of a guess as to where she'll end up as we did the day she arrived.