Friday, October 3, 2008

What a Day

This has probably been one of the craziest weeks of my life, and yesterday was the icing on the cake.

I'm very much a planner. I like things to be organized, well thought out, prepared for, and nice and routine. I know, it's not the most exciting way to live, but it helps me manage stress, and remember simple things like where I've parked my car or left my keys. I know, it's not terribly exciting, but it works for me. So, you can imagine that having my mom tell me that she is in excruciating pain and cannot watch Michael for me might just disrupt my routine a little.

In a perfect world, my hunt for a daycare center would go something like this.

  • Identify local daycares within a 10 mile radius
  • Do internet research on each one
  • Talk to neighbors and friends about their daycares, what I should look for, what questions to ask, blah, blah, blah
  • Contact each center, ask tons of questions, take notes, create a matrix comparing advantages and disadvantages of each
  • Select top three choices
  • Visit top three choices
  • Make a decision and then sleep on it to make sure it "feels right"
  • Enroll Michael
  • Establish transition plan
  • Execute transition plan
Here's how it really worked.

  • Talk to neighbor to find out what daycares they looked at
  • Make list of four centers
  • Call two centers on Monday
  • Scheduled with the one that has an opening for a tour on Wednesday
  • Visit daycare
  • Enroll Michael
  • Drop him off the next day
Oh, and I forgot the cry hysterically the night before dropping him off, but I didn't really want to make that a bullet point.

So, yesterday morning Andy and I changed up our schedule and delivered Michael to daycare. We brought in Michael's stuff and placed it in his cubby, then we went over to drop him off in the the 3 year old room where he will play until his teacher comes in. Andy left first, and Michael was ok with that. Then, I think he figured out that I was about to leave him with this unknown woman in this strange place. The lip started to quiver, the eyes started to turn red, and my heart started to break. I really just wanted to stay there and hug him, but I knew that it would just make it harder. So I smiled, said good bye and left him.

It was hard to do. Very hard to do. And, to make it that much harder, my routine was shot to hell. I hit the highway, and got to work half an hour later than normal. I had to park my car in a different area of the lot and was afraid that I wouldn't be able to find it at the end of the day. (Yes, I really do forget where I park my car.)

Once I got into work, I planned out my day.
  • Work until 3:15
  • Pick Michael up at 3:45
  • Make dinner at 4:15
  • Eat 5:00
  • Head to Open house at daycare 5:45
  • Home by 7:00 to put Michael to bed
  • 7:45 go grocery shopping for mom
  • 9:00 home at take shower
  • 10:00 in bed
Ah, a plan. That feels good. This will all work out.

My mom called at 2:15. Her doctor had just called her with the results of the MRI she had done on her knee. It's bad. Two torn ligaments, one torn meniscus, and a small break in her tibia. Her doctor tells her that she is going to call around and find a specialist that can see her ASAP.

Sounds good, right? Guess what time the doctor could see her? 3:45. Wait, that's when I need to pick up Michael. Even if I didn't, I don't have time to get to my mom's to pick her up. My plan is shot.

In steps the hero of my story. Andy. I managed to catch him on his cell phone right before he was heading into a meeting. When I asked him to pick up my mom and take her to the doctor he said, "Ok, where do I pick her up." And relief just washed over me. We could make this work.

When I went in to pick Michael up, he looked so sad. His eyes were red from a day of crying. His teacher reported that he did have a rough day. She reported that he only ate one beef nugget at lunch. To which I responded, "He ate a beef nugget? How on earth did you get him to do that?" Next she reported that he didn't seem to like being sat on the potty. To which I responded, "You got him to sit on the potty? How on earth did you do that?" At which point I realized that I'm just a big old softy, and maybe this daycare thing isn't all that bad for him.

He did make a friend, and his teacher had a picture of them for me at the open house. It was pretty darn cute. They are facing each other holding hands. Michael eyes were red, but he looked like maybe this wasn't the worst thing in the world. I could have just hugged that little boy for helping to make Michael's first day a little bit better.

The rest of the evening was crazy. Andy and Michael had to go and pick up my mom while I went to the open house. I considered not going, but I'm very glad I did. I got to spend some one on one time with his teacher. She went over all of their daily activities, showed me everything they use for circle time and arts and crafts. I also got to see her interact with the few children that were still in the other half of the room. I really liked her, and I feel a lot better about leaving Michael in her care.

Of course, when I got home, my day still wasn't done. I spent some time with Michael and then got him to bed. I rushed out to do shopping for my mom, and then headed over to deliver the groceries and do some cleaning for her.

When I spoke to Andy, it was clear he was not happy with my mom's doctor visit. He was concerned that the doctor didn't stabilize her knee, and that all he did was give her a cortisone shot and sent her home. I found it very touching that he was so concerned about my mom. I'm a very lucky woman to have him.

My mom is a little frustrated about her knee. She felt that the doctor brushed off the broken tibia, and she didn't like that he was so frustrated with her because she couldn't tell him where it hurt, or what she had done on Saturday that made it hurt so badly. He did indicate that he thought the meniscus damage was from her previous knee surgery, which makes sense. And, he did give her a shot of Cortisone.

When I walked in, I noticed her sitting with her legs crossed. Two days ago, she couldn't even keep the leg still because she couldn't find a comfortable position for it. Then, as we were talking, she got up to show me a skirt she had bought during her vacation. She was on her leg for several minutes before it really started to hurt. So, maybe the doctor knows what he's talking about. My mom is going to wait and see how it feels in a few days before deciding on getting a second opinion or not.

I finally got home around 9:30, exhausted and overwhelmed. I missed the Palin/Bidden Debate, I missed the Phillies winning the second game of their playoff (WAHOO! Go Phillies!) and I missed a lot of time that I would have rather spent with Andy and Michael. However, when all is said and done, we survived the chaos of the day. I was able to snuggle up in bed with my sweetie. My baby was fast asleep in his crib. My mom was resting comfortably for the first time in days. And, my car was safe in my parking spot. For all of that, I am grateful.


Anonymous said...

Joanna, I am sorry to hear about your difficult (few) day(s). Things will get better with daycare. Michael will adjust. Isn't it amazing the things they will do at daycre (or for other people) that they won't do for us?!?!?

Best of luck with everything,

Maria said...

I am glad you found a place you feel is right for Michael and that you like his teacher. Thank goodness your Mom feels a bit better too.

Mama Mia said...

I am so glad that you found a place that works for all of you..Hope your mom's recovery goes well..and RELAX this weekend...

LauraC said...

Holy wow, I am so stressed and frazzled reading this. Really. I know what you mean about order and chaos and plans and holy crap, you survived this week with a positive attitude.

(btw, my day care plan was executed almost exactly as you described, except I called EVERY day care in Cary to get pricing for two infants. I had a lot of time on bed rest.)

I know you know the tears will get better. The eating will get better. Michael will get used to his new friends and the new places. And I'm so glad you can see the little pieces of goodness there, that he found a friend and he ate some food.

I hope you have some serious plans to relax, enjoy time with your baby, and de-stress!

And I hope your mom continues to feel better!

Heidi O said...

Wow Joanna. That sounds like an awful lot. I would have felt overwhelmed. You handled it all well and thank goodness for great husbands. Your definitely sounds like a keeper.

I love that Michael made a friend someone to take him under his belt and watch out for him that first hard day. It's amazing isn't it what strangers can get our kids to try when we aren't around.

I hope your mom's knee feels even better today.

DesiDVM said...

Oh, to be a working mom....Actually it sounds like Michael did pretty well, considering. I hate to admit it but one of the reasons that I love daycare is that Jackson is a great eater there whereas at home he's Mr. Picky. Hey, maybe daycare will help with potty-training too, right? I keep joking with my daycare lady that I'll pay her extra if she'll just do it for me LOL.

Kaycee said...

Goodness Joanna, that sounds stressful. I'm glad you found somewhere that you like though.

Hope your weekend was a little smoother.

I want to see Michael's light up shirt!! Oh and I edited my Menu Plan to include the recipe!