Friday, April 25, 2008

Dummies and Daycare

I’ve read many things about friends, acquaintances, and strangers and their inconsiderate commentary on the size of pregnant women’s bellies. Most musings are quite unoriginal, from the classic, “Wow! Sure there’s just one in there?” to the lovely, “You’re not due until xyz? You look like you’re about to pop!”

I’d like to say that I’ve been having a similar problem, though at the opposite end of the size spectrum. I’m getting comments of this variety: “You’re how far along? Oh my gosh, you’re so tiny!” “You're due August 26th? I never would have guessed it was that soon!”

At first I tried to reframe these remarks as compliments. They think I look good! They’re saying that I’m looking healthy! But the more I hear them, the more they irk me. I feel the need to justify, to defend. “Well, it’s my first baby.” “Well, this shirt I’m wearing is pretty baggy.” “Well, I’m only 22 weeks… check back in a couple of months.”

For the first time in what has been a surprisingly low-anxiety first pregnancy, I worried that there was something wrong with my baby. Well, some of the people saying these things are medical professionals. What if there’s something wrong?

But then I remind myself that I just had an ultrasound and they said the baby was measuring right on track.

Anyhow, the moral of the story is that pregnant women have enough to worry about. Keep your comments to yourself, please, unless you want to admire the pedicure I gave myself last night, or tell me how brilliant I am.

And to the guy who passes me every day and every day tells me how tired I look: THAT IS NOT HELPFUL, EITHER.

To the guy who stuck out his beer belly and said, “Don’t worry, I’m still bigger than you!”: Okay, you made me laugh.

Despite these things and various other indignities and discomforts, I like being pregnant. I’m amazed that my body is able to do this and that there is a wee boy growing inside me. That still seems a little strange to me. I mean, I’m a woman and therefore I should only be able to produce my own kind, right? What’s up with this alien invasion?

Just kidding. I love him. I can already tell that I’ll miss feeling his kicks after he’s born.

In other news, I think we’ve found a daycare, one that we will likely be using on a PART-TIME basis. Nothing is official, but it looks like my dreams will come true and I will soon find myself sitting atop a giant mountain of fresh pineapple slices, with a pineapple juice slide down the middle! ALL YOU CAN EAT!

Wait, wrong dream.

I found out that I will probably be able to do a job share at work, which was a huge weight off my shoulders. We began investigating part-time daycare options as soon as we found out. This immediately ruled out a lot of the wonderful in-home providers that Mike’s co-workers had recommended, since many of them don’t have the flexibility to offer part-time. I mean, you can use them part-time, but you still have to pay the full-time price. And I understand that.

So we started setting up tours with daycare centers.

The very first one we toured made my heart drop. We made our way to the infant room and it looked like a baby swing factory: six baby swings moving jerkily back and forth, the babies inside staring up at… nothing.

No posters or pictures on the white walls. Nothing on the ceiling. No mobiles on the swings. No visible toys. The air was damp-smelling and I got the distinct impression that the staff had sprung to life only as we entered the room.

I wanted to cry.

I tried to tell myself that it was the thought of leaving my baby in daycare, PERIOD, that was making me feel that way. No place is going to seem good enough, I argued. You need to have an open mind.

But the more I thought about it, the more I knew I was right. It wasn’t the place for us. In fact, it was the epitome of everything I had feared about daycare.

The second place we toured was a completely different experience. As we entered the infant room, the center’s director asked us to either remove our shoes or put on a pair of disposable booties, which immediately made my heart a little warmer (we don’t wear shoes inside at home, either).

The babies in that room were engaged in activities. There were lots of toys, but things looked extremely clean and organized. There were pictures of all the babies and their teachers on the wall, mirrors hung near the floor so they could see their reflections, clouds and rainbows dangling from the ceiling. The staff looked HAPPY to be there and really seemed to love the kids, which is really the most important thing to me, I realized. What worse feeling could there be for a kid than being stuck with an indifferent, even miserable care provider?

When the tour was over, I nearly fainted in relief.

I’m excited. I feel energized and hopeful. It looks like I’ll be able to keep the job I love and still be home 2.5 days each week. Sure, things would be easier financially if I continued to work full-time, but we’re lucky that this dream is workable.

You’ll just have to stop expecting Tiffany jewelry from me for your birthday, is all. Heh.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes to good daycare!

3:03 PM  
Anonymous betsy said...

What an absolute load off of your minds. Hooray!

5:39 PM  
Blogger His suzy said...

Yea for getting what you want!!

I was going to get something from Tiffany's once. But then I decided it would smarter to pay rent that month. ;)

8:58 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Tiffany's is wonderful, but mostly out of my reach. I might be able to get a sterling silver telephone dialer, though... ;)

6:58 AM  
Blogger Caro said...

No more Tiffany jewelery? I'm crushed.

CONGRATULATIONS on having a boy. I enjoy the heck out of mine. They are a different species. You will be laughing your butt off at the things he'll think to do as he grows.

I so figured you were having a girl. The reverse psychic strikes again!

7:49 PM  
Blogger J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Feh on people who make inappropriate pregnancy comments. I always try to stick with "Wow! You look fabulous" or "Congratulations!"

And yeah on the daycare situation. I can only imagine how nerve wracking it is for parents to find a setting they're comfortable leaving their child in. Bully for the baby!

And now I'm off to listen to Moon River...

7:50 AM  
Blogger kj said...

a boy! congratulations! the only adjustment you MAY need to make, besides for the reality that you have a temporary penis in your biology, is that it's harder to find interesting boy clothes. or maybe not--you may have figured that out already!

i am so happy for you!


12:37 PM  
Blogger R U Serious?? said...

Great pedicure, you brilliant woman you!! Thanks for your comment. I'm pretty sure that Alex and my dogs would be great friends!

Take care, and you 3..... I mean 4 have a GREAT week!! And, get thee to a beach house!!!

2:12 PM  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

A boy!
You've got to look at this children's book called Zizi. It's French, which means it's... interesting. Apparently Ziz means penis?
and yay to good quality daycare~

3:24 PM  
Blogger Frema said...

That image of the babies zoning out in the swings makes me want to cry, too.

So glad you found a great place for the baby. Hooray for having the best of both worlds!

10:20 PM  

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