Starting Over

For the past few weeks DH and I have been working hard to find EH a new babysitter come June.  We've met with no fewer than a half dozen families, probably more.  Most we decided against because they were too far from our home - one was 25 minutes out of the way from our house and then back, which would mean adding nearly a full hour each way for us morning and night to drop off and pick up EH.  One home was so cluttered that we feared that EH wouldn't even have room on the floor to play, and after being there for only minutes, he somehow ended up with a large clump of animal and human hair in his hand.  (So gross.)

One woman that we met with seemed super nice, and the distance wasn't unreasonable (although still not ideal) but she already had 3 other kids, and her home was so chaotic that we just couldn't see our calm little baby fitting in there without getting trampled on.  Another woman super close to our house wanted $10 an hour, so we cut her out before we even met with her.  One woman said that they watch "a couple hours of TV" each day, and that's something that we really wanted to avoid.

We finally found a woman (girl, really) within a reasonable distance from our home who seemed really nice.  She was really young - only around 22, we think - and had gotten pregnant unexpectedly in college.  She was now staying at home with her 13 month old son - a huge bonus for us because EH would have a playmate close to his own age!  We spent over an hour with them at the first meeting and it seemed great.  We then set up a trial day so that she could spend a few hours with EH and her son together to determine if it was manageable.  She said that the afternoon was great and that EH had a great time (although she didn't get him to nap, which we were somewhat concerned about.)  But we left that trial day with a contract for care signed by all of us and we were happy that we finally had found a caretaker.

Then comes today.... When she emailed to say that she decided to back out of our contract because another family that she had met with previously and that had contracted her to watch their son every other Thursday decided to change their hours and  so she didn't think she could "give EH the attention he deserved."  My guess? It's one of two things.

1. They're paying her a ton of money for a lot fewer hours and she saw an easier way to make a few quick bucks.
2. She's totally unreliable and a liar and wasn't tough enough to tell us up front that she realized she couldn't handle it.

I think that both possibilities are equally likely.

In some respects, we should have seen this coming.  She's never had a job in her life.  She told us how she got a job at a fitness center child room and she quit after the first night.  That should have been our first red flag.  She is used to sleeping in late into the mornings with her son and our 7:30 drop-off time was probably going to be harder for her than she was willing to admit (although she claims that she thought it would be a good thing.)  There was just something about her that I didn't quite trust, but I was ready to give her the benefit of the doubt.  So much for that... I hate being the pessimist who always feels vindicated when things go poorly.  For once I'd just like things to go perfectly and I could proven wrong.

So now we're starting over with our search, with only 3 weeks to go before we need someone to start watching EH full time.  I am worried.  Right now it seems like the we're going to end up having to put him back into a traditional day care setting.  I have a lot of concerns about this place though, first and foremost being that even in the infant room they only take one nap a day, scheduled from 12:30 to 2:30, and that definitely does NOT jive with EH's schedule.  He needs at least two naps a day, sometimes three, or else he's a fussy, miserable baby.  And that's not even factoring in the fact that he will probably get tons of ear infections again until we decide after only a few weeks to pull him out again.  But what else can we do?  Short of one of us quitting our jobs - which is seeming more and more like the most reasonable option - a day care seems to be only place reliable enough, clean enough, and close enough to our home to work out.

To say that we're extremely disappointed would be an understatement. I am sick to my stomach over this.  I hardly slept on Monday night because my mind was racing, working through our options, trying to figure out if any of them were feasible and coming to the conclusion that none of them are ideal.  All of them will feel like "settling" at this point, and we'll most likely have to enter into an agreement knowing full well that we're going to break it sooner rather than later, which I hate doing. But what else can I do? 

Do you know of anyone in the Pittsburgh area who is looking to watch a cute nearly 10-month old full-time? If so, please let me know!


Corinne said...

oh gosh I'm so sorry about your predicament and I hope something comes up for you all soon. I know how stressful that must be :(

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