The New A-Care

It's been so long since I've talked about EH's day care situation that I'm not even sure if I mentioned we found someone to pick up when A-Care left off.  Although it's yet another short-term situation, and even though I was initially had some concerns, it has proven to be a great decision.

Ironically enough, it's another person whose name starts with an A, so we can still call it A-Care!  But the difference is that instead of us taking EH to her home, she comes to ours.  She's a college student, and I think she just finished her sophomore year.  She's worked at a day care before, although she seems totally inexperienced, and I'm not sure what sort of training she got at the day care. She holds Evan pretty awkwardly - and still does, actually - but these days he doesn't really want to be held anyway, and she's so good about making sure that he doesn't get hurt that he almost never needs to be hugged or consoled.

The nice thing about her apparent lack of experience is that we spent a day training her, and now she does everything exactly the way we want it.  She keeps him on our exact schedule, feeds him only what we want him to eat, and plays with him all day long.  He loves the one-on-one attention, although admittedly he's probably getting spoiled, but we're ok with that.  His naps have never been better - most days he takes 2 naps at promptly 9:30 a.m.and 2:30 p.m.and they usually last for close to 2 hours each.   He thrives when he's on a good schedule, and the fact that he gets to nap in his own bed seems to help immensely.  He is happier than ever when he is awake and we have almost no "fussy times," except for around 7 p.m. when he starts getting tired for bedtime.  We still get him ready for bed at 7:30 and he is out like a lot by 8 p.m.

This experience has reiterated for me that it's ok that we've signed on for another short-term situation, because the pros have so greatly outweighed the cons that it's already been worth it.  We're even paying her a great deal more than we were paying A-Care - since she drives to our house every day and since we've asked her to do some small baby related chores including daily bottle washing, baby laundry, and baby baths - and I still think it's worth it, so that's saying something. (Although I should add that even though we're paying her a much higher hourly wage than we were paying the original A-Care, she watches him for two fewer hours each day since DH isn't working right now and we pay her hourly, not weekly, so on days that she doesn't watch him we don't pay her, whereas before we would pay A-Care the weekly rate even if there was a day she didn't watch him.)

I think it's a win-win for everyone.  We are paying her the same hourly wage that she was making at the day care, but she wasn't getting any sort of regular hours with them, usually only working 2 days a week, so she's working more hours.  She also has three fewer babies to watch, and for us that means EH gets tons of one-on-one time that he wouldn't get if he was at a day care.  I can sleep in slightly later because I don't need to factor in 10 to 15 minutes of driving and drop-off time and we send A-Care home at 3:30 p.m. so she still has a ton of time left in her day if she wants to do other things.

Because she's a college student she's only able to watch him through the third week of August, so we're still on the hunt for a more permanent solution.  We are not intensely interested in finding someone to come to our home to watch EH, and I think if/when we have a second child that will make a ton of sense.  With one child though it's hard to pay a person a living wage and not feel like we're throwing away a ton of money so I'm not sure that we can justify it just yet.  But who knows?  Hopefully we'll find someone great before the end of August, but in the meantime, we're going to enjoy our incredibly happy, scheduled, well-rested baby.


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