Last semester, the Boy was in daycare four days a week and my MIL watched him one day a week – it was a busy semester, with classes five days a week. Nearing the end of the semester, the Boy did not want to be left at daycare. It was after Thanksgiving break, so that may have played into it, but it was heartbreaking. The last day I left him there I ended up rocking him in a chair for 20 minutes while he clung to my coat with a death grip and sobbed. He would NOT let me put him down, even in a chair at the table while I sat beside him. He actually turned away from Christine, our provider, for the first time EVER. It broke both of our hearts.
There IS a little boy there who has some issues. He and his siblings are foster children and if you know *anything* about the foster system, you know it can be hard on kids. We’ve no idea why they were taken away, not really, and while that doesn’t really matter, it sorta does. It’s hard to deal with issues when you don’t know the root cause. I understand that his issues are not his fault – he’s only 3! – but they play into his behavior towards my son and that’s not good. He hits, he pushes, he screams and cries. The Boy isn’t a fan of loud noises or people up in his face, and that little boy can be really intense. He’s not a bad kid – he’s actually pretty good and I really like him – but he’s attention starved and it shows. The problem is that because he and the Boy are so close in age, the Boy gets the brunt of things, I think. Christine watches closely, and stops the little boy when he is getting intense or out of control, but she can’t watch everything at once, not with 9 kids there. She has an assistant but…well, I don’t really like her or trust her. There were some mishaps last semester that just turned me off of her.
Anyways, all that is background to the current thing: what to do this semester. I plan on taking the Boy back to daycare and hope that it was just end-of-semester stuff and being DONE. I was done, why shouldn’t he be too? No one wants to go back to anything after having a week off! He’s currently slated to go back four days a week, Monday through Thursday. No classes on Fridays – huzzah! (Fridays are bad for the little boy, because Thursdays are the nights he sees his mom. Fridays are just…disastrous.) Husband seems to think that I should have his mom come watch the Boy on Mondays, like I did last semester. It would make her happy and it would save us about $240 for the semester and who can’t use more money? But having his mom watch the Boy is stressful for me. Like really stressful. She has issues with getting up in the morning (it would help if she went to bed at a reasonable time, but she goes to bed at like 4AM). This means that she periodically forgets to set her alarm, or sleeps through it, or is otherwise running late. It stresses me out if I don’t hear from her that she’s on her way by the time it’s 45 minutes before she should be here. (I know that sentence is awkward but my words don’t work again so…yeah.) In other words, if she is supposed to be here at 10:30, I want to hear from her before 9:45 or I start to really stress. If she’s not going to show, I need to get my ass in gear and get the Boy over to daycare with enough time to then drive down to campus and find parking and catch the shuttle and stuff. If it’s not something I was planning on doing it can get REALLY hectic!
And then there’s money. More money for us is good, but our daycare lady also needs to be able to stay in business. Economics! She counts on the money she makes from her daycare to keep her house (where the daycare is located). While it’s not my responsibility to make sure that she can do that, it’s nice to be able to help. I should make my decision soon, so she knows how much she’ll be getting from us. We pay in one lump sum so the money doesn’t get spent, so that’s always nice too. But thinking you’re going to get nearly $900 when you’re only going to be getting $650 or so is not cool. The choice is between MIL and my stress level or daycare and possibly a different stress level. What think y’all? What would you do – have MIL watch him one day a week and hope she shows up every time or just say forget it and put him in daycare and spend an extra $240?