The college year started at 8 am Monday, when I greeted my sophomores. I thought, "Oh well, that's that, then," a brief requiem for the joys of summer. But then time rapidly reversed itself, and by 9.30 am I was sitting with my darling daughter drinking coffee and eating a very early lunch sandwich. However, by 11am I was back in my lab alone working on internet assignments and physics lab prep and getting ready for my 12.30 pm juniors. And the whole week was like that. Aimee and I handed Roo off to one another like a package all week.
This was primarily due to the dearth of childcare services in these parts. It all works on the principle of "dead man's shoes." We discovered this fact in the spring, when we began touring childcare providers, and none were able to properly answer our question about whether or not they had a spot.
They might have a spot. When there's a "r" in the month and if Jimmy gets into kindergarten or Jane goes back to her grandma and if the creek don't rise. But they don't know for sure. Ask us again in late August.
We actually felt lucky that our nearest provider, who came recommended, might be able to accommodate us, but not until the current occupant of the place graduated to the local elementary school, which wasn't until two weeks after our fall work would begin, and after the first whole week of classes. And so, without the prop of formal childcare, we would have to manage on our own resources for those first two weeks, with what help we might cadge from friends.
Aimee, needing the security of hard facts, developed a schedule for us and uploaded it to our computers, so that the specific times of the day when each of us ought to be minding Roo were all worked out ahead of time. And lo, miracle of miracles, it worked, mostly. We were able to cadge a couple of half-days from our friend Eileen. But it was still stressful. Particularly for Aimee, who is very committed to her work. There were more than a handful of times when I could see her temper begin to fray because she wasn't able to do something, or do it properly.
Me, not so much. I enjoyed having Roo to watch instead of working. I like my job, and am always sure to try to do it as well or better than the next guy, but I don't tend to lose sleep over it.
While I do lose sleep over my kid's welfare.
Case in point: It's just after four am on a Sunday and said kid just woke up.
I knew she would do this because, although it's early, there's a toy, one of those noisy ones, sounding off in her room. More than likely it was left on and other toys piled on top in the toy box and things slowly shifted and whatever button makes the noise happen was pressed. It has a child's voice saying something, then a fake dog barking, and it seems to repeat every couple of minutes. I first heard it, reverberating in the background of the baby monitor feed, about 2.30 am, but I knew that if I went into her room to turn it off, more likely than not I'd wake her up, while somehow the toy was not itself doing so. I couldn't sleep under these circumstances, even if Roo could. So I had to get up.
No great loss. I'm sure there's some work I should have done last week that I didn't get to.