Another twist of the knife

by DaniGirl on May 23, 2007 · 8 comments

in Working and mothering

I just spent 30 minutes transcribing the infamous letter, delivered surreptitiously under cover of night, to share with you. (No, I haven’t posted it yet. I’m still pondering how wise a decision it is to publish it.) The whole time, I could hear the boys above in their beds, playing and talking and generally avoiding going to sleep.

Tristan finally called down the stairs to me. “Mommy,” he said in his serious voice. “We changed our minds. We want to go back to Bobbie’s house.” The former caregiver, the one who no doubt loved the boys, but with whom I had enough niggling concerns that I launched myself down the road of finding a new caregiver lo these many months ago.

Now I’m really torn. There were valid reasons I wanted to change caregivers. But I’m wondering if maybe my expectations were too high. Should I take the easy road and go back to her? We saw her in the schoolyard today at JK pick-up and she came straight up to me and gave me a hug before talking to the boys. She’s been a part of our lives so long, and just seeing her at the school leaves a lump in my throat… especially now as I dread the inevitable question of how it’s going with the new caregiver. It’s a very small community, and no doubt if I start sending out word that I’m looking for a new caregiver it will really hurt her that we didn’t at least try to approach her to see if she would take us back. Bad enough we rejected her once, but potentially devastating that we didn’t go back to her when it didn’t work out in the very first week… the last thing in the world I want to do is hurt her feelings.

I talked to both boys for a while just now, promising that at the least we would go back to Bobbie’s house for a playdate soon. Simon, who every single day said, “I don’t want to go to Bobbie’s house” said to me tonight, “I miss my buddies. I want to go back, please.”

And I didn’t think my heart could break any more over this wretched, wretched situation.

I spoke to one agency and left a message with another, and the first agency had absolutely no caregivers in our school zone. I posted half a dozen responses to bulletin boards, and have had a brief e-mail conversation with someone who might be interested in sharing her nanny. It seems half the city of Ottawa is now looking out to help us find a caregiver. Could the answer be as simple as what I had just a week ago? Were my expectations too high? Am I considering settling because I’m still reeling from this whole experience? Does a good heart and unadulterated love count for more than lax discipline, too much TV and rowdy kids?

Twice I asked Tristan how he felt about going back, and twice he said he would like a new caregiver. Is he saying he wants to go back to Bobbie because he thinks thats what I want him to say? Or has he really changed his mind?

Could someone please tell me what the right answer is? I’m getting mighty tired of flailing around in the dark on this one.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Madeleine May 23, 2007 at 3:07 am

Oh. Oh, oh, oh. Dani, my heart is aching for you.
I think you probably need to trust your instinct that you need a new place long term. On the other hand, this close to the summer, it might make sense to ask Bobbie to take the boys until Beloved is free, so that you can take your time and find someplace to begin transitioning to, late in the summer.
The worry and anger and wondering, on top of the actual logistical overload, is a real weight to carry.

2 Marla May 23, 2007 at 3:19 am

(holds hand up in the air, shrugs) I just don’t know. It is SO HARD!
But on another note, I adore the Flickr photo of you and the boys on the Merry Go Round. It would make an awesome new profile photo – very appropriate these days!

3 Ingrid May 23, 2007 at 3:21 am

What Madeleine said…
I can’t even come up with an original thought – I am so shocked that someone could do this and leave you high and dry, after 5 days!!
I agree with Madeleine that in the long run you will need someone else. It means you need to swallow your pride and go back grovelling (sort of) but Bobbie seems like a kind person and she does love your boys. Then you can take the summer, keep the boys at home with beloved, save some money, and start afresh.
I also thought the suggestion to check at the nursery school was a good one; often the teachers have an idea of who takes in children, and who they would recommend.
Sigh… can we send you enough hugs to make it better .. I wish that were possible.

4 SheilaC May 23, 2007 at 5:58 am

I’m so sorry for all the caregiver stress you’ve had in the past while. I have no useful advice, sorry. Just kind thoughts and best wishes, and hope you find something that works out okay for everyone.
Hang in there…

5 suze May 23, 2007 at 2:06 pm

Oh Dani. No advice, just my wishes that you will find a solution that makes you and the boys happy soon…

6 Sharon May 23, 2007 at 4:50 pm

Oh Darn…
Tristan is a very preceptive child, he may be doing what you think and saying what he thinks you want to hear.
I’d love to leave that SITTER my Nathan and a few others I know for a few hours and teach her what ROWDY boys are really like. He’s have her quitting pretty darn quick. I love my boy but he listens only when he deems right and you have to negogate to get him to do anything. He’s JUST SPIRITED AND NOT BAD.
Muh hahahaha…. Evil laugh
Your boys are FINE. NEVER Listen to that OTHER woman again.
As for what you are to do…HUGS

7 nancy May 24, 2007 at 1:46 am

I still can’t believe this woman calls herself a child caregiver, yet she certainly appears to have no clue on what transition may mean to a child, nor the time and effort to get through such change. Unbelievable.

8 Barbara May 24, 2007 at 2:51 am

Trust yourself and your instincts. Without pressure, you weren’t comfortable with your old caregiver. Now that you’re backed in a corner, remember that you had reasons for leaving. There are lots of people that love your boys that might not be the sort you’d want them to be spending so much time with. Have you tried the Child Care Providers Resource Network ( meetings – they’re sort of like blind dates for caregivers and parents.

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