Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Foundering in the Doldrums

Proudly carrying $0.56 worth of grapes home from the fruit stand

I'm struggling just a teeny bit. Nothing too serious. I just feel a little off, a little bit not myself.

I suspect it's the hormonal shift from weaning (still not entirely a done deal -- we were down to once every three days and then she got sick and the frequency has increased again). And probably not enough sleep -- somehow I started out getting lots of sleep on spring break, and then started staying up later and later.

So I'm not sweating it too much. I'm trying to just wait it out. Trying to take a step back and comment to myself, "Hmm, I notice I'm feeling really irritable right now."

Just identifying the emotion seems to really help me. Staying away from the why of the emotion is key -- once I get sucked into "I'm feeling really irritable because she said that one thing to me that was really unjust and here's what I should've said in response..." I'm doomed to be way more stressed.

So I'm trying to just stay present. And also to get more sleep.

Still, I'm looking forward to feeling more cheerful again. To enjoying my time with Calliope more. To feeling more engaged at work. To being more excited to work out.

I just spent twelve whole days entirely with Calliope, except for the few hours that my cousin watched her so I could interview a surgeon with my mother words. In other words, I didn't get much of a break. But then on the second to last day of "break," the babysitter took her to the zoo so I could do some work at home. Which was heavenly. And I feel guilty about admitting that.

The picture above shows our adventure to the fruit stand, which we took to kill time while waiting for the laundry. Laundry which didn't need doing, if only I had remembered when the cleaning lady was coming, and planned accordingly. Regardless, we put the laundry in the washer, then went to CVS, where Calliope attempted to remove products from shelves as fast as she could until I scooped her up and pinned her wriggling self to my hip. Always a fun experience. Then we stopped at the fruit stand and bought grapes at her request. Well, sort of. She saw them and pointed and said "Gapes!" And I thought, "sure, why not?"

She started out pushing the grapes in the doll stroller. Every few feet she would stop to open the grocery bag, then the clear plastic bag inside that, peering with concern at the grapes, making sure they were still there. Not satisfied with the visual input she was receiving, she would then stick her hand in the bag to root around and further confirm the continued existence of the grapes.

We had made at least three such stops, roughly every ten feet, when she decided that both the external shopping bag and the stroller were no longer suitable for ensuring the safety of the grapes. She abandoned both and started carrying the clear plastic bag of grapes (shown above) by the very top of the bag, so the bottom was just barely skimming the ground. She continued to stop every few feet to peer into the bag, then fondle the grapes.

We finally, finally made it back to the our building (roughly one short block away from the fruit stand) and returned to the laundry room. I set her and the grapes on a chair to keep her from running away (her new favorite activity -- escaping from Mommy!) while I transferred the wet laundry to the dryer. I had only had my back turned a few seconds when out of the corner of my eye, I saw something move.

On closer inspection, I saw that something was not a mouse but, you guessed it, a single red grape that had rolled across the floor.

I wheeled around and shouted, "NO!!! Oh, Calliope!"

After all that focused care of the grapes, she had turned the bag upside down and dumped the grapes all over that grotty laundry room floor.


I hurriedly scooped them up. They got an extra good washing in my kitchen. You didn't think I would throw them away, did you? And risk another trip to the fruit stand?

Perish the thought.

I'm also having a childcare quandary. The synopsis being: nanny is pregnant. I need a new childcare scheme for next year. The tentative plan is to get a new nanny and to continue the nanny share and also to start participating in a preschool co-op (hosted in my apartment, so very low cost). But we visited a daycare that is literally next door to me and seemed surprisingly nice, especially considering it's only $650 a month.

This is a shockingly low price tag for much of NYC. There's very expensive daycare here and also very, very cheap options.

I'm trying to figure out if I would be a bad mother to send my child there.

The savings would be oh so welcome. I'm slowly but surely burning through my savings right now, despite all attempts to live an austere life. And even one year at a lower price would help, even if I opted to splurge on a nicer preschool when she's three and perhaps slightly more in need of an actual curriculum?

I don't know how to make this decision.


  1. I've been in those same decision making shoes myself lately...not sure I can offer any advice since my choice came down to the oh so scientific logic of warm & fuzzy feelings, lol! Good luck with your choices.

  2. I am RIGHT there with you on weaning. Carys started weaning in December, and here we are FOUR months later and I think we are finally there. The only problem time is first thing in the morning, cuddling in bed, so I've been avoiding that lately. As a result, my face is breaking out awfully! I've also been staying up too late. These things go in cycles, consider it a minor rut and hopefully you can swing back up soon. I think the next door daycare option sounds pretty great. I had no idea you could find daycare that cheap in NYC! Do you know anyone who currently brings their kids there?

    1. I didn't know that weaning could cause breakouts! That could explain a lot!

      I was wondering when you guys were going to wean. Funny to hear that we are roughly on the same schedule!

      I just heard from someone who started his stepdaughter at the daycare this week! He promised to get back to me in a week.

  3. Sounds like a fun adventure to the fruit stand! I am impressed that Calliope stayed in the even though the grapes ended up on the floor. I am continuing to try to corral Rowan by putting her on a chair but the minute my back is turned she is trying to get down.

    Hope you are feeling a little better once you get back into your normal routine.