Thursday, December 27, 2007

Finding Coverage

As much as I am sure everyone would love to read a post about my take on universal health care coverage, this post is actually about child care coverage.

This week LP's day care is closed. Fortunately, I only have to get people to watch her for two days since I am typically home on Mondays and Fridays and Tuesday was a holiday that everyone gets off. Even more fortunately, LP has two sets of grandparents that look for any opportunity to help out and watch the energetic little munchkin.

LP spent yesterday with my mother-in-law. Apparently she was "an angel". They went shopping and she spent the entire time calmly standing in the main section of the cart, enjoying the view of the toy store. If I was the one pushing the cart I would have to resort to bribing LP to stay in the cart. They also managed to eat lunch out at a local diner. Again, if the Hoos and I were there she would spend the time throwing food, climbing out of the seat, and running around the restaurant. Typical, right?

Today LP is with my parents. I am sure I will have a similar report about how she was wonderful and angelic and the most perfect little child. I am not going to complain, though. If she wants to be good for our babysitters, that is great, because that means they won't mind babysitting again.

On a more serious note, the week without day care really has me thinking about how parents with elementary age kids do it. My parents were teachers, so growing up we pretty much always had the same vacations. The Hoos and I and most other parents do not have this luxury (although there is no way I would trade my job for being a teacher full-time). Summers become a time of juggling different camps, seeking full-time babysitters, and paying lots and lots of $$$ to keep your kids occupied.

But summers only come up once a year, I am also thinking about the five days a week that the kids go to school!

In our neighborhood, the bus pick-up time is 9:00 am. Well, even with his relatively open schedule there is no way the Hoos could get to work at a decent time (9 is considered late at a lot of offices; I get in at 7:45 currently). Of course there is before and after school care (starting at 7 and ending at 6) which I guess isn't much different than day care, but it seems to me that school-age kids start knowing the difference between kids whose parents pick them up and kids who "have" to hang out at school and do their homework. Ugh.

The good news is, LP is in day care for another three years. That should give me enough time to get my head around all of the craziness that will become my schedule in the not-too-distant future. Just in time for carpools and tee-ball practice.


Tiffany said...

I hear you!!! Mikayla's daycare closes for a total of 3 weeks every year (luckily they are spaced out) and since the husband does not drive if he has a doctors appointment (which there have been ALOT of this year) they end up closing for the whole day. I have found a wonderful 13 year old home school girl who takes care of Mikayla when I need her to. Best babysitter ever! I am not looking foward to Mikayla going to school and I have to deal with her getting out at 3pm and all of those days off. Maybe we will be living someplace where my husband can make a better salary and I don't have to work as much. I can dream can't I!

Wenderina said...

Time for a live in!

Stephanie said...

Ugh, daycare. Seriously, what a giant pain in the rear it can be. I have to give credit where credit is due here, though. Our before and after school care program (because every. single. blessed. one of our kids is in school now) is awesome. They do a fantastic job with the kids and it's more like a privilege than a stigma, honestly.

The folks there have a homework time and they help our little darlings get their homework finished before they come home. We still review, but it's wonderful to actually get to spend some family time together during the school week. They do fantastic field trips and such on days that school is closed, they don't charge an arm and a leg (maybe just an arm), and they have an amazing summer program, so we don't have to do so much juggling.

All the way around, I'm pretty impressed. Hope your area has something like it when your little sweetie is in school. I couldn't live without it!