I had a vision that Summer 2014 would be the Summer of Stef! After 11 months of being up two or three times a night every night with Roya, she was finally sleeping at least a nine-hour stretch. For the first time since I began teaching, I didn’t have any summer classes. And, most importantly, our nanny had agreed to work for us full-time until Labor Day.
I relished the thought that I could catch up on some sleep, get back into meditation and the gym, read books for pleasure, and begin developing my curriculum for the fall.
Alas, my plans for some much-needed rest and relaxation did not come to pass. A few days after I finished spring semester grading, Roya developed a yeast diaper rash. (For those of you who are parents and caregivers, a yeast rash, as opposed to a traditional diaper rash, requires antibiotics.)
Unfortunately, Roya’s rash was resistant to the antibiotics that the doctor prescribed. She was in so much pain that she would bite her own arm while I was changing her. After several days, we thankfully found a prescription that worked.
In order to keep the rash from spreading more, I needed to change Roya the moment her diaper got wet. Neither of us slept much those first two weeks. Once the rash began to go away, her sleep schedule was off. We were up two-three times a night every night again through mid-August.
My Summer of Stef plans officially went awry when the Childcare Gods stopped smiling on me. In late May, our nanny learned that she needed knee surgery and would be out of commission for the rest of the summer.
I had assumed that Roya would start day care in September and reached out to the center to move up her enrollment date. Luckily, the center had a space for her in July! (For those of you in the DC area, I highly recommend getting on center waitlists when you’re in your second trimester to maximize childcare options!)
Our luck changed, though, when I visited that center…and another…and saw both on bad days. How bad was bad? Well, one of the two women who would be Roya’s teachers walked out on the job while we were there! I felt cautiously optimistic about a third center, until I learned that Roya couldn’t start in their young toddler room because she wasn’t yet walking well or eating a lot of solids.
I shifted gears and began to search for new nannies. During that time, I was Roya’s sole caregiver. (For those of you who are stay-at-home moms, I give you so much credit!) After four weeks, I found a combination that could work for the summer and fall semester. After acclimating the new nannies to Roya’s schedule, I found myself with 10 days to fill as I liked!
Discomfort soon replaced glee, though, when I contracted hand, foot and mouth disease. (HFM is also known as the day care virus. It’s not the same as foot and mouth, the disease that cows and sheep get.) Ironically and thankfully, Roya never got hand, foot and mouth. But, I didn’t feel 100% for almost two weeks.
My summer ended with a text from the new 27-year-old nanny. She had been working the most hours for us and abruptly decided not to return to DC. (Note to anyone over the age of 16: Do not text your resignation. Ever.) I was due to teach in a week and needed to look for childcare…yet again.
I can chuckle now, when I think about my hope to have a Summer of Me. I’m the mom. It’s rarely about me anymore. It’s Roya’s World, and I’m just living in it.
What’s my current childcare arrangement, and how did I go about finding it? Were there any positive things that happened to me this summer? (Spoiler Alert: Yes!) And, most importantly, how is Roya, and what has she been up to? I promise to get to all that and more in upcoming posts.