Oh man, it’s been a tough week. It started Sunday night with Gabrielle waking up every hour or half hour crying to be picked up. Little did we know, she was popping out a new tooth! She got her two bottom middle teeth at 4 months, and we’ve been waiting for the top two middle teeth but guess which tooth is coming out? Top right, second from the middle. How random! It’s her first top tooth and it’s not even a middle one.
Anyway, Monday was her first day at daycare. I dropped her off at 8 and my mom picked her up at noon. The lady said Gabrielle cried the entire 4 hours and did not eat or sleep. I felt awful. The emotional stress of Gabrielle starting daycare plus very very little sleep, I was a walking zombie at work. So I asked my boss for 2 days off.
On Tuesday I brought Gabrielle at 8 and stayed around for 30 minutes since I didn’t need to get to work. She didn’t cry while I was there and I got a chance to observe her in her new environment. And I did not like it at all. Gabrielle is not a mellow baby. We love her to pieces, but she is demanding and active and easily bored. Things need to be new and fast-paced and interesting. All. The. Time. The daycare we selected when I was pregnant is a great loving home-based place, but daycares in general are just not a place that I feel would embrace her, hum, “eccentricities”. She needs constant one-on-one attention, because she’s a handful that one!
So after the initial 30 minutes, I left her there for an hour to see how she would do without me. I left her and I cried. And at that point I did not care the price it cost, I was going to pick up my daughter from her last day at daycare. I was ready to move to a different state, or spend my entire salary on a nanny, or quit my job. I just couldn’t stand to watch her be bored. If she is anything like me, then boredom would be the fastest way to kill her spirit.
Chris and I talked and talked and talked. He is set to graduate in about 3 months, so we need a short term plan and a long term plan. Short term, for the next 3 months, we are “stuck” in SB. Options considered was moving our schedules around to minimize time spent at daycare, finding a new daycare, or coercing my in-laws from Ohio to spend 3 months in California to babysit. In the end, my mom volunteered to keep watching Gabrielle for those 3 months. In reality, what happened is my dad volunteered my mom to continue 3 more months, I don’t know if he is sleeping in the dog house now! Nevertheless, it is a life saver and I accepted before she had a chance to say no! All joking aside, we cannot find a way to truly show how much we appreciate it.
This short term plan will give us time to figure out what we will do long term. Chris always assumed we were going to stay in SB after he graduates because I’ve stated loud and clear that SB was the only climate where I would be happy. But, I told him I wanted him to explore his options. I would hate it if he missed out on a great career opportunity because of SB’s small job market, not to mention the obvious cost of putting roots here. I have never in my life made a life choice based on money and I always say that I am proud we haven’t sold out from a place we love in exchange for a big house and material possessions somewhere else. That being said, I think it is smart to consider our options and know what we are saying no to if we chose to stay in SB. Also, this decision doesn’t just involve us or money anymore, it’s also about Gabrielle and her quality of life.
When it comes to Gabrielle, staying in SB means having to choose a daycare again in 3 months but at least she would be older. If we move to Thousand Oaks, she could continue with my mom. If we move to San Diego, we would also be near family (my brother, who I could never see often enough) while also being in a high tech center and a bigger town with more daycare options than in SB. If we move to a completely new area (for example San Jose with its 5 million tech companies), it’s again the daycare in a bigger town with more choices. However, new town also means no family at all, and Gabrielle doesn’t have a whole lot of family to begin with. Man, it’s tough!
(Side note: Sorry family east of the Rockies, I didn’t mention the possibility of moving where you are… It’s not that I don’t love you dearly, but I am drawing the line between climate and opportunity at states touching the Pacific. I may be willing to maybe consider maybe moving out of SB maybe (probably not), but I haven’t completely lost my marbles… I still refuse snow or hot and humid!)
There’s the open question of the day… Mansion in Idaho or shack in Hawaii? Family or opportunity? Which would/did you choose?