Friday, October 29, 2010

They barely made column A

Things came to a head on Tuesday night. Let's just say I succumbed to the stress (shear horror) of this second week back from maternity leave. I had just finished cooking 3 pounds of chicken and half a cabbage to make lunch and dinner for the next few days, when the prospect of baby-care, work-care, dog-care, and that non-existant column of Greg/Rachael-care, overwhelmed me to the point that I couldn't function.

Greg made a phone call, and off the dogs went, to the sitter for a two day vacation.

I'm not sure whether it's the loss of the dogs, Jack's good mood, or the awesomeness that is my husband (really, could not understate his awesomeness), but last night was better.

Part of what is stressing me out is that I came back to work with a huge, looming deadline, and I'm not sure fraction of my stress is due to hormonal withdrawal (Jack! I miss you so much!!), sleep deprivation (a refrain I've used so many times that it's lost all significance), the need to adjust to new routine (although who wants to adjust to interacting with their baby for 60 quality minutes a day, I'm not sure), or Work Related Pressure.

In the hopes of some cathartic humor, and out of desperation to untangle myself from the mind-numbing task of reading the same 2 page statement for what is no less than the umpty-zillionth time, I've brainstormed ideas that could cure the practical aspect of our daycare dilemma. I then sorted the items into two columns: A) Not An Acceptable Solution, and B) Worth Considering.

Permanently storing the dogs at our sitter's house barely made column A. Barely.

Column A, AKA, Not An Acceptable Solution:

1. Learn how to get zero hours of sleep. This might give me exactly enough time in my day to accomplish what I'd like to.
2. Find a magical elf to clean and organize while we sleep.
3. Hire someone to drop off and pick up Jack at daycare. Oh and bring him to me at lunchtime so I can kiss his nose.
4. Install electric garage doors, get rid of the car next to ours, and put in a zipline to transport Jack from the kitchen to the car with minimal fuss.
5. Neglect all domestic and business responsibilities associated with being a homeowner and a landlord: allow our 1860s house to crumble to the ground, the cars to stop running, and the trash and recycling pile up so highly in our yard that nobody notices the weeds anymore
6. Open the back door and let the dogs roam free, like nature intended
7. Petition the city to make my own parking spot, right in front of my office
8. There's a Yale daycare 50 feet from where I work. Bribe the teachers with delicious baked goods so that they'll ignore the 50 person waiting list and let me bring Jack in.
9. Purchase technological rights to a teleportation device
10. Have Greg or I quit our jobs, work half time, or take Jack out of daycare and work from home. (This seems a little too serious to put on this list, but I thought I should make clear that it's about as much of an option as that teleportation device)

Column B, AKA, Worth Considering:

1. Hire a nanny. In-home care has many advantages, the greatest of which is that it reduces transportation time and would enable me to go without pumping most days. The problem is, we actually really like our daycare. A lot.

2. Reduce our number of drop-offs and pick-ups by other methods. I've actually been working at the JCC some days during my week. This is a great arrangement. It saves Greg an hour and a half in his morning. It saves me 40 minutes of walking and a good hour worth of pumping. This is a good solution for days that I am using my computer and don't need to run experiments or be present for meetings. This is not a permanent solution, however, because I will need to get my hands back in experimental work soon.

3. Get help with the dogs. The trouble with the dogs isn't just their day to day care (feeding, walking, grabbing poopy diapers out of Tori's mouth)... the trouble is that we are being terrible dog owners and they are bored out of their minds. Zane has taken to barking, Tori to whining, and both of them to waking up the baby and getting into trouble regularly. Plus there's the maddening psychological element of clutching a sleepy baby to my breast while flashing death stares (and my teeth) in a silent attempt to dissuade them from getting pizza crusts off the dinner table. (They got the crusts, in case you wondered). I mean, really, we sent the dogs to the sitter, and after they got back, Greg had to get up twice (TWICE!) to let Tori out in the middle of the night. She had eaten half a tub of another dog's dog food, much mud, and french fries. There's got to be a solution to the dog troubles, but I'm just not sure what it is.

4. Get help with other domestic tasks. I'm ashamed to admit we already have cleaners that come to do things like scrub our stove and mop the floors. What we really need is someone who could help organize everything -- and that's not going to happen. Still, there is room for improvement here. Greg and I are overwhelmed by domestic life: the yard, the cars, the house, the food... we are big on doing things ourselves, but there are probably some tasks that we could outsource, at least in the short-term.

5. Try different hours at daycare. This is an important one. I have flexibility in my non-laboratory work hours: if I can get my work done, I can do it when I want. If I could manage to get into a good nighttime routine, I could take a day off here and there to take care of domestic stuff. Problem is, that's a big "if".

6. Acclimate. There's not much wiggle-room in our schedule, but there's some, and I have intellectual (though not emotional) faith that some of these kinks will work themselves out. I can't see where, but I do know... it can't get any worse, so it's get to get better.

Suggestions for column A and column B are quite welcome.

P.S. For those of you who are reading Jack's blog to, uh, hear about Jack... looks like he's got a bit of a cold. Still, he's happy as ever, and the teachers at his daycare love him. Although it breaks my heart, I know he is doing well in their arms.

1 comment:

  1. My suggestion is to get a third dog, preferably one like this: