Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Blame Daycare

I learned what they mean by "explosive diarrhea" on Sunday.

I will spare you the horrible, horrible details. Instead, I will simply tell you that the butt issues continued for a few days, along with zero appetite, medium fever, and a little barf. And poor Bear Bear got hit with some friendly fire. Poor, poor Bear Bear.

And you know what? I blame daycare. There is no way of knowing where this little virus came from. It could have been the diaper run to Target. Could have been a nasty little fiend hiding on me from one of my students. Who knows? But I blame daycare.

I've seen it with my own two eyes. Norah gleefully chewing on a colorful plastic noisy thing, drool running down the zigzagged patterns and dripping on the carpet. Then little Caleb shuffles on over, snatches the plastic goodness, and shoves the saliva-covered item in his happy, toothless mouth. Gross.

And it's easy to blame daycare. I don't know how to fix this. She has been sick so many damn times this year, I wish the clinic had a punch card. 10 visits and a free RSV test. I don't know what we're doing wrong. I don't understand it. And I can't take much more of this, seeing my tiny girl so miserable for an intolerable portion of her life.

But upon further contemplation, blaming daycare isn't so easy. Not just because they really do a bang-up job sanitizing, not to mention actual child care. After various twists and turns in my mind's conversation, it always comes down to who put her there.

And I frustratingly remember (the curse of an excellent memory) saying to my mom, back when having children was not on the table, nor even on the menu, that I didn't want to have kids if I wasn't going to raise them.

Well here I am. And I can't afford to stay home. And Ryan can't. And nearly every family I know can't afford it. And I think about it-- what if we really took a hard look at our income/expense? Could we do it? I think about the different options or choices or possibilities. And I choose daycare.

And do I feel  guilty? Well, hell yes I do. But I feel guilty about most things, so it's not like it's something new to me. And daycare has a lot of perks. Socialization with other kids, learning opportunities, instilling adaptability, art, all kinds of things. And this is what I tell myself when I feel extra guilty, or when I'm driving to work on four hours of sleep, phoning the daycare that Norah will not be in again because (as I say with my teeth gritted) "She is sick. Again."

So I blame daycare. It helps me get through the day.

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