Friday, February 19, 2010

Being Brave

I was inspired by the fabulous Nanimal and her post HERE to practice some truth telling.  I am always so grateful when people share their struggles and warts - so I'm going to return the favor and hopefully get a little help myself.

Being a parent is hard.  Despite the fact that eleventy-billion people have done it before and will do it in the future, it's still hard.  I think I've been trying to convince myself it's not because I don't like struggling with things.  I either get them after a couple of attempts or a I quit.  But that's not really an option with parenthood - well, it is, but not one I'm ready or willing to take.

Yesterday, our baby-sitter wrote Jason and I a letter stating that she couldn't continue to care for Aggie because Aggie screams a lot and demands a lot of her time.  She is 8 months pregnant and has a 2 year old.  I very much understand and saw this coming.  It is causing a little chaos right now but nothing too big - we've got some stop-gap measures in place, so we're not running around desperately trying to find a new sitter.

For the most part, this has played out smoothly and maturely and I fully expect to remain friendly with the sitter.  Since we live in a small town, this is important, especially since 1) she's from here; 2) a lot of her family lives here; and 3) she and her parents bank where Jason works.  Plus, it's not really anyone's fault this hasn't worked out - she and Aggie just aren't a match.

But there have been two things I've been struggling with - first, admitting that Aggie is indeed a fussy baby.  Why that is so hard for me to admit, I don't know, but she is and we're going to have to be honest about it with the next sitter so s/he can be honest with us about being able to care for her.  Little girl does not like to take her afternoon nap and fights it hard; she doesn't like to be left alone or feel that she's being ignored; and she gives you about a five minute heads-up period that she's not happy about something - after that, she lets you know in no uncertain terms that things must be fixed now.  The first couple of months with Aggie, I really struggled with the last issue - I kept trying to make her fit to my schedule and my desires.  Thankfully, I realized we'd both continue being miserable until I learned to work on her schedule.  Now, things are good - she gives me the warnings, I work to meet her demands and very rarely does she fly into a rage.  But, if someone isn't willing to do that with her, then Aggie will make them pay - and boy, has she made her sitter pay - and they are both miserable for it.

The second struggle was in the letter from Aggie's sitter, she seemed to infer that Jason and I do not take Aggie's health seriously.  She thinks something is physically wrong with Aggie.  Every time she has mentioned something, we have looked it up, called the on-call nurse or taken her into the doctor.  We  (including the medical professionals) are just not seeing it.  Yes, she's often congested (just like her parents are), she has weepy eyes, she spits up a lot and she's fussy. Doctors are not perfect and can miss things.  But my gut tells me that nothing is wrong - she's just a baby and probably a baby with mild dust allergies.  Her inference (and Jason agrees with my interpretation) felt like a sucker punch to the solar plexus.  And really let me know that we needed to end our relationship with her right away.

So yeah.  There you are.

Hi, my name is Cora and I'm the mother of a fussy baby who drove her sitter to quit.

P.S. Aggie gave me a sympathy laugh today - we'd been playing peekaboo and I kept at it too long, but she kept politely chuckling, long after she was done being amused.  I think her dad had a talk with her about humoring her mother.


Hilleri said...

You are so brave Cora! I can't believe she wrote that part about Aggie's health issues. Ailie has been congested for awhile. Her eyes get teary due to her congestion and she gets low grade fevers (at daycare.)They keep the room too warm in my opinion. Trust your gut and know babies have little noses and get congested easily. I wish you guys the best in finding a daycare that matches Aggie, it's out there!
~ H

heathre said...

you will find a great new sitter that is a better fit for aggie. love you guys!! xoxo

sunnywave said...

I agree on the bravery part, Cora. And kudos to you for listening to your gut, i'm a strong supporter of guts. (just realized how strange that sentence sounds) in case this helps: when our little squirrel was an infant, she'd let loose very day from about 5pm - 9pm, give or take an hour. nothing would help her, she wasn't hungry, no doo doo in her pants, she wasn't hot, cold, didn't care if she was carried, rocked, or vibrated in her bouncer, etc. she just had to let loose and shout to the heavens--the dreaded colic. we felt like $hi++y parents for a long time, until we learned to roll with it and let go: --zen and the art of parenting--trust our guts and live in the moment.

i adore you and am rooting for you, aggie, and jason!

amandaw said...

I say we torch the sitter's no, I'm a pacifist...most days. The sitter is going through the "I'm f@*&ing tired of being pregnant and I also have a demanding 2 year old but it can't possibly be that that is bothering me, so it must be the other person's kid" phase. I love that you are just rolling with it, which is parenting my love...rollin with it. Oh and drinking.

Nanimal said...

hmmm. well. I applaud - super applaud your maturity. As you know Connor was an utter pain in the ass and I remember once in a sobbing fit saying to chris "no one is ever going to like him!"
of course - he is the apple of his teachers eye - the principal's favorite student and an all around major bad ass. :)

I fully expect the same of Aggie. and I say FOLLOW YOUR gut! I think it will be a very good thing that you can get Aggie with a different sitter. I swear - I think all babies are fussy and demanding - I know there are those few magical babies - but I think that is a bit of being partial to the parent.

and - ok so finn was kind of one fo those babies - and now????? he is the silliest pain in the ass ever. I mean that in the best way.

also - I have been so absent coming here that I didn;t see this post earlier. ugh - this being political crap is taking up too much damn time. and I see you linked to something I have temporarliy put as a draft item (my election dudes picked out some posts to make invisible for now... HA)

I need to just stop here and write you a regular e-mail. I am going to now.

liv said...

i love you cora. and you are right. being a parent is hard. i have only been at it for about two years now, and didn't have to deal with the fussy baby stage. just the fussy 9 year (now 11!) year old. keep up the good work. i'd tell you it get's easier, but so far for me, it's just gotten different. but i have fallen more in love with him. so that helps too. :) anyway. i'm going to quit rambling. and just reiterate, i love you.

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