Oh my oh my oh my
not sure how I feel … lost, tingly, weird, bit panic struck … and also calm and sort of happy.
Just back from leaving Hope with her wonderful child minder (from her on known as CM) for the first time ever … only for 3 hours today so I can do some work (yes I know I know) and so she can get to know CM and the two other little souls in her charge.
We arrived and I thought the drains outside the house were smelly – turned out it was Hope who had had a huge nappy explosion, and due to her baby led weaning it really smelt nasty – sorry you probably didn’t want to know that but it’s all part of the day.
I then felt compelled to change her, which I did and I was shaking so much CM must have thought I was a total idiot … the little 2 year old boy who was there too stood and watched saying, “What’s Hope doing?” and Hope was so busy trying to turn round to look at him it all took even longer! ANYWAY …
I left her with CM and boy 2 and girl 1, and with her lunch box … when I say lunchbox I mean a take away curry container with 5 sticks of cucumber, 3 slices of peach, 1 baby belle cheese and 3 tiny pitta bread and cheese sandwiches … and a small container of expressed breast milk, oh and her diagonal doidy cup to have a sip of water…
the door shut and I realised I’d taken her changing bag with me so had to bang again and had it back .. CM was very patient and Hope gave me a grin and then looked at me in a ‘what do you want now mother’ kind of a way.
They were going to walk round the garden, look at flowers and then have lunch and a nap … and I’m so relived I found someone I feel safe and calm around and who will look after her wonderfully. Child care in Cambridge is a nightmare, nurseries book up over a year ahead (people must register before the babies are even born), and child minders don’t return calls and are also so so booked up … I was very lucky to find someone recommended by a friend of a friend. When I knocked at her door in a terrified fashion the other week I was met by music, warmth, colour, chilli plants, a little boy talking about digging ‘tatoes in the garden and it just felt right. Not the tidiest house in the world which was, to me, a relief as mine isn’t either but clean and so homely and welcoming … Hope seemed to be happy in that environment, the sun filtering through the windows onto the big mountain of toys and she started to sing along with the Irish fiddle music … so I knew it was the place for her …
I hate, loathe and resent that she has to go to a child minder at all, I wish with all my heart I could be with her 24/7 and didn’t have to work to pay the bills and to keep the roof over our heads but I do… in one breath I feel as if I’ve failed her and then my common sense side takes over and knows it is for the right reasons, and that Hope will be happy, safe and cared for and will have fun and learn new skills and have different experiences. Several people have said, “Oh you’re lucky” and not meaning I was lucky to find someone but lucky to have time away from Hope … I am the former but not the latter, I want to spend every moment I can with her before she’s swept off into the world her own wonderful personality shining through and her saying, “oh mother” as she rushes off.
Phew … a survey on social housing and digital inclusion to work on now … for the next 2 hours before I go and pick her up… oh and then I’m on the radio – on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire at 3.15 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00y9s80 talking about ‘what’s too old to be a parent?’ with the author Liz Fraser and Dr Matthew from Bourn Hall … busy day!