Monday am, and I’ve dropped the bigs off at their school and am delivering the littles to theirs. I’ve forgotten the half boosters, so I’m hauling the full doozies out to leave in the entry for their babysitter, who also teaches at the school.
There’s a niggling voice in the back of my head. It’s been there for a couple of days, actually. I pin it down. “Why,” it’s asking, “would said babysitter send me a note that says ‘see you on January 5! Today,” it adds, a little hesitantly, “is not January 5.”
I process while observing the change from boots to slippers. It isn’t January 5. Did she really write that? Maybe she made a mistake. Maybe I made a mistake. I run back over our conversations in the days before Christmas. She had plans…she was going on a trip…she was taking her older kids on a trip for ten days. Starting a day or two after Christmas.
Ten days is a long time.
Ten days might get you to January 5. “Hey,” I ask another teacher, oh-so-casually, “when’s so-and-so back?”
Well, yeah, that would be January 5. So I haul the carseats back out and mentally cut my work day in half, ditto for tomorrow–which was today–and add the small problem that I am supposed to help coach Lily’s Nordic ski group Tuesday afternoon with, apparently, no babysitting.
All of that worked out fine. Got help from a friend for the coaching, picked up kids, did an extra playdate that we couldn’t have done and generally had it good. It was relaxing, really, not worrying about where they were or when I would pick them up. I got dinners started in the early afternoon, and managed two nights in a row of good food with no messy kitchen. All ran beautifully smoothly–except for the small matter of me working.
I got stuff done. I’m actually pretty efficient when my time is limited. It wasn’t too bad, I guess. I could maintain the current career at that level, I think, maybe, probably. And home would go so much more smoothly. And un-baby-sat children, I find, are better-behaved children. Children who make fewer transitions and have eaten fewer before dinner snacks. Relaxed children. And there’s only another couple of months of half-day school for them.
But the original babysitter is ready to come back to work soon. She needs this job. I need her to be available some of the time, at least. The kids love her. They miss her. And maintaining is never what one wants to do with a career–one must go ever on-and-up with bigger things. I think. I have too many eggs in too few baskets at the moment. I don’t know that I can afford a total concession to nothing but 8:30-12:30 daily, duly interrupted for oil changes, etc.
But it was SO CALM.
Damn, I don’t know what to do. Look for the happy medium, I guess.