Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Getting Up Early, Coming In Late

Landon woke up at 6:30 this morning*, so I woke up at 6:30 this morning. I have class at 8:30 on Wednesdays, so this should have worked out perfectly- we need to be out the door at 7:30 and one hour is usually plenty of time to make that happen. But then it took a while for Landon to eat his breakfast, and JP is really sick so he was in bed and no help at all, and suddenly it was 7:10 and I hadn't even changed out of my PJ's, and then I was dressed but Landon wasn't, and then we were both dressed but my backpack wasn't packed, and then I had to make up Landon's lunch and bottles, and then I remembered that it was negative fifty degrees outside (or maybe it was 3 degrees, but at that level of coldness, the difference is negligible) so I put on warmer shoes, and then I had to wrangle Landon into his coat, mittens, and hat, and then I started walking out the door wearing my backpack and a Landon but no coat, so I had to take everything off, set down the Landon, and put on my scarf, coat, and gloves... and then it was 8:26 and my class was going to start in 4 minutes. Maybe we'll make it next week.

Mornings like this make me think how different life will be when JP can help out with the daycare drop-off and pick-up. Right now we live near the middle of our two jobs - he drives 30 miles Northwest, I drive 15 miles Southeast. It would be ridiculous for him to drive an extra 30 miles, in terrible traffic (his 30 mile commute usually takes 75-90 minutes, my 15 miles usually takes about 35 minutes in the morning and 45-60 minutes in the evening) just to drop Landon off, no matter how much of a help it would sometimes be. Help with the pick-ups would be even better. I leave school at 4:40 to get the little guy, and while most days that's just fine, there are days when I really need another hour or two to work, or attend a meeting, or take a seminar. The other downside to JP's commute (besides our high gas bills and his occasional crabbiness) is that even when he leaves work at a reasonable hour, he doesn't get home until at least another hour after that. I love Landon, but evenings are a fussy time and by 8:30 I could really use another person to hold and entertain him while I make dinner or dare to sit down for a few minutes.

Most of the time everything works fine, but the commute is really wearing on JP and I'm getting really behind in my reading (and finals are 3 weeks away- gulp). I just keep reminding myself that in a few short months, I'll be the one working (5 miles from the neighborhood we're hoping to buy in), JP will be a student (only 12 miles from our hopeful home, in the same direction I'm going), and Landon will be at a wonderful daycare right in the middle. On the mornings when I have an early call or meeting, it's going to be so nice to say, "JP, can you drop Landon off?" And of course, there won't be the coat, hat, and mittens nonsense to deal with either...

*I'm hesitant to even announce this, but Landon slept from 8:30 PM to 6:30 AM without waking up once. I think he knew his daddy was really sick, his mommy was well on her way, and we really, really needed some sleep. He may be the dictator of our little apartment, but at times, he can be a benevolent one.


  1. Have you thought of getting in home childcare like an au pair? I know it is a bit late for Chicago, but you should consider an au pair or nanny for Texas. It makes the morning routine MUCH easier plus if you both need to work late, you don't have to worry about rushing to daycare or those exorbitant late fees.

  2. (**reeaalllyy quiet cheer for Landon sleeping**)

    I looked at the previous comment about the au pair and I just couldn't do it. For one, if the au pair is sick, you have to take off or find alternate daycare (although you'll be near family, so maybe won't be a big deal). Secondly, I'm weird about having someone in my house that I don't know well. Obviously with time I'd get to know her, but I'd be all weird for a short while.
    Not like my weirdness was ever contested...

  3. Welcome to single parenthood - the gift that keeps on giving! Hehehe . . . I wish somebody would throw ME a bone!

  4. law student hot mama: I think that all the time, "How do single parents do it?". I bow down to you all.

  5. I wish my husband could do drop offs occasionally for me too. I do 99% of drop offs and 75% of the pickups because my husband works 30 minutes away and works long hours. It is frustrating to constantly be running late and having to leave work no later than 5:30 because I don't want to get billed for every minute I am late. I am so glad to be quitting my job.

  6. On colleen's comment: If the nanny or au pair is ill, most firms have back up child care options. My law firm gives 4 weeks of subsidized and it is inexpensive - I think $20 for the day.

    With daycare, if your child is sick, they won't take them - especially things like diarreah or vomiting. This way, if you can't take off, your provider would still be there. Also, a child gets sick less often with a nanny or au pair because s/he plays with his/her own toys and won't be as exposed to bugs and drool from other babies and there is no risk of diaper cross-contamination (one of the most common ways daycare babies get sick).

    Another great benefit of an au pair or foreign nanny is that a child can be exposed to a foreign langauge. Of course, that can happen in daycare as well, but with an au pair or a foreign nanny, that person will be fluent in another language and can use that language with your child.

    Lastly, most nannies and au pairs will do light housework. This typically includes cooking for the kids (no more worrying about packing lunches), doing the kids laundry, vacuuming the play area, and organizing/picking up toys and the kids bedrooms. Nannies will do more housework than au pairs - our nanny also cleans our bathrooms, mops, and dusts the main living areas as well as the nursery.

    Having in home childcare makes life MUCH easier (you only have to dress yourself in the morning, no packing diaper bags, bottles, and food) and is actually cheaper for two children compared to the cost of daycare for two in many places. Plus the children get one on one attention, moreso than in a daycare setting.

  7. What? Your finals are 3 weeks away? That's crazy! Mine are in 8 weeks. I don't get it.

  8. newduck,
    UC Law operates under a quarter (not semester) system.