Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sick Day

I am a nanny.  I've been with The Baby since she was five months old and now she's a walking babling wee person.  At seventeen months she signs like a maniac, sings, says a bunch of rad words, loves reading stories and tucking her baby doll and bear in (we did this eight times this morning);  she loves cottage cheese and will eat four apples a day if allowed.  She won't eat hamburger for love or money.   We spend eight and a half hours together a day and when either one of us is feeling extra especially sleepy or sad she spends two of those hours asleep in my arms instead of in her crib.   I saw her first steps and sometimes on sleepy days transferring her back to her mama at the end of the day is kind of rough.  And in two months I'm going to be leaving her.

When I started nannying I thought that I would be able to apply for grad school while she slept and it would give me more flexibility and take me our of my job at the douchiest university in America and it has done all that but as the adult child of a stay-at-home attachment parent I hadn't really considered what it meant to be the person spending more waking hours than anyone else with a perfect little human that you have to leave.  The very thought of leaving at the end of July so David can start law school is slightly traumatizing.  She isn't verbal enough yet for me or her parents to explain what's happening; that Hannah loves her so much but she'll write letters and we'll Skype and keep in touch and next time they are in DC we'll have lunch.  One day I will be there every morning and to take her to the park and the museum and story time and the next day she will be in fulltime daycare.  It feels like I'm getting ready to betray her and I hate that.

Obviously her parents are concerned about their well being and they know what's best for her and they are fantastically loving, wonderful people who are also pretty attachment parent-y and who adore their daughter but I'm still going to miss her and I'm still worried about her realizing I'm never coming back.

All of which is to say that this experience along with all the brouhaha about Attachment Parenting in the news recently have made me feel a little differently about what childrearing will look like in my family and appreciate what it looked like in my family of origin.

Today I am slightly the worse for wear and The Baby is a sad sick little money.  We are spending lots of time cuddling and snuggling and drinking lots of water and reading lots of books. That Little Engine is making it over the hill and back over and over again.   I can't help thinking about what happens next year when she's at daycare and her tummy hurts and she's in a sensitive mood.

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