One mom's journey through first time motherhood.
A journal to her son, Tucker, inscribing his birth into this world, the lessons and tricks they learned along way, and what they are not telling you in the prenatal books and classes.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

rollover minutes

Between work and the nanny drama I've missed the opportunity to capture the details of Tucker's recent milestones. I've missed some of those milestones too (as well as missing him immensely in general). He has been moving a mile a minute and growing up even faster, despite my best attempts to snuggle him into babyhood forever.

A week ago I would have written about his increased vocabulary, his goos, gaas, and even a garoo here and there. I would have made note of his recent love of toys, countless time spent exploring them, shaking them, add even throwing them. Oh, and the chewing! I would have mention him chewing on his toys, chewing on his fingers, sometimes even trying to chew on both fists at once! Remarkable! Yes, we think my little baby Tucker might even be starting to teeth. I went to work for a few weeks and he grew up (I guess that lost snuggle time allowed him to slip into a growth spurt).

The now big news is... the rollover. Actually, he rolled over a week ago too, but I missed it. Then I missed it again. And again. But with a vacation day on Monday and an opportunity for a quick photo shoot, there it was. I propped him on his belly for some cute tummy time photos and he did it. "Mommy! Look!", Plop. And suddenly Tucker was belly up again.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

the baby nanny drama, part ii

The Nanny #3 Story - The Drunk Nanny
Round three of of finding a nanny actually brought an overall more qualified set of candidates. Two had education in early child development, one had day care experience, and one was a mother (the best experience you can get). We actually felt good about four different candidates, but each had their flaws. Candidate 1 had little flexibility in her schedule. So babysitting or overtime was out of the question. Candidate 2 seemed out of our price point. Candidate 3 wanted to bring her own child, and Candidate 4 seemed a bit immature. In the end it was the immature Candidate 4 that was our Nanny #3 choice.

Like I said, Nanny #3 seemed a bit immature showing up with a big blue piece of bubble gum, which would by the end of the interview have turned her entire mouth blue. Despite her immaturity, she had a year of experience with a baby younger than Tucker (when she started) and according to her references she was always on time, worked wonders with an autistic child, and even taught the baby how to fall asleep on his own. We loved what she had to say about the positive demeanor she tries to take with the child, exactly the philosophy I prescribe to. Like the idea that when a child takes a tumble, if you act like nothing happened, the child thinks nothing of it. However, if you gasp and ask, "are you okay?!", tears are immediately shed.

We had initially decided to bring two candidates out for trial days. As luck would have it one of them took another position. Since we had already scheduled Candidate #4 to come out on Wednesday, we kept the date with the intention of hiring her that evening.

At 12:06 AM on Wednesday, a mere nine hours before Nanny #3 was to start we received this:

"Hey I'm sorry it's so late, I need to actually do some errends tommarrow. I deffinitly want to come and start thus procces right away. Would it be too much to ask if Thursday is better? Thanks again : ) can't wait to see that adorable little Tucker again"


The Nanny #4 Story - The Nanny?
Another round of interviews followed. With little success in contacting the other two candidates from the previous round, we interviewed only three more candidates. We tried to interview four, but one simply kept rescheduling regardless of how valid her reasons were or were not. While we loved the energy one young grandmother and thought she would be a wonderful influence, we went with a young mother with both relevant nanny and life experience. She seems reliable, kind, and completely qualified. I hate to get too overly excited about her, but this one does seem to be both a wonderful caretaker for Tucker and it seems as though she might stick. She's only been out here twice and won't start for another week, but for now she is a breath of fresh air.

Here is to hoping, again...

Monday, August 10, 2009

the baby nanny drama

With a face like Tucker's you might wonder why it could possibly be hard to find a nanny. Well, I can't say for sure why, but I can testify to the near impossibility of finding a nanny. I'm guessing the trouble has something to do with unreliable, unmotivated, and in-compassionate people. That is just a guess.

The Nanny #1 Story - The Super Nanny
We hired Tucker's first nanny to start three weeks ago. Despite being in her early twenties, Nanny #1 had a resume and references that read something like you might expect of Super Nanny. She even had the knowledge and know how to convince that she was legit. She actually taught us a thing or two during her interview. So, we hired her.

So, what happened to Super Nanny #1? She came, she saw, she quit. She lasted 4 days. Actually, I think she quit on the second day, but was nice enough to help out for the remaining days. I confess that she definitely had a legitimate reason to quit. The trusting person in me believes her story wholeheartedly, but I wonder if that is a little (or a lot) naive. Apparently, her aunt died in her sleep, leaving behind a now single husband and four kids, one of which is six weeks old. The reliable person Nanny #1 is, she jumped to their aid, as she certainly should. Her story break my heart. A six week old baby lost without its mother, searching for her warmth but finding only an unfamiliar bottle, and refusing it. So, one week into my return to work and we were without a nanny.

The Nanny #2 Story - The Super Expensive Nanny
As luck would have it, the day I returned from work I learned of a great blessing which had been handed to me. The unpaid leave of absence I had decided to take at the end of my maternity leave resulted in a "change of status" thereby granting me the right to change my company benefits enrollment. What does this really mean? It means I could enroll in the Dependent Care Spending Account (DCSA). $5,000 I could allocate to untaxed dollars to pay for Tucker's nanny. The result? We were now able to afford our Nanny #1, #1 Pick that I didn't mention earlier.

During our first round of nanny interviews we fell in love with one candidate (that was problem #1). We were very excited to extend her an offer, but she turned us down on grounds of not enough money. Consequently, we went with the equally qualified, but not quite as happy Nanny #1 that we could afford. However, with the extra tax free savings from the DCSA we were now able to afford our #1 Pick. Almost seems as if our bad luck with the first nanny was a blessing, especially when on her last day with us Brian found her watching soaps with Tucker professing they "help keep him quiet". Wonderful. The weekend after Nanny #1 quit, we hired Nanny #2, to start the following Friday. With an accepted job offer and excitement all around, Brian and I settled back into our routine until Thursday's landslide.

Thursday morning, the day before Nanny #2 was to start, I was able to work from home to help Brian juggle Tucker and work (no easy feat, especially when you distaste ignoring your child for one moment). I was quietly sipping my morning coffee when the bomb dropped. Not a phone call, but an e-mail...

"I regret to tell you that I am not going to accept the position as nanny for your son. I do apologize and hope I have not inconvienced you. My current place of employment has offered me more money and more hours to stay. However if you are ever in need of a babysitter on the weekends I would love to help you out. I hope you can understand this difficult decision I've had to make.

Thank you,"
Nanny #2

Ouch. To be continued ...