The working title of this blog pre-launch was Dual Income Disaster, where I envisioned sharing the joys and pitfalls of trying to raise a family with two full-time employed parents. My wife and I were scratching our way to survival and constantly dealing with all the negativities surrounding the dual income arrangement. I eventually bailed on Dual Income Disaster in large part because nothing holds my attention for very long (maybe that toddler is mine) and I forecasted some major burnout if I could only focus on one angle of parenting.
Regardless, I still have several stories on the agenda to share about the specifics of both parents working full-time and many of these stories revolve around daycare. We have had some amazing daycare experiences (and paid out the ear for them) and we have had a few rough moments. There’s been the bizarre (the daycare temp worker being high and hungry), the insane (wait, I thought muffins didn’t have gluten and your daughter would be fine), and even the oh-so-sweet-but-creepy (I’d LOVE if your daughter was mine. LOVE). It’s been a rollercoaster and we’re only 2.5 years in on a long relationship with these circumstances.
Most daycare guidelines respect the fact that both mom and dad are working full-time and any change in scheduling is inconvenient. Most daycare holidays align with our employers and most hours work with our schedules. There was, however, a slight inconvenience this winter when the daycare was closed due to ice. Then, two days later, the daycare was closed for COLD. They literally closed the daycare for the sole reason of how cold it was outside. Yes, it was single digits and probably a negative wind chill, but cancelling school should take a FEMA warning and a majority vote from Congress.
Schools and daycares alike are basically like the end of the spout at a public water fountain. It’s a Petri dish where bacteria-covered children rub spit and snot all over everything while the teacher dispenses hand sanitizer through a fire hose. Why is this relevant? Because there are only so many vacation days we get each year and putting a child in school or daycare basically guarantees that he or she is going to lick the wall during winter and come down with Strep. Then the kiddo will eat a crayon covered in a mutated virus. Once that’s beaten back, the tummy rumbling stomach bugs will knock out half the class. As parents, we basically have to set aside over half of our days off each year in anticipation of the daycare sending sick kiddies home.
Naturally, before this little cold spell, the daycare had gone through a few infestations and both my wife and I were forced to take several days off from work to pick up the sick toddler. With our vacation dwindling, it was such a glorious feeling to receive a phone call at 5:30 am informing us that the ice was too bad for daycare. A couple days later, it was just too cold for the little ones. This is where I break into my old man lecture and talk about the good ol’ days when we had to walk uphill both ways to school smack dab in the middle of a blizzard. Times have changed.
It’s a frustrating process to be dumping basically a full-time income into this daycare drain when you can’t extract every last moment of value throughout the year. It really makes you wonder though…surely a 2 year old can watch her sister at home, right?