Sometimes I really, really wish I was the kind of person whose mom lived down the street and mother-in-law lived two blocks over. Back when I was seventeen, I decided I was going to be Adventurous when picking my college. Although raised in Washington State, I flew to the Nutmeg State to be educated. At the time, not counting Great Uncle Walter, my nearest relative was my sister who was attending college in Minnesota.
I’ve been trying with no success to get home ever since. But you see, college was good. Great, even. And I met this GUY. And then he proposed to me, and got a job (as a programmer in 1999! Ah, 1999. What good times.) in Massachusetts. And somehow we just never left. And now my nearest relative (of the kind who’s good for babysitting duties) is my brother in grad school in Princeton. An improvement, but….
My daycare provider has had terrible luck. The most memorable period was the calendar year when she had breast cancer, knee replacement surgery and her mother died. I feel like I’m missing one there. And then there was the (completely unfounded) accusation that she’d hurt a kid, which kept her closed for two weeks. It’s not all on her side — when I go on a business trip or get sick, just how are the kids supposed to get to daycare in the opposite direction from my husband’s employment?
Anyway, at the end of September, she explained that she was going to the Dominican to push through some immigration paperwork for her niece, whom she’s sponsoring. (She’s a citizen.) This was going to take a few weeks. I froze up in fear as she announced this. But not to worry! Her niece Lisa, who had been helping out all summer, was going to keep daycare open for the private clients (eg: me). Phew. And maybe she’d be home sooner than expected, if all went well. I should mention that in Grey’s entire lifetime, she’s never taken a single DAY’S vacation, if you don’t count chemo as vacation, which I don’t.
LAST week, it wasn’t Lisa who was there in the morning, but Titi. Lisa works a night shift job and the combination of the two jobs plus the long commute was too much. So Titi was taking the last week off before my daycare provider comes home.
Then. Oh then. Word comes in that Abuela is hung up on immigration issues for another week (they’re immigration issues — God only knows how long they’ll take!). And Lisa is out of the picture. And Titi doesn’t have any more vacation. So couldn’t I find someone else….
Gah. No. That’s the problem with my life. There isn’t someone else. I gulped.
Have I ever mentioned I have the best mother-in-law in the world? I called up. “I need a big favor.” I said. “Sure!” she replied, injudiciously not asking WHAT first.
Four hours later, she had tickets to come up for two weeks (in case immigration issues taken even longer than the week extra). I’m sure we would’ve made it work without this. I would’ve put Grey in preschool full time and found SOMEONE who could take an infant. I would’ve flown my dad out. Something. But this situation means that I get a kitchen renovation, babysitting AND fashion consulting all at once!
Crisis averted… until next time!