Thursday, April 13, 2006

Back to the regularly scheduled random musings

Wow, two deep thoughts posts in a row -- I think that's some sort of blogging record for me. But now back to the subject at hand: freaking out about the bambina.

We toured our first daycare this morning. It came highly recommended by some friends whose two-year-old goes there. Of course, there is a year-long waiting list, in part because they only have four spots for infants. Even though we don't need childcare for the bambina until December or January, since D will be taking 12 weeks of (paid!) leave after I go back to work, a year won't work for us. But we're on the waiting list anyway.

It was such a bizarre experience to wander through this place, talking to the Excessively! Chirpy! And! Excited! young woman, and ponder the thought that she might one day be taking care of our child. Especially since I had to go online this morning to find out what the hell you're supposed to ask on a daycare tour. In that regard, this place seems great -- the answers were all good ones, the staff seemed low-key and competent, and the place has achieved a voluntary accreditation that not only shows that they care about quality but that would also mean doubling the child care tax credit we'd receive. What's more, there was quite a bit of diversity among the kids, which is something we'd very much like the bambina to be exposed to.

Cons: The facility itself isn't great; although it seems to be perfectly safe, it's in an old building that's just the tiniest bit grim. And then there is the location. It's in Portland, about 15 minutes from our house and 15 minutes from D's work. Getting there before and after work means dealing with some of the city's most congested roads -- traffic that's nothing by NJ/NY standards, but that when you're used to Maine driving would become a little irritating on a daily basis. And then there's the waiting list.

We've got two more places on the preliminary list of daycares to check out. One is closer to the house -- and between here and D's work -- but it's large, unaccredited and part of a regional chain. I have a bias against the place already, perhaps because of the really annoying jingle in their TV commercials, which tend to run during Red Sox games (not as annoying as the theme song for that miserable casino in Connecticut, but close).

And then there's the third option, used by our neighbor one block over. Even closer to our house, it's an in-home daycare that only takes 0-2 year-olds. Our friend's daughter is about to age out, and he and his wife are really bummed about it because she's had a great experience there. On the face of it, this one sounds the best to us, but obviously we're going to have to check it out in person and see what we think.

Other news: I've talked to two doulas, both of whom I really liked. We were originally hoping to use a student from a nearby midwifery school as our doula -- friends did that and had a great experience, not to mention the fact that it was free -- but after talking to the two professional doulas, I'm having a hard time imagining going with someone with less experience. We'll see; I'm awaiting a call from the midwifery student, and we'll see how that goes. She lives much farther away than the other two, and wouldn't (I don't think) do any postpartum support, whereas the women we would have to pay (to the tune of $500) would do several prenatal visits, stay with us through labor and delivery, and then do three postpartum visits. And that all sounds verrrry appealing to me, not to mention totally worth the money.

Lastly, we were supposed to be at the theater tonight, seeing an Arthur Miller play. But when the time came to get in the car, I was found sound asleep on the couch. The tickets were free -- a giveaway from my former employer -- and so we simply decided not to go. I feel slightly guilty about that, especially since we're passing up Ethiopian food and a Pulitzer prize-winning playwright in order to eat Annie's mac and cheese and Edy's ice cream while watching Survivor and The OC. Then again, I am 30 weeks pregnant and can sit on the damn couch if I want to. So much for culture.