Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Another twist of the knife

I just spent 30 minutes transcribing the infamous letter, delivered surreptitiously under cover of night, to share with you. (No, I haven't posted it yet. I'm still pondering how wise a decision it is to publish it.) The whole time, I could hear the boys above in their beds, playing and talking and generally avoiding going to sleep.

Tristan finally called down the stairs to me. "Mommy," he said in his serious voice. "We changed our minds. We want to go back to Bobbie's house." The former caregiver, the one who no doubt loved the boys, but with whom I had enough niggling concerns that I launched myself down the road of finding a new caregiver lo these many months ago.

Now I'm really torn. There were valid reasons I wanted to change caregivers. But I'm wondering if maybe my expectations were too high. Should I take the easy road and go back to her? We saw her in the schoolyard today at JK pick-up and she came straight up to me and gave me a hug before talking to the boys. She's been a part of our lives so long, and just seeing her at the school leaves a lump in my throat... especially now as I dread the inevitable question of how it's going with the new caregiver. It's a very small community, and no doubt if I start sending out word that I'm looking for a new caregiver it will really hurt her that we didn't at least try to approach her to see if she would take us back. Bad enough we rejected her once, but potentially devastating that we didn't go back to her when it didn't work out in the very first week... the last thing in the world I want to do is hurt her feelings.

I talked to both boys for a while just now, promising that at the least we would go back to Bobbie's house for a playdate soon. Simon, who every single day said, "I don't want to go to Bobbie's house" said to me tonight, "I miss my buddies. I want to go back, please."

And I didn't think my heart could break any more over this wretched, wretched situation.

I spoke to one agency and left a message with another, and the first agency had absolutely no caregivers in our school zone. I posted half a dozen responses to bulletin boards, and have had a brief e-mail conversation with someone who might be interested in sharing her nanny. It seems half the city of Ottawa is now looking out to help us find a caregiver. Could the answer be as simple as what I had just a week ago? Were my expectations too high? Am I considering settling because I'm still reeling from this whole experience? Does a good heart and unadulterated love count for more than lax discipline, too much TV and rowdy kids?

Twice I asked Tristan how he felt about going back, and twice he said he would like a new caregiver. Is he saying he wants to go back to Bobbie because he thinks thats what I want him to say? Or has he really changed his mind?

Could someone please tell me what the right answer is? I'm getting mighty tired of flailing around in the dark on this one.