Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Idiot Box Baby Sitter and School Jitters

When I was pregnant, I swore that I would never use the television as a baby sitter, that only irresponsible and lazy parents stuck their kid in front of the Boob Tube instead of investing in one-on-one time with their children.

Most rules are made to be broken, and until now (in Raphaela's almost six years) I have used this tool sparingly.  That is until this past Great Summer Vacation.

Often, when we got back from the pool and we were both exhausted, it was easier to give her a snack and let her watch educational videos.  Worse, in the past week our baby sitter has canceled at the last minute several times on days when I needed her to keep Raphaela entertained while I worked with patients. (I know, time to get a new sitter.)

Given the ten minutes warning, I could not find a replacement, and so the Idiot Box did the job of keeping her sedated while I worked.  This morning, on the last day that the sitter was supposed to arrive, she canceled again.  I tried to arrange some version of a play date, but that failed.

So Raphaela came with me to my business meeting.  (Yup, that's real professional...)  And Raphaela stayed home in front of the television while I worked, with only minor interruptions to change the DVD or feed her.  (Feeling so professional and non-distracted now...)

To add to all this stress, I seem to be much more excited and nervous about First Grade than Raphaela.  I am manifesting all my classic signs of stress, the same ones that appeared in the past whenever I had a major exam (SATs, Chiropractic boards, pregnancy ultrasounds). I tossed and turned all last night, waking up every few hours. I have lost my appetite because of stomach cramps.  I have less serenity and more impatience running through me, not great for taking care of my daughter or my clients.

And I have shifted into major list-making mode.

It is times like this when I wish I had a spouse, or siblings, or parents with whom I could share this momentous occasion, someone who could perform some of the errands that need doing, someone who could tell me that it will all work out in the end.

Or at least a responsible adult who could watch Raphaela while I worked.  But as I have learned, even when others say they will help lessen my burden as a single parent, no matter how good their intentions, I am alone in the good, the bad and the ugly.

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