My life is full of constant change. Before the twins were born and before TTC, everything seemed to stay the same and while routines are a must for our family, change is inevitable. As the boys grow, I have to grow too and adjust. I have to remind myself of this often. And it happens so fast, I usually miss the last routine, and the reason I had it in the first place.
The daycare center the twins attend is charging a hefty additional fee for the summer. I was not aware of this fee when I enrolled them and while I admit there is a tiny (so-tiny-not-worthy-for-the-table-of-contents) line in the Family Handbook, it does not say what the summer fee actually is. The summer camp cost for 18-month-olds to age three at my center is an additional $125 per kid and for kids older than four, it's $225. There was a letter on the boys cubbies at pick-up one day last week saying it's due in two weeks and not optional. My boys are too young to attend field trips so this charge is for in-house events. When I asked the director about it, she said they plan to bring a bounce house in and have a reptile guy come in. Big whip.
I have two problems with this: 1.) Short of the blurb in the handbook, I didn't know about the fee. It was never a discussion during my lengthy conversations with the director back in November and December before we enrolled. She said, "We don't really think about it when it's so far away". How helpful. 2.) The amount is excessive. If it was $50, I would probably be slightly annoyed but would pay it and forget it. But $125? I asked around on Facebook and found out some centers charge no fee up to maybe $50 for this age. One friend pays nothing additional for her 3 year-old and pays $75 for her 7 year-old.
Fortunately for me, my awesome sitter saw my FB post and offered to sit with the boys for the summer full-time! She had been part-time before they started daycare and had not previously wanted full-time, not to mention, I could not have afforded to pay her full-time. She offered to watch them for less than what I pay daycare. Without the summer fee, it will likely be a wash cost-wise since I will have to provide breakfast, lunch and snacks now but still a savings overall. This will be an adjustment for sure but I'm looking forward to it. Since I work at home, I'll get more time with the boys and won't need to leave the house to take them to school. They get a lot out of daycare learning wise and socially, so that's a small drawback but they'll be back there (or another center possibly) in September. Awesome Sitter starts on June 24th.
2. Physical Support
As I've previously mentioned, the twins' only grandparent, my mother, moved six hours away in February. The adjustment has been okay. We have video chats at least once a week. These calls are mostly great with her only saying a few silly things to the twins like, "Do you need a hug?" (really) and I think the boys look forward to the calls. Her departure left me with less physical support and I'm losing even more later this year. Awesome Sitter is heading south this fall and Fabulous D and her family are heading there too in December or January. I've known these changes are coming and I'm really sad. Selfishly, I want them all here for me and the twins. They are our second family. Fabulous D's boys and my boys are half-brothers and my boys ADORE her boys. They talk about them non-stop.
Having Awesome Sitter and Fabulous D nearby gives me sense of security for emergencies or sickness. Knowing they won't be here has given me anxiety. I really have no one else I can call in a pinch. None of my other close friends live close by or are in a position where they could help. Short of knocking on a neighbor's door for big emergencies, I'm stuck.
Now, before I get blasted for choosing to be a SMC, let me say, I know. I know it was my choice to do this on my own. It is my responsibility to line up help and I will do that. This blog is my place to document my fears and anxieties and get support and advice from my blog readers. That's why I'm writing about this now.
I'll figure it out. Like I always do.
I've been toying with the idea of joining a local division of Parents Without Partners. They have lots of events and after paying the $40 annual membership to PWP, admission fees to lots of places when attended as a group are discounted. The group goes on hikes and camps out and has picnics. Now, more than ever (see item 2 above), I need more people in our lives and short of my readers, I know no other single parents. I don't actually have a lot of friends with small children in general and zero single ones.
The initial meet and greet to join the group is at a coffee shop each month, kids welcomed. Okay, but I have two toddlers who often want to go in two different directions. I might be able to park them in chairs and let them color (I probably will try), but me running around a coffee shop chasing after one or both doesn't sound too doable. Not yet anyway. This ranks up there with me taking them by myself to the public library and even the park. If it's a big park, forget it. I just can't.
It is getting easier but really, I find this age to be harder than infanthood!