I still feel a bit like an idiot. Baby Beez was cranky yesterday morning. That’s not unusual, she’s often cranky. But she was REALLY cranky. And even that is not unusual. Sometimes she’s REALLY cranky. I dropped her off at daycare. Then about an hour later, Mr. Beez got a call that she’s sick and we need to pick her up. I feel like an idiot for not recognizing she was sick, and I worry that the daycare probably thought I was trying to pull a fast one on them (they always call me when she’s sick, it’s very strange for them to call Mr. Beez instead). I wasn’t. I’m just stupid.
Getting that sick call is any working parent’s nightmare. The first thing you want to do is race over and scoop up your little one, and snuggle them til they are better. But the sick call comes unexpectedly, and it’s never easy to drop everything. Sometimes you can maneuver to work at home. Sometimes you can’t.
Today, we couldn’t.
And for the first time, I tried out “sick care.” Our daycare participates in a program with an affiliated program called the “Get Better Room.” It’s an independent room in a daycare center staffed by a nurse/teacher, that is designed to provide care for kids with minor illnesses such as a flu or virus. I’ve put off registering Baby Beez for the “Get Better Room” because I dreaded the idea of leaving her in a new environment, with unfamiliar people, when she is already feeling miserable. Today, Mr. Beez had meetings scheduled. I had a deposition scheduled. The Get Better Room it was.
And you know what, it turned out all OK. The Get Better room generally has very few attendees. Today it was just Baby Beez. There were tons of toys, including an elaborate Thomas the Tank Engine play set (she loves Thomas, which I heartily encourage both because it defies the girls-should-play-with-dolls stereotype, and because my brothers loved Thomas when they were younger, so the shared affinity is sweet). Baby Beez cried for a few minutes when I left for work, but then she quickly warmed up to the teacher, and they played games together and read books. When I got there to pick her up, she was just waking from a nice long nap.
I’d still rather be able to indulge Baby Beez in a day at home, snuggling and drinking juice when she’s not feeling well. At least I know that there’s a reliable, caring resource for when the obligations of a tricky work life make that not exactly possible.