Okay, so here’s what I am thinking about Eleanor’s care situation:
I am REALLY concerned about leaving her current place because she does love it there and she is so comfortable. It’s hard because it really is amazing how much it’s a home for her and it would be a BIG deal to leave it, as you said, Jess. I don’t want to put her through the trauma of moving to another place because I want to experience more, more, more (and really, the computer thing irks me, but her school is awesome, totally gd, loving, and community-minded, and the teacher was using the computer to engage the kids so it wasn’t a mindless activity, nor was it the only activity going on – there was a couple of other stations set up with kids doing puzzles, play-doh, water play with other teachers – it’s just wasn’t my thing and I don’t think it should be one of the options).
Here’s the rub, she’s going to go through a lot of changes over the next several months and now that I think about it, it pretty inevitable that she’s going to need to leave/take a long break from fulltime care no matter where she’s at. When Alison has the baby one or the other of us plans to be home for at least 8-9 months. During that time I don’t think we can afford to have Eleanor go to her daycare even if we wanted to have her go for the continuity of it because only one of us will be working. Regardless, while one of us is home I really don’t want her going someplace fulltime anyway – we should be together. Her current place does part-time, but I think we should also consider other designed-to-be part-time or parent participation places for her until next fall because I think the transition from fulltime to nothing plus a sibling may be too much for all involved.
In the fall, we’ll have to make decisions about fulltime care for both the new baby and Eleanor. We'll look at our options then (yes to Montessori, no to Waldorf is my gut). On top of that though, I am really not okay with a baby under one year being in fulltime care, but I don’t see how we can afford to have one of us be at home…we are both trying not to think about it and hoping that a solution will materialize between now and then. Worst case is that I work an early morning shift and work the weekends so that we minimize the time that we would need care. I really don’t want to never have down time with my family – I need that so much - so it’s not going to be easy to figure this all out.
So, yeah, this is a phenomenally bad time to move Eleanor to another fulltime place. I don’t know what I was thinking
: - but I do know that if I thought I was overwhelmed by the idea of researching other places, I am completely, insanely, in-over-my-head, afraid of the reality of the next 12 months for my family. Now I am so thoroughly overwhelmed I may have to resort to drinking.