Anecdotes Aren’t Data
So, maybe you’ve read this article about the state of daycare in the US. Maybe you haven’t. Would you like to be incredibly depressed? You would? Awesome. I’ll wait while you take a few minutes to read it. [drums fingers] All done? Wonderful. Here’s a tissue. You’re welcome. It was that last bit, wasn’t it? And all of the other terrible things.
I’m lucky. Very lucky. When I decided to actually follow through with my pregnancy, I did so knowing that I had support. I had support from my friends, and from my family. My parents, while not wealthy, are certainly well-off enough, and kind enough, to help me out of a tight spot if necessary. My child’s father, while not a bastion of support, was (for better or for worse) (probably for worse) still around, and he worked nights, which allowed me to return to work after 6 really fucking short weeks and work 12-14 hour days (after being screwed out of my short-term disability pay and almost being screwed out of my health insurance…but that’s another post for another day). So I wasn’t concerned with the cost of childcare.
But as time wore on, I started noticing things at home. Like how the top shelf of my baking cabinet had been decimated. Or my new Urban Decay (bought on clearance, thankyouverymuch) eyeliner had been smeared on my bathroom wall. I knew my child’s father was not doing his job. Granted, he did work nights, but it was at a bar. And I really REALLY doubt he was forced to stay there til the 5 or 6am at which he normally came home. My then 2 year old son was busting out of the baby gate and having his way with my home. In my kitchen and in my bathroom. Cue heart attack. Finally I said FUCK IT, and managed to hire an old friend of mine to watch E 3 days a week hoping to assuage my fears. It was definitely helpful, and I trusted (and still trust!) her with the care of my child. After I gave E’s dad the boot, I had to find a place for him the remaining days because I knew his father was the most unreliable. After making half-assed arrangements with friends (god bless them) and being late to work more times than I could count, I finally sent him to a co-worker’s sister’s home daycare. It wasn’t a nightmare, but E wasn’t having a great time, and they gave preference to their own (horrible brat) granddaughter over ALL of the other children. I had to come up with a better solution. Continue reading
The Ballad of Sexy Fester
About a month before I got married, my Aunt Pat sent me a sizable gift card to Victoria’s Secret as a wedding gift. It came with instructions to buy myself some fancy underpants and whatnot. Brushing aside the fact that I was about eight weeks pregnant (because I was obviously going to be a magical unicorn of a woman who lost all baby weight two weeks after the serene birth of my son), I tore through the Victoria’s Secret website, buying all manner of lacy, frilly, generally useless pieces of clothing with my honeymoon in mind. It was a lingerie bonanza, and being that I had never really cared about matching my bra and underpants, it was a revelation.
About a year and a half later, those fancy underthings sit in my drawer, pretty much untouched since my husband and I returned from the world’s tamest trip to Las Vegas. I currently sleep in something Ross affectionately (I think) calls “Sexy Fester”. Basically, when maxi dresses started appearing everywhere, I convinced myself to buy one, because clearly nothing looks more attractive on a six foot tall woman with child-bearing hips than a straight column of long fabric. It was black and basically looked like the world’s longest wife beater tank top. When I got home, I realized that it looked terrible and decided to use it as a night shirt. My husband told me I looked like Uncle Fester. I wore it rarely, until it got warmer and I realized that if I cut off about two and a half feet of fabric, the maxi dress would become a kind of tolerable nightshirt. I wore it to bed and Ross said something like “Ooooh, sexy Fester!” and we never had sex again EVER.