I know that I am only 16 weeks, 4 days pregnant. I also know that sometimes, my need to "answer the question" can sometimes overshadow the importance of patience.
Per the suggestion of most of my friends with kids, Chris and I started shopping for daycare as soon as the first trimester was over and we were "out of the woods," so to speak. We had it in our heads that we would take our son to a "center" such as Kindercare or someplace similar. And based on what we knew from our friends in Dallas and our friends here in Denver, we thought we had a pretty good grasp on the monthly expense of daycare. Well, we were wrong. We learned that the price of taking your child to a center is based as much on your zip code as it is on the quality of care. And it was not going to be affordable for us. And my "not affordable," I really mean, it was going to be more than twice what we THOUGHT it would be. So, we weighed our options and forged ahead, just in a new direction.
A few weeks ago, I used the State of Colorado website to help me locate private daycare providers who are licensed through the state. It even allowed me to see who had violations and who did not, and when their last social services surprise inspection took place. I was a relief to learn that there were several who fit my irrational criteria of being perfect and also happen to be close to our home.
The only problem is that most in-home private daycare providers are limited to two children under the age of two, and only one can be twelve months or younger. That tightens the scope a little. Or a lot. Of the seven I called, three never called me back (which removes them from my list automatically), three said to call back in April to see if they have availability and one said, "yes."
We went to visit Violy today. Her name is pronounced like ravioli, the food, only without the "ra" at the beginning. On the phone, my impression was that she would be a great temporary solution until we found the perfect spot. When we got to her house and got to meet her, I feel in love. I wanted to shrink her down and put her in my pocket and keep her forever and ever. She has a HUGE backyard with all kinds of play stuff, and unless it's muddy out, the kids play outside every day. She makes lunch that is things like stir fry and chicken and homemade soups. Every summer she grows all kinds of veggies in her garden that she uses to feed the kids. They sing and read and color and practice the alphabet and counting. And her house smelled good. I mean REALLY good. And that's saying a lot, coming from me. Violy was warm and nurturing and motherly. She seemed caring and genuinely loved what she does every day. Her terms are fair and her price is in our budget.
My engineer of a husband hates "buying the first thing you see" but when we actually talked about it, this makes a lot of sense. None of the others can't guarantee us today that our son will have a loving environment outside of our home when he's only six weeks old. In fact, they don't really even want us to walk through until a spot becomes available. A few cared so little about caring for our child that they never called me back. And then there was Violy. I am a pretty good judge of character and I felt very comfortable in her home. So comfortable that I wondered if I could go nap there every afternoon. If just felt good.
So, as soon as I publish post, I am calling Violy back and telling her to print the paperwork for us so that I can pick it up tonight and drop a check off to her for two weeks of daycare.
If being a mother didn't seem real before, it sure does now.