I am starting to turn my mind to childcare after the birth, reluctantly.
I am thinking I ought to start planning ahead on the childcare front. I have been very bad at this this time round, mainly because I feel I am thinking about childcare all the time with the other three and it was only last September that big girl daughter started school and we thought we had kissed goodbye to nurseries et al for ever. We almost had a party. However, clearly it is now likely that I am going to have this baby and that I will have to return to work, possibly as early as September. Something will have to be done.
I know the nursery scene round here and how expensive it is. I am thinking nanny sharing, but I am not sure how/if that works out of cities. Many people have suggested au pairs as a solution, given our Spanish links. We must have a distant family member somewhere who is anxious to learn English, but would they want to live so far away from any kind of night life? The Co-op is the most happening place in the non-metropolis we inhabit. However, if they like trees, they will be very happy. My mum has, of course, offered to help, but she is already helping out rather a lot in holidays and picking up every Thursday. She also has her own life and is heading soon to Argentina to see my brother in the next month. I think I’m going to have to look again at the tax credit system. I got caught out last time and am still paying back the overpayment, caused by being freelance and always having to have my earnings calculated on the year before’s and by other errors which I picked up too late. However, how can you calculate anything in the lead-up to the election if some parties are looking to limit tax credits?
In the meantime, there is not much time to think about such things. My partner is in Spain at the moment so I have been in sole control since Friday. I almost dropped off mid-duty on Saturday morning after being awoken early by a yelling bonkers daughter. She had had a bad dream and wanted to ask several hundred questions about life in general. After a week in which she has not slept in on any day of half term, she finally decided to sleep in on Sunday, the morning of her ballet exam rehearsal, which she subsequently refused to go to.
She wanted to stay at home and play with the guinea pigs. My mum is away too and we are babysitting her two guinea pigs. They, however, are girls. Our two are boys so we have to keep them apart. I am becoming more fascinated than I perhaps should be about guinea pig dynamics. Our two hate each other [at least I think it is hate]. The girls are very timid. Possibly because of the boys’ presence. Meanwhile, the cat is looking very sorry for himself still and probably needs a trip to the vets. Or possibly he feels a bit overwhelmed by the influx of personnel into the house and the loud playing of Alvin and the Chipmunks greatest hits. We haven’t had the heart to tell him about the imminent arrival of the baby yet.
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