Thursday, 28 January 2010

Going to the Babysitter

"Men make plans but God decides"
I remember a saying like that, which shows how unpredictable life can be. I was all happy when the confinement lady said that she'd stay on as a helper (and cook).

For the past two months, I had been hunting high and low for a domestic helper (not stay-in as there is NO room at our place already) and got rejected about 6 times that I gave up. Since she's coming in 2 weeks' time, we all gritted our teeth and got down to do all the work that's needed as best as we could. One morning at the market, she called my Mum and said,
"Please tell your daughter I'm sorry. I'm so busy with Chinese New Year preparations because my children are coming home - I don't think I can help her. I will help her to look for a helper."
She was our last hope. Both of us were puzzled at her change of mind. I called her to confirm this - I was even too tired to get angry with her. And I resigned myself to the fact that I will have to remain a full-time "stay-at-home Mother" for a few more months.

Then, GT sent me an email about a babysitter her babysitter recommended! I personally prefer a daycare center but I thought I'd give her a chance. She turned out to be a gentle and youthful-looking 55 year old lady (whose husband goes to the market and cooks - wow!). After a visit and an interview, I decided to try her out. At least I'd have a back-up in case I need it and if I needed to attend meetings etc, I'd be assured of my baby being taken good care of.

However, when it came to packing her things, I felt so, so, so sad! It was even worse when I brought her to the babysitter's place and talked to her about her habits etc :-(

The babysitter could sense my sadness and she tried to cheer me up saying that my baby was going to be with her for about 6 hours. I was still going to have her at night and weekends. Still, it's hard to part with this little cutie who flashes a big smile, squawks knowingly and kicks her arms and legs excitedly when she knows she's going to be breastfed... I was quite teary when I left her place but I told myself I had to be strong.

My challenge now will be to be able to pump out enough breast milk for her to drink! (She had to take formula which is a mix of Enfalac and Lactogen completely today. I'm worried she's allergic like her brother because her poo seems runny).

I had a stressful morning dropping off one kid after another because the preschooler wasn't happy his sister is going to Auntie's place. He'd actually asked me quietly in the car,
"What are you doing with the baby?"
When we reach the kindy, he REFUSED to get down from the car because he wanted to go to the Auntie's house too. Aargh! I was so stressed because the baby started crying when the car became stationary. The kindy teacher had to help haul the boy (crying) out of the car sigh, sigh sigh.

In the evening, I had to rush the preschooler through his romp in the playground because the traffic was building up and the girl's feeding time was coming up. It was *stressful* (again!) that I even followed a few cars in creating an illegal queue because an annoying and irrelevant traffic light was causing an unnecessary jam. The baby was crying because she was tired out from the new routine - the poor dear hardly slept at the babysitter's.

Luckily, I could adjust my driver's seat as back as I could to coax the pacifier into her mouth. A lady in the car next to me smiled sympathetically and allowed me to go first. I swear I was all ready to get down and fight ANYONE who was slow on the road!

When she got home, I quickly breastfed her but she still refused to settle down. I thought she's still hungry and made up some formula but she rejected it. I guess she's too tired and got ready to put her to bed - my Mum still wanted to keep her in the hall to play!

After a very fierce yelling session, she managed to put her to sleep while I fed the preschooler his dinner. I was really lucky today because I could get home quick enough without both kids having a total meltdown. But I don't think I'll be lucky every day. For now, I'll drop off and pick up each child individually. That way, my Mum can help the little one settle down at home earlier and I can give the elder kid the personal attention he still needs. I'll need to do this for the next few months until she's bigger and adjusts to the new routine and new babysitter. Then, I'll bring her home earlier and she can also join in the brother's romps in the playground :-)

What brand of formula milk is good nowadays? I have a feeling she's allergic to Lactogen but she doesn't seem to like Enfalac. I wonder if I should go back to Similac which she took at the hospital?

Have you walked down the formula milk aisle in the supermarket recently? The number of brands is enough to make my head spin, not to mention the exorbitant prices!!!

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