I'm away from home again, this time at a conference for work that is fully across the country -- actually, in the O.C. (Orange County). I always miss my little one terribly when I have to travel for work, but I know I am so, so, so, so, so soooooooo fortunate to have my mother take care of my daughter while the husband and I work, or travel for work.
See, my mom left her own home in South Texas to come stay with us aaaaaaaall the way up in DC when my maternity leave ended last year. I was in a bind -- the waiting lists for daycare in DC were totally insane. Like, I basically had to think about signing up for a daycare before I got pregnant because the waiting lists were over a year long (not to mention the cost that was as much as a mortgage payment). That kind of insanity. So I asked my mom, who is retired, if she could come up and take care of baby K for a few months. She said sure, and a year later and she hasn't left. She's here for good.
I never even followed up/pestered the daycare about where I was on the waiting list. Why? I have no issues with sending babies and kids to daycare when parents have no other choice, but if there's even a chance of having it work out, there's no one like grandma to watch over iddy-biddy-baby when mom isn't around. I was extremely attached to my ama, and I still am very much -- and my grandmother is in her late '80's and I've got my own little one. My ama is like another mother to me. There is just something quite wonderful about the grandmother-grandchild bond and I'm beyond thrilled -- relieved is maybe a better word -- to see my daughter growing up with grandma.
Even though grandma gives her Coke and let's her sip on her cafe con leche.
And gives her Popeye's and KFC fried chicken and french fries.
And McDonald's ice cream cones.
And Cheetos and candy that makes her sticky.
And lets her watch novelas in the afternoon.
Those are grandparent things and I think its just in their DNA to do it, and though I shake my head I'm actually **glad** grandma does it because it makes it easier to stick to my guns about boundaries and all that by-the-book parenting stuff. Even though I own no parenting books and have no time to read books. But I'm still a bit of a nerd so maybe better said, by-the-NYTimes parenting stuff. Yeah, I download waaaaay too much news on a daily basis.
But grandma also teaches her to dance to JLo's 'Let's Get Loud' and carves a pumpkin with her and snuggles with her in the cold morning. And she calls her mi'jita. And she means it.
Sometimes, when there's something going on with the toddler K -- like she's sick or crying or something -- and it's me, the husband, and grandma hovering over her to figure it out I think, she is lucky. We are lucky to have each other to depend on. I still wish we had more family and cousins around, but some family is better than none.
And I haven't even touched on having the other abuelos from Miami around at least a few times a week via Skype (that virtual abuelo relationship is a whole other blog post). They actually just got to my house this evening all the way from Florida and are going to watch the toddler K tomorrow while the husband works. Other grandma gets a day off.
So tonight, I can actually rest well knowing that my little girl is in great hands, her abuelo's hands. I miss her, but I also think that that time she spends with them is so important -- as important as it is spending time with me.