3:00 a.m. – Kavi wakes…

3:00 a.m. - Kavi wakes me up, howling and hungry. But only eats a little before falling back asleep. Is sleeping lightly, takes a while to get her down.

3:45 a.m. - I go back to sleep.

5:15 a.m. - Kavi wakes me up, howling and hungry. I curse myself for not getting her to eat more earlier. What was I thinking? (Answer: I wasn't thinking, 'cause it was 3 a.m.) I feed her, then take her downstairs and put her back to sleep on the couch, in a nest of cushions. I stretch out on the other couch and fall asleep again.

7:45 a.m. - I wake up to hear Kavi burbling happily from her nest. That's much nicer to wake up to than a howling baby alarm clock. I go snuggle baby, who is delighted to see me and spends the next twenty minutes trying her best to climb up my body. I'm not sure where she's trying to get to. Maybe the top of my head?

8:05 a.m. - I put her down to play quietly, and take Ellie up to the roof to relieve herself. Ellie is grateful.

8:15 a.m. - Check e-mail, then clear up a little while pulling breakfast out (Kevin made vindaloo last night, from scratch, very impressive, so I'm having leftovers for breakfast).

8:30 a.m. - Melissa arrives. I eat breakfast, and then make us some tea.

9:00 a.m. - Settle down in comfy chair with computer, tea. Write journal entries.

9:10 a.m. - Send e-mail to Lawyers for the Creative Arts; hope we can get some pro bono help for DesiLit's 501(c)3 application.

9:30 a.m. - Revise Arbitrary Passions for ten minutes, getting through two sets of workshop comments.

9:40 a.m. - Check e-mail. Read journals. Write another journal entry. Answer two phone calls, one from cable company confirming appointment (we're switching from dish to cable, and getting rid of ugly satellite dish on roof deck, yay!). the other from the Lawyers for the Creative Arts, from a guy who's a bit belligerent and irritating, but might be helpful eventually. Probably should just go to their workshop in April, and before that, need to talk to IRS person about previous application. Sigh. Been avoiding this for months. Ah well. Talk to Melissa about a couple Kavi-watching things, most specifically, whether she wants to bring her nine-month-old daughter over to play sometimes. It feels sort of weird to me, that she has a child her age at home (being watched in day care by baby's father), while she's here watching my child. Need to think about that more. But if she's comfortable watching both of them together, and it isn't going to compromise Kavi's care, then maybe the babies will have fun playing together, and she can spend more time with her infant if she wants to.

10:30 a.m. - Make second cup of tea.

10:35 a.m. - Start revising again -- this is the last set of revisions I have to implement for the current draft of AP, from David Moles. Great great great comments, so helpful! Make mental note to coerce David into critiquing all my work in future.

11:05 a.m. - Pause to collect and reheat forgotten tea from kitchen counter. Unload dishwasher while I'm up. Realize what time it is and go upstairs to rouse Kevin out of bed.

11:15 a.m. - Back to revising. It's slow going, because I have to actually think about a lot of David's comments. But good.

12:45 p.m. - Finished with David's comments! Dangit -- he only read the first half of what I've written. Must go pester him to read the rest. Although maybe I'll wait until I have a full draft. Mostly worked solidly for the last two hours, with only brief breaks to chat with folks, nibble a snack, etc. Productive work so far -- BUT -- no new material drafted yet. In theory, this is all stuff I could've done while watching Kavi. (Well, implementing David's revisions took a fair bit of thought, so that might've had to be done during naptime. Hmmm....) Must do better this afternoon. But I'm not all caught up with comments on AP, so at least for this book, there's nothing to do but go forward with new writing...

1:00 p.m. - Go upstairs to finally shower and dress, fall asleep. Sleep for an hour and a half. This is another thing I can't do while watching Kavi, so I suppose it's not a bad use of babysitting time.

2:30 p.m. - Third cup of tea, and finally start actually writing. Draft chapter 11, 1340 words. Kind of pathetic word count for eight hours of babysitting, but hey, I started and finished a section, so that's something! And some new words are better than no new words.

4:00 p.m. - Feel like it's too late to start another section, since Melissa is leaving in half an hour. Instead, will call her agency and see if I can get the finances sorted out; it's all a little unclear to me.

4:30 p.m. - Melissa leaves, but Kavi went down for her afternoon nap at 3:30 and is still napping, so I take the opportunity to clean the kitchen and sweep the floors while watching House.

5:30 p.m. - Still napping! Usually 2 hrs is the max, but maybe she got tired out playing so actively with Melissa. Start organizing desk, prepping for meeting this evening (a new DesiLit volunteer, Neil, is coming over to take the tapes and photos off my hands, so he can edit them and get them up on the site; I promised to feed him rice and curry, so I'm going to make some fish saag to go with Kev's lamb vindaloo).

6:00 p.m. - Still napping! I'm not sure quite what to do with myself. I went up to make sure that she's still breathing (yes, I do that fairly often, because motherhood apparently makes me paranoid), and took Ellie to the roof to romp in the snow for a while. It's snowing super-heavily around here; biggest winter storm yet. Hopefully Kevin will be very careful driving home late after class tonight.

9 thoughts on “3:00 a.m. – Kavi wakes…”

  1. hmm…maybe a little, but mostly no, I think. It’s not a gendered thing — just a cultural assumption that a child should ideally be parented by a parent, if the option is there. So it’s particularly striking when someone puts their child in someone else’s care (in this case, it happens to be the child’s other parent, which weakens the effect, but the principle still holds) in order to go take care of a stranger’s child.

    If I stop and think about it, it’s actually a cultural assumption I don’t agree with at all. Yes, I think parents should be involved in parenting their kids. But I also think kids really benefit from having a variety of responsible, loving caregivers. And even if Melissa starts out taking care of ‘a stranger’s child’ — very quickly, we won’t be strangers. We’ll be part of an affectionate network of friends and family, and she’ll grow to love Kavi, and hopefully to like Kevin and me. 🙂 And vice versa.

    So I think I just have to get over it. But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be fun for everyone to have Melissa’s daughter come visit sometimes.

  2. I wanted to add that the assumption rests on the idea that a parent will provide the ‘best’ care for their child. But that’s really not necessarily the case. I do a decent job with Kavi I think, but I also get tired, and cranky, and busy with other things, and seriously bored with playing peek-a-boo. Entertaining a baby is super-fun for a while, but for me at least, it quickly becomes tedious. I can keep going, if I have to, if she really needs her mommy. But often, she doesn’t need mommy — she needs someone who’s enjoying taking care of her.

    Studies have shown that most people are happiest with a variety of work in their lives — so if I’m happiest if I’m only doing childcare some of the time, and if Kavi is happiest if she’s being actively played with and engaged all of the time — it seems a good solution to have multiple adults caring for each child, bringing variety to our adult lives, and happiness to all. Melissa also works in a beauty salon, which I have to think is a nice break from childcare all the time!

  3. I’m pretty sure I know several people whose babysitters/nannies bring along their own kid; my impression is that it usually works pretty well. But I don’t know a lot of details.

    I wasn’t sure what you meant by “being watched in day care by baby’s father”–are they paying for day care while she’s working for you, or do you just mean the father’s staying home and taking care of their kid?

  4. I worried similarly when we interviewed nannies. There seemed to be an inherent unfairness that someone elses baby was being carted off to clearly less-expensive (and possibly substandard) daycare so that our baby could have at-home, stimulating care. And despite knowing that several nannies like baby care, need to make money, that their (older) children probably enjoyed daycare, Im not sure that Ive resolved the issue or ever will.

    I agree with you that children, like adults, benefit from and probably require a variety of companions; however, Im disinclined to believe that the nanny will automatically love my child or think of us, her employers, as part of a friends-family circle. Although, what youre thinking of doing–inviting Melissa to bring her own daughter–is admirable and might break that barrier.

  5. Maya, I agree that it’s not automatic — I’m sure there are situations where the nanny doesn’t particularly love or care for the child. But I hope that’s an exception, not the norm.

    The other part, whether the adults can establish an affectionate relationship with the nanny, I guess would vary a lot from household to household — some might want to preserve more distance. I can see how it might make enforcing rules easier, for example. But for me, I just don’t think I’d find it comfortable.

    With Jarmila, who comes on Saturdays, we’ve fallen very much into a big sister / little sister kind of relationship already, and it’s really sweet and comfortable. Melissa’s a little older (or actually, maybe not, but she seems more mature, perhaps because she has three children of her own), so it won’t be the same kind of relationship, but hopefully it will be a close and comfortable one. We’ll see.

  6. I guess what puzzled me at first was that it sounds like her daughter is being cared for by a parent – her father. So maybe it becasue its in a daycare situaiton rather than fulltime parenting. (or more acuratley single-purpose parenting) And I agree with you entirely – I think children are better off with multiple (trustworthy) caregivers. Traditionally that’s what most of us would have had with an extended family but now we outsource it. 🙂

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