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5:26 a.m. - 2003-05-23

CH-CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES

God.

What a difference a day and a fistful of antibiotics make.

I'm feeling much better today, thanks for asking. Thanks for your e-cards, your well-wishes, your naked boobie pics, your song parodies, your recipes for low-fat chicken fricassee and of course ... your offers to come jump start my sick bones with some sweet, sweet lovin'.

The last two days were days from hell.

And not just because we were both sick.

On Monday, Miss Robin, our daycare lady, was cleaning out her bathtub when she threw her back out.

On Tuesday, she went to a chiropractor who said that she cannot sit down or lift anything heavy (like a two year-old) until AUGUST.

So she can stand up or lie down. But no sitting.

How does a lady run a home daycare when she can't sit down?

Simple.

She enlists her two daughters, ages 14-16 to help her out all summer.

The daughters' last day of school was on Tuesday, so Wednesday would be their first days on the job, picking up the children, changing diapers etc.

Except, Miss Robin forgot to take into consideration that maybe...just maybe ... these daughters would rebel and say "Screw you Mom. We're on summer vacation and we're not helping you run your stupid little daycare center."

Which is what happened.

So Wednesday, I drag my sick ass over to Miss Robin's house, pick up Andrew and Miss Robin says "Is Susie at home?"

"Yeah," I say. "We're both sick as dogs and have been in bed all day."

"Good," she says. "I need to call her and tell her something."

So she calls Susie and tells her that effective immediately, the daycare is closed.

Her plan is to open back up in August when she's healed.

This sends us into a panic. We're both feverish, neither one of us can stay upright for more than a few minutes without wanting to spew like a fountain and NOW we have to scramble to find a daycare provider for our son.

On the FIRST day of summer vacation. When daycares tend to fill up quickly.

Did I mention Susie's Aunt Flo was visiting as well?

So she's sick with an intestinal virus, she's hormonal because of her period, and she's just been told "You have to find someone to watch your child RIGHT NOW."

We called a lady who provides daycare in our neighborhood at our house. She's literally about 45 seconds from our driveway. She had one opening and wanted to meet Andrew immediately.

We put on some semi-respectable clothes and pedal over to this woman's house.

Okay.

She had been open a grand total of one month. I know everyone has to start somewhere, but we like for our daycare ladies to be a bit more seasoned like that. At this point, handing this woman our child is like handing a scientist our child. He becomes an experiment.

"Okay...children do not like being subject to fire on their bodies. Check."

Her home was relatively small and she kept the children in a room that was about half the size of Andrew's current bedroom. She had three infants below the age of 1 and a boy about Andrew's age. The boy was half-Korean and she described him thusly: "He got some sort of speech impediment. I doesn't understand a word he say."

Wonderful.

Within the first five minutes, I knew I didn't want Andrew in this atmosphere. The woman's idea of "education time" was putting in videos that she "buy at Walmart" and letting them crowd around a 16" television on the fireplace hearth.

What next? Play time includes doing aerobics with steak knives in their mouths?

But you can't just walk out after five minutes in the place without hurting the woman's feelings. So we had to at least pretend that she was a viable option in our quest for quality daycare.

Which means 30 minutes of asking her questions and listening to most of the answers revolving around God because this is a "Christian Day Care".

"What do you normally feed the children for lunch?"

"Whatever God tells me to feed them."

"How often do you change their diapers."

"Whenever God tells me they need changin'."

"What if God has a cold and cannot smell them to determine they have a wet or stinky diaper?"

"I turn to Jesus to help me out."

"Mmmm-hmmmm. Okay, well thanks for your time there, Sweetie. Don't call us, we'll call you."

Wednesday night, Susie spent the evening calling everyone she knew to find daycare for Andrew.

Which I thought was kinda stupid because...hello?? Does the name Ruben Studdard mean anything to you, woman?!?

Thursday, we were both weak but considerably better in our fight against the virus.

Meaning we were able to eat crackers without projecting them around the room.

Susie went to work and I stayed home with Andrew.

She walked in the door at 10:30 a.m. saying that she showed up for work crying and told her boss everything that had been going wrong in the last 24 hours.

Conveniently leaving out the whole "period" thing, thank God.

Her boss told her to get her family crisis in shape and go find Andrew a daycare.

She had went to several churches and a few homes and had come home to get me dressed and into one of these churches or homes to see where we'd like to put Andrew.

Long story slightly longer ... we're putting him in a church daycare with six other kids his age.

This is going to be highly traumatic for Andrew. He's a sensitive kid who's used to a small daycare atmosphere and a small church nursery.

Now he's going to be tossed into a church nursery with six other kids in his class, but there's about 10 different classes, so he's hobnobbing with 60 other kids now.

The church lady said that it's much more traumatic on the parent than the child, which made us feel better.

I'm somewhat cool with it. I think Andrew needs this.

Susie's a freakin' basketcase. I swear ... she went from laughing to crying in less than ten seconds yesterday. It was the first time I'd ever seen her do that.

We've cancelled our trip to Louisville in two weeks due to the fact that we've both missed about three days of work this week from being out sick. Since we've been on the job for less than two months, we figured it'd be a nice gesture to make up that time somehow.

Today, for the most part, we both feel better. Physically, I'm still worn-out. But Susie's Mom is watching Andrew today, I've heard rumors I only have to work until noon today because of our downtown music fest squeezing us out of our office in order to build a gate around the city. Sorry, I can't explain it any better than that.

But hey ... at least I'm better off than my former co-workers at the coffee table publishing place.


Those poor souls are all out of jobs as of two days ago.

I've heard through the grapevine that they showed up for work, all of their computers were gone and they were told to clean out their offices and be gone by noon since the business hadn't paid rent for over six months.

Oh.

And no paychecks.

The last five-six weeks you've worked?

We can't pay you for that.

Sorry.

Good luck to ya.

Don't let the door hit you in the ass.

Seven weeks ago today, I turned in my notice at that company and quietly told those that I was friends with to actively pursue other employment options because the place would be folding very, very soon.

Some people heeded my warning and started pounding the pavement.

Others thought I was doing a bad impression of Chicken Little and were convinced that the company wasn't going anywhere. They were just having a little bad luck, that's all.

Everyone got paid for the next nine days of work.

After that, they've all been working for free for the last five weeks.

So my upset tummy and worries about putting my child in a new daycare are peanuts compared to the people who have no money in their pockets, no jobs and no immediate remedy for their situation.

Sometimes you have to remind yourself that the world is a much bigger place than what you see around you.

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