Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A first lesson in backup child care arrangements

It's the call that every parent dreads. Day care called early this morning. Apparently every kid has come down with the same nasty virus (flu? stomach bug?) within the last 48 hours. Day care is open, since Day Care Woman is not sick, but her kid just came down with it, too.

We decided to keep Baby Jane at home as a precaution. (And we're thankful that she didn't go to day care on Monday!)

Our backup child care plan, at least for now, is Mr. Jane. So he's taking most of the day off. Luckily, I don't really need to be on campus today, so I also decided to stay home to give Mr. Jane some breaks (and just in case some work crisis comes up that Mr. Jane has to deal with). In other words, we're really fortunate that this happened today, a day in which both of us could be flexible with our work schedules.

But I also know that we won't be so lucky in the future. And that has both of us a bit worried, and rethinking our backup child care plans.

UPDATE (Thursday): Well, we now have a sick kid on our hands. She's not too bad: feverish and sneezy, but still pretty much her normal self (if a bit subdued). I guess we're lucky in that this is the first time she's been sick, ever. So the child care shuffle continues...


EcoGeoFemme said...

yuck. I hope you all stay healthy.

EuropeanFemaleScienceProfessor said...

I forget if Mr. Jane is a teacher too. Anyway, we worked this out for years by painstakingly putting together our schedules so that our teaching duties did not overlap. You can get out of staff meetings with a sick child (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) but not out of teaching.

Mr. EFSP and I would also divide up the take-to-childcare and pick-up-from-childcare runs, 5 each.

We were lucky - our child was only sick for maybe 5 days in 13 years. Of course, one day was really critical, and I actually had a recovering child (aged 6) stocked with comics and sweeties and promises of ice cream if he behaved on my office couch, as Mr. EFSP was at a conference just that week.....

I also taught myself (and my students) in non-critical situations how teaching-by-video-conference and teaching-by-chat works. That way, when crisis strikes, you have a Plan Z, for when all else fails.

Note: in our part of Europe you get additional sick days to tend to young children.

Rael said...

You're really lucky to have such a supportive husband. Apparently in the US (as reported on by -gasp- TIME), theres also a growing trend of dads that mostly invest a lot more time with their kids at home, regardless of the child's gender.
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