Last month I was asked to do a couple of workshops for Japanese teachers who teach English to children. The workshops, scheduled for 2 mornings next week, are completely organised by the company employing the teachers and all the materials are provided. I thought it sounded interesting, and a little pocket money is always appreciated, so I said yes.
This brought us to child-care for K. First, a bit of background: until April, the only time that someone other than H or I took care of K was a couple of hours on Thursday afternoons when H's mum looked after him while I taught a class. From April I started back at the university and my classes happened to be on Thursday mornings so H's mum was promoted to all-day-Thursday-carer (well, until about 3.30). At the same time I started taking a dance class on Monday afternoons. The centre that runs the classes has set up a deal with a nearby day-care so that anyone taking a class can leave their little one there for 200 yen, just for the duration of the class. A friend was already using that service and said that her son loved playing there, so I went for it too.
Unfortunately, the dance class is in the early afternoon - baby nap time. When I take K there he is sleepy and grumpy, and all the other children are napping. He cries when I leave him, eventually has a nap, and then I go to pick him up again just as everyone is waking up. As a result, he doesn't play or seem to have any enjoyable associations with the place and a feel like a meanie every time I take him there.
Now, this day-care centre also offers one-off full-day day-care (does that make sense?). I've been thinking for a while that if I left K there for a full day he would be able to play with all the toys and other children and might actually enjoy himself. Plus, I would have a day off :-)
So, getting back to those workshops, I decided to take K to day-care for one of the days, and ask H's mum to look after him for the other. The workshops are only actually in the morning, so on day-care day I would then have the afternoon free to do whatever I wanted (get a haircut! get a haircut!). So I've booked a place for K for Tuesday, and a hairdressers appointment for me too.
Sounds good eh? Just one snag - they called me this afternoon to say that the Tuesday workshop has been cancelled. Boo. I thought about trying to change my bookings to Friday, but that day's workshop is in the next town over and I wouldn't be able to take K to day-care and then get there on time. Anyway, I guess I'll just go with the original plan and have a full day off on Tuesday. Unfortunately, this means that Friday's pay will already have been spent, on day-care and a haircut....
OK, rant over. That turned out to be a longer post than I expected!