One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

October 9, 2008

Stuff I Said

Sigh. So, two stories.

Firstly, I met a new employee today. He’d been out of the office at the beginning of the week for health reasons. And he came in and came over to the corner where I’m sitting near one of My Favourite Coworkers (MFC). And he was chatting and we introduced ourselves to each other. And he said, “Oh, are you the new project manager?” And I said “No.” And then hesitated because, well, what am I? The document of job descriptions that I’m supposed to be going through and polishing says I’m a Development Coordinator, but no one’s said that officially dammit. And then he said, “Oh, oh. Are you the, uh,” And I thought, “don’t say it.” And he said, “Code librarian.” And I pressed my lips together and shook my head just a little.

And he said, “No? I shouldn’t call you that? Uh, why not?” And MFC said, “because she doesn’t like it. That’s why.”

And I said rly nicely and conversationally and such, “ah, ya know, It’s probably just that when you’re the minority gender in a profession like programming you get really sensitive about gendered jokes that seem to imply you don’t know your stuff.” And he said, “Oh! god, yeah. That’s totally understandable.”

Okay, so then my second story is that when I went to pick up Hannah from her daycare, I said, “so, if I can find someone else and they have space available right away, would you refund my money for the rest of the month so I can switch her right away?”

And she said, “yes. …But… are you really that angry with me? I don’t see what reason you have to be angry with me.”

And I took a deep breath. Thought about how actually, wanting to move Hannah is mostly because I don’t want her to have to spend the day with someone who has talked herself into feeling picked on because of Hannah’s fussiness. And also it’s because I know Hannah doesn’t deal well with making transitions, so I don’t see the point in having her spend the next three weeks getting attached to her current daycare if I can help it.

But, I am angry, so there wasn’t any point in saying, “my anger isn’t the point.” Instead I took a deep breath and I said, “It took me a lot of months to save the money to pay for September daycare so I could ease Hannah into daycare. And I feel like you took that from me. You talk about doing what’s right for your kids, but that’s what I was trying to do, and you made all that effort for Hannah come to nothing.”

Then she said, “I am doing what’s right for my kids. I did what I had to do.”

And I said, “No, you had five weeks to tell me if things weren’t working out, and you knew what I was trying to accomplish with that time, which was to give Hannah the time to make that transition and if you’d told me earlier that things weren’t working out, then I would have been able to put that time and money to easing her into a daycare where it would do her some good, where she’d actually be able to stay. But even when I asked about moving the hours to closer to full time, you said, ‘oh no, she’s going to make the transition just fine. She’s happy here.'”

And she jumped in to say, “She is happy here. She just cries all the time. She’s always whining to be picked up-”

And so then I jumped in to say, “Okay, there’s that too. You could have handled this much more professionally and just said ‘I’m having more trouble than I anticipated juggling two babies. Instead of trying to make out like the 10 month old victimizes you by crying all day.” And when I looked up from saying that, she’d walked out of the room. So I said, “I’ll let you know if I find anything.” And Hannah and I left.

So odd. I was trying to sort out how much of my anger is about my issues. I mean, I am angry. But I’m not lost in my anger, angry. I’m just, I don’t know. I feel pretty cold about it. All the women I’ve talked to have told me their similar stories and how they bawled in the car after their daycare broke up with them. But I haven’t felt weepy, really. And I think it’s because I’ve already had a lot of reason to be clear about what my emotional investment and comfortable narratives are about daycares, where I delude myself and what issues I have to work on. So, there’s some disillusionment there, but there’s also an easier acceptance of new truths, and faith in myself and in my kids.

It’s going to be all awkward dropping off and picking up Hannah until I find another daycare now. But I’m still really glad I said something.

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  1. scheherezhade

     /  2008-10-10

    Good lord. “Why are you angry at me? It’s not fair! Just because I call your baby whiny and don’t want her around, clearly I’m the victim here…”

    Also, how do being happy someplace and crying all the time compute?

    I was going to say that I, too, can babysit at a pinch. Well, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, anyway.

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  2. Yeah, I was pondering that “she’s happy she just cries all the time” and what I take her to mean is “she’s spoiled”.

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