This morning after I put B in the playpen so I could clean up the kitchen and take a shower, I suddenly felt like lying down for a bit, so I did. I didn't get to sleep (although B did, which was great), but as I lay there I suddenly remembered the church-based drop in daycare place I visited last fall when I was first thinking about taking B to part time daycare. I thought of it because when I was cleaning out my office I found their rate sheet, so it's been on my mind. The #1 deterrent to part time daycare is cost. But if I took him here just one day a week it would be less than half the cost of setting him up at the Baby Kennel. Two days a week would still be less. And from what I can remember, the hours and days are very flexible at this place. So I wouldn't be locked in. I'm thinking of doing another visit next week, now that he's older and his needs are different. I want to make sure they actually stimulate the kids - have them singing and dancing and learning things - rather than it just being a holding tank. If I feel good about it I may get him started soon.
I made a list of all the things I could potentially do if I had one or two free weekdays. Right now that's the only time I have zero childcare available to me, so certain things are difficult, such as:
Swimming/hanging out in the hot tub
Any fertility stuff
Lunch with friends
Especially if I want to try for #2 I'm going to need to make lots of last minute daytime appointments, which this place would allow for.
It's funny because the first thing I thought of when I thought of having a free day to myself was how bored and lonely I'd be-! I'm not proud of that. I'm always aware of whatever emotional neediness I may have not affecting the boy - I think this is something we single mothers especially need to be mindful of. He's going to have to be in real school soon enough; it's healthy for him to know caretakers other than me. Last night when I took him to the Baby Kennel he screamed and clung to me, and the caretaker said "he used to be such a happy boy!" Welcome to separation anxiety! Thankfully he slept well there and was not put off by being taken home in the car at midnight.
In other news - re: food, thanks again for all the helpful suggestions and for (hopefully) not judging me (too much). I believe you are correct that he wants to feed himself and that I needn't worry about not having a big dinner. That takes a big load off since I was worried about dinner - he eats really well for breakfast and lunch but dinners, not so much. Yesterday I made 4 dozen blueberry mini muffins, and when I placed one on his tray for breakfast he was utterly enthralled by it and ate two very happily. Bolstered by this I am going to try making lots of things in the mini muffin tins - pizzas, quiches, Mac and cheese, all with lots of vegetables. I think if I make things bite sized and appealing he may go for it. It's hard for me to think of things from a baby's perspective sometimes - that the world is very large and overwhelming, and he may want to do things he's not physically developed enough for (feeding himself). So, I'll work on that. Having a variety of pre-cooked "dinner muffins" would make mealtimes MUCH easier, too, since I could just plop those down and let him have fun tearing them apart while I feed myself. Fingers crossed this solves the problem.
In other news, I've been meaning to bring this up - I've been watching this show LA Shrinks, and on it there's a female psychiatrist who is 38 and feeling her clock ticking and trying to convince her husband to go for it (he at 46 is reluctant still-!). So she goes in for fertility testing, and although they don't really say what her "problem" is, it sounds like my old issue, because when the doctor asks if she uses birth control and she says yes, the doctor says sometimes when women have used birth control for a long time their bodies just sort of "give up" and stop ovulating. See? I knew it!!!