Crazy though she may seem, I really respect Havi’s process of processing, so when she referenced one of my favorite books (Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition), I filed a little note in my brain: Havi + four questions might be useful someday.
This is the day.
My kid is sick. Again. I am reconsidering our child care decisions. Again. And while he naps, finally, I need something to occupy my thoughts other than the circular “AGAIN? AGAIN? REALLY? AGAIN?” currently streaming on repeat.
So, I’m going to try the four questions to lend some direction to my thoughts.
What do I want for me in relation to child care?
To not worry about the care (caring for him and caring about him) my son is getting.
To know (and have him know) that he can rely on other people for care and comfort.
Experience for my son with other children, preferably older in addition to his age or younger.
Consistency so that I don’t have to make a new plan each day.
Enough stability that we can be a little more spontaneous with things like naps and schedules at home.
Non-directed play (undirected?) so that he can do his own thing until he gets a little older.
Less sickness for all of us*.
A place to work that is not in the same place where my child is.
What do I want for Javi in relation to child care?
A place to go that is just his, to have his own relationships and experiences separate from me or his dad.
A blend of personal attention when he needs it and room for independence when he doesn’t. I don’t want him to always be the center of attention; I want him to have the chance to learn to enjoy his own company.
Friends. Even at this age, he has preferences for different kids in his classroom. I want him to learn how to be around other kids and deal when their needs have to come first. Taking turns is an important part of life.
A spot of his own, be that a crib or mat or corner of the room for his stuff.
What do I want for the relationship between us and child care?
Trust. Clarity. Options. A willingness to explore those options without feeling disloyal or uncomfortable. A solution we’re all comfortable with. The same kind of relief I used to feel when I took Javi to daycare in the beginning.
How would I behave if that were true? What would I be doing differently if this is really what I wanted?
I would be actually looking into a wide variety of child care options, even just to explore them fully before eliminating them (in progress – aren’t you excited to be reading all about it? Ha!). I would be making appointments to visit in-home daycares (check). I would be asking friends and coworkers about their experiences with in-home daycares (check). I would be exploring my assumed and worst-case visions to see where I might be wrong and what I need to look out for (to-do). I would be researching questions to ask of care providers (to-do).
All in all, not a bad tool, though a little awkward in this situation. I believe the questions are intended to be used when facing an issue between two people, not between one person and herself, but I wouldn’t mind doing the exercise again.
Next up: visioning exercises! (How hippie does that sound? Well, more Corporate Hippie than regular hippie, for sure, but still….)