W's baby sitter dumped me today. Unceremoniously, and in a definite "it's not me, it's you" fashion. This came out of the blue, and hit me like a punch in the gut. She told me she's done with him as of this Friday -five days from today - saying that should give me plenty of time to find someone new. I highly doubt that, which is why I asked if she'd be willing to take him next week if we couldn't find someone before Monday. She flat-out refused. She also told me she didn't want to get into the reasons why she won't watch W any more, but from our brief conversations this morning and after work, I've come up with a couple of possible theories.
Theory 1: She's pissed about the childcare tax credit situation. There was a bit of drama with this a month or so ago that I never posted about because I figure it's best not to eff with anything involving the IRS. Apparently, me being nice doesn't matter any more, so here's the brief version. In short, we told her a year ago we'd be claiming the credit, she agreed until she was in the process of filing her taxes a month or so ago, and realized that it would cost her. I agreed to only claim half of the amount we initially agreed to. She told me what her rates would be going forward, if we wanted to claim the credit for 2010. After crunching the numbers, I told her we wouldn't be claiming the credit for 2010 because we would be paying out over $2,000 more than the credit is worth, and it didn't make financial sense for us. She seemed a little annoyed, but never said any more about it. I think maybe this has been festering, and led to the dumping.
Theory 2: I'm an overbearing bitch, and she's not an assertive enough person to deal with me, so she's getting rid of me. She didn't tell me this in so many words, but it was implied when I directed our conversation to her firing me. After work tonight, I said something along the lines of "I know you said you didn't want to get into it, but I would really like to know if I've done something that led to this. I know it probably won't change our situation, but I'd like to know for the future so I don't lose another good sitter over something I'm doing." She, slightly pissily, responded with, "It's stuff like this, Emily. I said I didn't want to talk about it, and you're asking about it anyway." I've been wracking my brain, but can't come up with more than one other incident (which occurred Thursday night, and I wasn't entirely aware of) when I've done this. I apologized many times, but it apparently fell on deaf ears.
Theory 3: She found my blog, and read something that pissed her off. After searching my blog, the only thing I found that might have pissed her off was my mommy guilt post from the other day. I've never written anything untoward about her; never used her name, her kids' names, or her husband's name; and never posted pictures of her or her kids.
Theory 4: I stress her out. This sort of ties in with Theory 2. She told me she spent all weekend feeling guilty about her kids being sick. I never, ever intended that to happen as a result of our conversation Thursday night, and I told her so. If it came off that way on the phone, I didn't mean for it to, but it may have because I was stressed about trying to find something to do with my possibly-still-sick kid the next day after I'd already taken half a week off of work. She made the comment that she's under a lot of stress, too, and I got the feeling that she meant I was a big cause of that.
Theory 5: She doesn't want a newborn. Again, she didn't say that in so many words, but she definitely implied that she didn't want to be burdened with watching a newborn come this summer.
Theory 6: W has become an uncontrollable heathen at her house, and she doesn't want to deal with him any more. I have no evidence of that, but you never know.
And that's all I've got. It could be one, it could be none, or it could be all of them. I may never know exactly what happened, but I really hope that she eventually decides to man up and have a frank conversation with me about what the eff went down.
The sad thing is, I am really, really hurt and upset by this. I feel like I got dumped by a boyfriend (particularly because I'm 98% sure she's keeping the other kid she watches). I spent most of the day at work crying off and on, and cried the whole way home while talking on the phone with my mom. This was so sudden and unexplained that I don't even know how to begin processing it. Every thing was perfectly normal until this morning. Actually, until Thursday night...I should have known something was wrong when I sent her a text and she didn't respond. She always responds, even if it's just with an "ok" or a "yep." I truly feel like a pathetic ex-girlfriend who wants nothing more than to find out why this happened. I feel like I'm begging her to give me some closure, and she wants no part of it or me.
And I feel terribly for W. He loves the sitter, loves her kids, and has a great time at her house. She's truly been a fantastic sitter, too. I'm sad that he's going to lose those friendships and that caregiver. Even after the craptastic way she's decided to end our relationship, I would still give her a glowing recommendation. I'm sad that W is going to lose a good caregiver and two good friendships.
I'm also super pissed about the firm one-week's notice. I'm in trial all week, so I don't have the freedom I usually do to make phone calls and search for a sitter, and B has class every night this week, so even if I find a place and make an appointment to check it out, he won't be able to go with me. I think I have a couple of options for the first few days next week, if I need them, though, which makes me feel slightly better about the timing issues.
Also providing a small measure of comfort is knowing that people seem to be on my "side" of this whole thing. Obviously, they've only heard my side of the story (because I don't have the sitter's side of the story to tell), so it comes with a grain of salt, but still. And, in case you think I've told everyone I ran into today the full sob story, the brief story I've been giving people as I'm asking for sitter recommendations is: "My babysitter dumped me this morning. She told me Friday is going to be her last day. I need to find a new one by Monday, but am freaking out about it because our schedules are nuts this week. Is your sitter taking new toddlers?" After getting that e-mail, a friend of mine summed up it up best: "That's really shitty. Really shitty."
So, in the fashion of the jilted girlfriend, I'm packing up all the maternity and baby clothes she's lent me, figuring out if she has any of W's stuff at her house, and making sure I don't have anything of hers left at my house. I'm going to return it all when I pick W up on Friday, make a clean break. Because I have a feeling that there's not going to be any "staying friends" after this.