Last time I blogged, a little over a week ago, a boy had choked Lilly at school, and we immediately pulled her out. There were 100 things we didn't like about the school prior to that, but obviously my child getting physically hurt by another child was way past the final straw. Just thinking about the way Lilly must have felt during that moment - helpless, fearful - I won't even walk near the school with Lilly because I don't want her to remember that experience, and worry that she might be going back.
The next day, my little preschool dropout and I picked up my beautiful niece Lyndsey and we spent the day having fun! We went to the playground, to the bookstore, multiple taxi rides (which Lilly loves - both hailing the cab, which she does great all by herself - and also watching the little tv that's in the back of cabs these days). That night, we had preplanned that my niece Julianne would join us as well and we'd all watch the new Camp Rock 2 movie. Lilly is a sucker for the Jonas Brothers, and loves spending time with her cousins. A perfect day ~ generally ~ and especially after the awfulness of the day before.
Months ago, Jon and I decided that we needed to get away just the two of us for a few days; we hadn't gone on a real vacation for just us two since our honeymoon. So we planned a trip to Jamaica for 3 nights Labor Day weekend. Which meant...
The morning after the Camp Rock 2 premiere party, my parents arrived to hang out with Miss Lilly, and Jon and I were off to Jamaica.
I honestly didn't think I could go. I mean, the past two days had been emotional thinking about Lilly's situation. All you want to do as a parent is to put your child in a place of safety, to keep them happy and healthy. And I felt that somehow we had failed Lilly by putting her in such an awful daycare, although we didn't realize the extent to how bad it was until that last day.
So the thought of Jamaica, and leaving Miss Lilly, made me panicky, but I knew she was in better hands than ever with my parents (and subsequently my nieces and even Lilly's younger nephew). So we still went. I packed in an hour on Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon we were on a plane.
Jamaica was amazing, as always. This time we stayed at the Iberostar Grand Rose Hall in Montego Bay, and it truly was 5 star service, accommodations, everything. I would highly recommend it. I will say that there weren't tons of vegetarian options at certain meals, but they definitely were nice about trying to accommodate me. The rooms were beautiful - every room seemed to have a partial view of the ocean, and huge decks with a porch swing and couch. The bathroom of our room was bigger than Lilly's NY bedroom and our kitchen combined. And around the pool and at the beach were not just regular lounge chairs, but mattressed beach beds, so comfortable to relax on. (So much so that I got burned the first day...)
If you know Jon and I, you know we don't sit still. In our regular life, and on vacation, we are busy - always trying to accomplish something. On this vacation, we laid out by the pool and at the beach. We took naps. We read multiple books each. We... relaxed. Which is so unlike us. I missed Lilly incredibly but my parents are amazing with her so I wasn't worried about her - but I just kept thinking with everything we did - Lilly would love this music. Lilly would love this tepanyaki. Lilly would love this dance class. (Of course, it's an adults only resort so Lilly wouldn't be able to actually love any of it for 14 more years...)
So we came back rested and relaxed. We arrived back Tuesday evening, getting into our apartment around midnight.
And then life's pace got busy immediately. I quickly packed and Wednesday morning at 6:30 I was heading for the airport. This time, to Charlottesville for work. My parents were watching Lilly the remainder of the week so I could travel for work and Jon could work his long hours. So work was super busy the rest of the week for us both; on Thursday night I almost pulled an all nighter but ended up going to bed at 3 am. I arrived back home Friday night and was SO happy to see my little Lilly for the first time in a week!
We ate pizza with my parents Friday night, and Lilly showed us all the new tricks that they taught her. She can now draw a happy face, and even wrote her name completely independently!!! Of course, the L's are backwards, and she spelled it Lily without the extra L - but seriously this is such an amazing skill!
Now back to the beginning of the story - Lilly is a preschool dropout. So since that day a week and a half ago, we have been searching frantically for a new school for her. That next day Jon was on the phone all day; while we were in Jamaica we wrote emails; we faxed things all over town; even my parents called schools and said they'd bring Lilly in immediately if they had a spot for an interview. Very few leads. In fact, there are two current school options, but one is for a 12:30 to 2pm spot and one is for a 2:30 to 5pm spot. Which is weird, a) I work full time so Lilly needs full time school; but b) who puts their kid in school just for two hours a day in the afternoon - especially around naptime for a 4 year old?
So I think it hit us after my parents left early Saturday morning, that we were stuck. So I decided that I can stay home Monday and Tuesday with Lilly (she has an interview at a school on Tuesday) and then we'll probably fly to Atlanta for my mom to help me out and watch her for a week or two (or more?). But I have SO much to do work-wise. So Jon and I decided that he would let me work all weekend and he'd take Lilly out on the town so I could get things done.
So while I worked all day yesterday and all day today, Jon took Lilly to the playground, to the Lion King on Broadway, on a pedi-cab tour around Time Square (all yesterday), and back to the playground, to the Mets Game, and to Coney Island (today). It's 7:30 pm and they are still out. I have to say I am grateful and I accomplished a lot. I also have a babysitter who can help us out later in the week if we are still in town, so I feel like we are figuring things out.
So that's where we are. Lilly is school less, but we're figuring out how to make it work temporarily. It's a much better situation than where we were, with that little bully at her school making her life miserable and Lilly unhappy every day. Wish us luck in finding the right school!