However, I'm changing my tune.
After four months off of work, it was time for me to go back to the real world. But Little Brother was clingy and still a little scared. We were concerned (OK, mostly I was concerned but The Man went along with it) that it would be too much for Little Brother to go to the preschool that Little Man attends. Although there are two regular classroom teachers, many other teachers rotate through the class for break times, and the two teacher's schedules don't align, so he could have a different set of teachers each day.
He's a sensitive kid and scared when just one of us leaves the house. So I figured that when both of us left, and he was in a strange place, it might just be too much for him.
Our friends have had a nanny for a few years and rave about it. So we decided to go for the nanny option too. I haven't regretted it for a minute!
We found our nanny through Care.com. She's a sweetheart! She's a college student and works with autistic kids. Patient, kind, and gentle. All the things our boy needed.
Because we haven't been together very long, I was a bit freaked about leaving him with a single caretaker, fearing that he would attach to someone else. But he's a loyal little guy. And I don't think our attachment has waned in any way.
His first few weeks with the nanny, I stayed close to home, occasionally running a few errands. I wanted to hear how she interacted with him and see how he responded to her. She did a great job of redirecting and occupying him. She handled his throwing and hitting well (though one week she did have a large scratch across her forehead).
After the initial first few days I tried leaving the house for a few hours at a time and built up the duration over a week. He really struggled and very upset while I was gone. Boy, that was really tough to leave him. He would throw himself at the door as I walked out and screamed the same frantic way he did when he left his foster mother.
Knife. To. The. Heart.
Friends were super helpful with supportive phone calls at this time and making lunch dates. Thank goodness because all I wanted to do was go back home!
He did get a little fearful of the nanny for about a week. As soon as she came in the morning, he'd run to us and start crying. He knew what was coming and he wasn't happy about it.
It's been about 4 weeks now and he's doing really well. He no longer cries when she arrives, and though he cries a little when we leave, it's fairly mild and short-lived.
He's just gotten to the point where he's started laughing with her and being silly. She would arrive in the morning and see him happily interacting with Little Man, but when we all left he grew very serious. He's finally started giggling with her and she loves it.
When I come home, I hear his happy screams as I get out of my car. He runs to the door and climbs up on me, patting my chest furiously and babbling. He then turns to the nanny and waves good-bye, as if telling her "you can go now"! Such a great welcome home!
Each morning she comes in and it's great to have an extra set of eyes and hands while we get ready in the morning. She will immediately change, dress, feed or occupy Little Brother, and keep the brothers from causing too much chaos as we try to get ready for work.
Honestly, the most challenging thing I've found about having a nanny is keeping our house clean. I've become a total house nazi and keep a schedule of cleaning on the fridge. This isn't cleaning that the nanny is doing. It's the cleaning WE are doing because the nanny is there! Ridiculous, I know.
What makes it even more ridiculous is many people have their nannies do the housecleaning while the babies are asleep. Guess I didn't think that one through too well. We just asked our nanny to unload the dishwasher each day and load up our breakfast dishes and those she uses throughout the day. That's a big help. But lesson learned for the next nanny we hire.
The only down side to this is that our nanny is a college student and will be returning in the fall. Which means we have to decide whether to hire again, or to send him to preschool.