At Spencer’s insistence, Kate finally decided to give Mrs. Pettigrew a chance with being Sarah’s daycare provider. It wasn’t that Kate didn’t like her or trust her, she just wasn’t sure she could keep up with her.
Sarah was a great little girl, but recently had begun to feel quite at home. Yesterday, little Sarah squeezed out all of Kate’s toothpaste on the bathroom counter. Kate learned to keep it up in the cabinet, after she spent an hour cleaning it up and wiping down the bathroom.
Last week, Sarah overfilled Button’s water bowl and Kate had to mop the entire kitchen floor. And just this morning, she caught her sticking postage stamps to the refrigerator door. Yes, Sarah was cute and a good girl most of the time. But now her curiosity and her familiarity with things at home have caused a few adjustments.
After Sarah’s appointment where she had to get two shots and cried a little, they headed for Mrs. Pettigrew’s. Kate pulled up into the driveway Mrs. P and Spencer shared. She knew Spencer was at work until late afternoon. She got out and walked up to the door with Sarah in tow. Mrs. P opened the door with excitement. If Kate had any doubts about her wanting to watch Sarah, they went out the window.
“Hello, Kate. Hi, Sarah, come on in.” She shut the door behind them. Today Mrs. P wore denim jeans and a Rams sweatshirt over a collared blouse. Her hair was more gray than Kate remembered. Her smile and welcome were genuine. Kate felt somewhat better at the idea of this woman being able to care for Sarah.
“So good to meet you.” She leaned over to Sarah’s level and chucked her on the chin. Before they could get comfortable, Mrs. P asked Sarah, “Would you like a cookie?”
Sarah looked up at Kate. She gave her a smile and said, “You may have one; use your manners.”
Sarah looked back at Mrs. P. “Yes, please,” she said quietly.
Kate sat on the sofa where Mrs. P gestured she sit. Sarah followed Mrs. P to the kitchen. Kate could hear them talking and the rattle of a cookie jar lid.
A minute later, Mrs. P came back and asked Kate if she wanted anything. “I’m fine, thanks.”
“She’s a pretty little thing.” Mrs. P settled into a wing chair next to an end table stacked with books, papers and magazines. She leaned forward as if to hear every word Kate would speak.
“Now, what can I do for you? I know Spencer hinted at some child care needed.”
Kate nodded. “Yes, I need care for her. But, I have such a rotating schedule, I wasn’t sure you would be interested.”
“Is at as crazy as Spencer’s?” She gave her a knowing smile.
Kate smiled in return. “Sometimes, yes.” She pulled a stray hair behind her ear. “Right now I’m on days, but with all the action in the Middle East and everywhere, I could go to second shift or mids anytime.”
“I’m here, 24/7. The only thing I do regularly is go to the library and my monthly Friday night dinners with my class. I like to garden, can, and cook. I don’t see a problem with a little helper in any of those activities.”
Kate gave her a smile and then they began to discuss the details, like nap times, emergency contacts, pay rate, and Sarah’s eating habits. “I go back to work next Monday.”
“If you are comfortable, I’m comfortable. I’m healthy as a horse and finally got rid of that stupid walker that slowed me down. If I have any emergency, Spencer seems to be around. Or my neighbor on the other side.”
Sarah came in and smiled at Kate, with crumbs stuck on her upper lip. “Cookies are good,” she said, smiling at Mrs. P.
“I think we’ll get along great,” Mrs. P said, “but it’s totally up to you.”
Kate knew she could trust this woman. “You have a deal.” She turned to Sarah, and said, “Mrs. P is going to watch you when I’m at work.”
“I have more cookies?”
The two ladies laughed. “I think there will be lots of cookies in your future.” Kate whispered in Sarah’s ear, “Say thank you.”
Sarah said thank you to Mrs. P and they got ready to leave. Mrs. P walked them to the door and said, “I’ll have some fun things for you to do next week.” Sarah gave her a smile, Kate thanked her and they left. Sarah bubbled about the things she saw in Mrs. P’s kitchen and Kate felt relieved at the knowledge Sarah would be well cared for.
Until next time,