"Because you were busy," Jenna replied. "And you also say not to disturb you when you work."
I resisted the urge to curse. I had told Jenna that" numerous times. I"d said that to her only an hour ago when I"d parked her on the mat with her toys so that I could look over my client files.
"You"re right," I nodded. "I do say that, don"t I""
"A lot," Jenna said, and I instantly felt guilty.
"Well" sometimes you"re allowed to disturb me," I told her. "Like when you"re hungry or sick or" whenever you have a problem."
Jenna frowned. "What kind of problem"" she asked, cocking her head to the side.
I smiled because of how cute she looked, but I tried my best to answer her question. "Um" well" like when you get a paper cut," I said. "Or you"re sad about something."
I could Jenna mull that over in her little four-year-old head, and I knew she was trying to figure out if she had a problem that required my immediate attention.
"Daddy," she said. "I have a problem."
I smiled. "Tell me""
"I don"t want to go to daycare anymore," she told me.
I raised my eyebrows. "What""
"I don"t like it."
I felt my heart sink. I had asked her to come to me with her problems, so now it was incumbent on me to try and fix them. But the thing was" I relied on daycare. I worked long days and most weekends and when I needed to be in the office, daycare was my only option. Thankfully, Jenna liked the school she went to. She had nice teachers and lots of friends. The problem was that once school was out, I had nowhere else to keep her until I got back home.
"Why don"t you like it"" I asked, hoping it would be a simple fix.
"I just don"t," Jenna replied, without offering any specific explanations.
"And there"s no particular reason""
I sighed, recognizing that I wouldn"t get anything more out of her than that. "Well" sweetheart" you know that Daddy works really hard."
"Can"t I stay at school""
"No, I"m afraid not."
"Can"t I come to work with you""
I bit my lip. "No, honey," I shook my head. "I"m sorry."
"Can"t I come here after school""
"Not on your own, you can"t."
"I don"t want to go back to daycare," Jenna said again. It was like she wanted to make sure I heard how serious she was.
"You know what"" I said, making a split-second decision. "I"ll figure something out, okay" But until then" I"m going to need you to keep going to daycare. Just until I find a solution. How does that sound""
Jenna looked less than thrilled about going back to daycare, but she nodded reluctantly. "Okay," she said, in a disappointed voice.
I kissed the top of her head and Jenna went back to her toys. I sat back and sighed deeply. This had certainly thrown a wrench into the works. I had always known that Jenna didn"t love daycare, but I figured she"d just get used to it. Now that I knew how unhappy she was there, I couldn"t just ignore it.
Looking around the penthouse apartment that had been our home for the last two years, I realized how messy and disorganized everything was. I had a maid that came in twice a week to clean, but obviously, it wasn"t nearly enough. I realized that maybe I could kill two birds with one stone and hire a nanny who would cook and do a little light housework as well.
I hated the idea of hiring a nanny, especially considering my past experience with them, but I knew I had no choice anymore. I had to work, and someone needed to be here with Jenna. Left with no alternative, I got up and headed to my laptop to start the search.
"Any luck"" Megan asked as she dropped onto the couch.
"Not yet," I sighed. "And if my current state of unemployment keeps up any longer, I"m going to have to find a nice cardboard box and a clean street corner to call my home."
"Maitland Crescent is comparatively clean," Megan said dryly. "Now all we need is the cardboard box."
I shot her a glare. "That"s helpful."
Megan laughed. "Don"t worry so much; you"ll find something."
"I"ve been living in this city for almost a year, Megan," I pointed out. "I"ve worked three different jobs in that time, none of which allowed me to save a penny and none of which were even in my field. I want to be a teacher, not a waitress or a sales girl or a bartender."
"Have you checked the private schools in the area"" Megan asked.
"I check obsessively," I said. "Apparently there"s a hiring freeze with the public schools and the private schools require their teachers to have a master"s to even qualify for an interview."
"You have a bachelor"s degree."
"So does everyone else," I said. "And my degree is from a state college."