I made a conscious decision to simply sit back and enjoy moments within my Daycare Day yesterday. When you surround yourself with children and pets, there are many moments to behold. Let me rephrase that: when you surround yourself with life and nature, there are more moments than one can ever imagine.
My new little one-year-olds are a delight. They arrive every morning and greet the day with a smile. These amazing little bundles of joy and innocence are my little Daycare Greeters. They make every person who enters our world smile out loud. If you are having a rough day, I highly recommend that you drop into our world. Not only would my Little People distract you from your adult thoughts, I would very much enjoy speaking to an adult in the midst of a child-oriented day.
My little two-and-a-half-year-old is missing her partner-in-play (who left our daycare last week). My heart is aching for her loss. But her gain is that she has a 'better' me. Tuesday, I was feeling a little under the weather and once we got our babies down for a nap (she takes care of a boy and girl doll, while I take care of my boy and girl one-year-olds), I asked if she would like to snuggle up on the couch and watch a little TV (she happily obliged). Yesterday, she was feeling under the weather and I repaid the favor for her. She is a very sensitive child and I shudder to think how I made her feel when our Daycare World was spinning out of control. I am grateful for all of the calmness that has opened the door to a better rapport between us.
My little four-year-old has Downs Syndrome and is (for the most part) non-verbal. We have a playlist of children's songs that take us through the last segment of our day. One day this week, when a child's sign language song came on, her hands started to dance. I couldn't wait to ask her dad if she is learning sign language at pre-school (she is) and now that I know this, we will happily reinforce what she is learning at daycare. I am a novice signer, but I have a book and perhaps a student who may teach me more than I teach her.
Mix these four personalities in a bowl and you have My Day. It's not a bad gig. Especially when I am not trying to prepare food or deal with the bathrooming issues involved in all-of-the-above.
Parents of my newest one-year-old were dropping her off and they asked the other one-year-old how old he is (he loves, loves, loves to show us his tricks). He immediately put up his finger in a #1 sign which is a little bit cute in and of itself. But the show stopper was, when their daughter immediately followed suit and displayed her best #1 imitation right along side her little partner-at-daycare.
My new little duo are a little bit adorable. My little guy is a cuddly, loving and openly affectionate little man. A few days ago, he was overcome with emotion and just reached over and gave his newest little friend a great big hug. As if that wasn't enough, he leaned in and gave her a kiss on the cheek afterwards. He's got the moves! Yesterday, I saw 'that look in his eye', as he was going to make a move. So I grabbed my camera to try and capture the moment for their parents. While I was grabbing the camera, he was going for the gold and gave her a hug. She wasn't braced for it, so she toppled over and he fell right on top of her. There were tears. My heart snapped a picture of 'the moment', I brushed off my little people and broken hearts were healed. If only life remained this easy ...
My little guy is into 'tricks' of all sorts. He 'roars like a lion' and 'squeaks like a mouse'. He knows how old he is. And he is big into pointing at body parts and identifying them these days. 'Noses' were the topic of the moment. My little two year old was busy teaching her dolly about noses and she was telling me how little her doll's nose was. And our one-year-old's tiny noses. Then she looked at me and said, "You have a big nose!" My ego was shattered but for a moment. I quickly picked up the ball and said that was okay - I would look pretty silly with a little nose like her.
Our Senior Cat grew up in my daycare. He wanders into our days and 'teaches' the kids how to treat an animal. He trusts me implicitly to keep him safe. Kids have tugged at his whiskers, ears, tail and hair. Yet he just sits there and knows I will protect him from harm. He doesn't stay too long, but he feels it is important to be a part of these children's lives. Nap time is his favorite. If he finds a warm, still, sleeping child-with-a-blanket on the couch he cannot resist. He accidentally slept through nap time yesterday and came up as everyone was waking. My little one-year-old was on my lap, enjoying his after-nap-bottle and he saw our cat and beckoned for him to come and sit beside us (he tapped the couch to encourage the cat to sit there, as I so often do). He was gulping down his milk and didn't have his voice, but this little guy was 'signing' in so very many ways. His little pointer finger was pointing to all areas of interest on our cat (ears, eyes, nose...) and our cat just lapped it up.
There were many more moments just-as-sweet sprinkled throughout the day. Yesterday was not a lot different than any other day. I just made myself stop and savor the flavor of the day as I lived it, instead of focusing on all that must be done to make things run smoothly.
Why is it that we get so wrapped up in all-that-must-be-done, that we let these little moments pass us by? We all have a litany of things-that-must-get-done running through our minds and if that is all we focus on, that is all that we see. Any time I look back on any job that I have ever done, I can find moments. The moments that turn the mundane into something special. Moments that alleviate the stress. Moments that are fleeting but make the day worthwhile.
Look for those moments within your day today. I bet you will be surprised at what you see.