Friday, May 9, 2014

Appreciating What I Had All Along

How is it that the same old, same old dull, dreary, frustrating and repetitive routines suddenly seem bright and shiny and brand new again once they have been 'lost' for a while?

Yes, I am talking of my daycare (again). Sorry.

I have had a young (daycare) family of three. All winter. Two, 1-year-olds and one, 2 1/2 year old. They  We were stuck in a rut. As long as they were interested and stimulated in new and different play things &/or people, they were perfect (as perfect as children can be at those ages). But that is not the way of the world. Life isn't new and exciting all of the time.

Trying to alter that reality would involve rotating the toy selection about every hour or so (which I didn't do - bihourly? Maybe). There was such a 'been there, done that' attitude in the house that the same old toys (even newly rotated into their day) just didn't cut it anymore.

Toys were getting broken on a regular basis. Limits were pushed. Each and every time I (literally) turned my back (I could still be in the same room), they did exactly what they knew they were not allowed to do (one example: standing on the couch and playing with the picture on the wall). Each and every time I left the room, one of the one year olds ended up crying (I think that the 2-1/2 year old was trying to 'be me' and instill my rules on her younger playmates and it always ended up in tears).

Okay, okay ... that is enough of a back-story. Long story, short ... these guys were testing my endurance. All winter. It was the winter that never ended. I was really starting to question my child-minding abilities. If I couldn't do this job well, what could I do?!??  

Enter our new family-of-two.

These guys are dynamos. They GO and DO and ARGUE and THROW and they just DON'T STOP doing and going and arguing and throwing unless I am completely and totally focused on tending them. Thankfully their parents are working with me and they have been doing everything that they can do from their end to make my job easier. It is definitely helping.

They have been here a week. They are getting to know the house rules and expectations. They don't like a lot of them, but they (sort of) grinning and bearing it. It is a work in progress but when every day gets a little bit better, you know it is headed in the right direction. It is challenging. But it is good.

What they have added to our bored little family of three, is new life. There is a buzz of contentment and 'happy' within these walls again. The same old, same old toys are being looked at and played with, in new ways. My Original Three are quite intrigued by these new play toys (called children) and the simple fact that they have new people in their midst adds a sense of newness to each and every day.

We have had a few challenging days, but all in all this new family is a welcome addition to our home. I think that this could work out very well.

We were just getting into the swing of things at the end of our first week, when the new family called and told me that they wouldn't be coming yesterday. I assume that this is a one-day-only event and that everyone will return today and we will be back on track. But knowing that we had one day without our new additions? Made the same old, same old routines of the weeks and months that preceded this one a gift.

I believe that each and every one of us has changed just a little bit over the course of this past week. Everyone looks at those same old toys and plays with them just a little bit differently. We all look at each other and feel that comfortable ease that you feel with those-you-know-well. My day wasn't run by bus schedules (my new little five-year-old is in preschool and is bussed to & from his school). We could leave the house and not have to be home by any time in particular.

And quiet time was ... quiet.

Once all of my little people were napping, I sat still on the couch (for the first time in a week??) and Senior Cat found me. Junior Cat was relaxed enough to 'join' us (see him over by the wall?). I turned on my familiar and favorite Home & Garden Network channel and inhaled. It. Was. Wonderful.
The same old, same old felt wonderful. For a day.

I think that it wouldn't have felt so awesome if I knew that each and every day that followed it would be more-of-the-same. But it won't be.

Today the doors will open and the children will file through. There is no preschool to break up our day. No bus to dictate our schedule. There will be no break from the children, the noise and children's TV during quiet time. And that is okay.

Having what we have now helps me appreciate what we have had all along. It was good. It was very good. And I didn't see it until I had the contrast of a different life to compare it to.

And ... the sun is coming out to play again today. It is going to be a very good Friday.

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