Friday, September 12, 2014

A Typical Daycare Day

I 'live' in another blog space which I have created specifically for the families I babysit for. It is private and secluded and 'we' are the only ones who visit there. 

I have five families in my daycare and our blog averages over ten 'views' per day. This loyal following makes me feel very committed to keeping our daycare blog up to date and I post there every night after my daycare family goes home.

Our days feel so very much like the same old, same old that I simply cannot believe these parents and grandparents continue to tune in to this 'channel' each and every day, without fail. I commented on the repetitive nature of our days (and my blog posts) to one parent and they vehemently disagreed. Every day looks a little bit different, in the eyes of a parent.

It is nice to have a spot to note the cute little things the kids say and do. It is a place where I give them a 'visual' of our day, with a narrative background. We have good days and bad days. I don't let the negative take over but I don't ignore it either. Seeing (or reading about) 'where we have been' makes our victories so much sweeter when we can compare that to 'where we are'.

I even commented on that (the fact that I write about our bad days as well) to one parent and she reaffirmed that it was good to know 'all' - talking about the good, the bad and the ugly makes our days sound more truthful than sugar coating everything. I don't add a lot of details, but I have been a parent long enough to know that you don't need 'details' to create a vision which is far worse than the reality is, so I keep it 'light' (ish) and let my parents fill in the blanks.

I do like to focus on the little things that make me smile. And lately (this past week especially) there have simply been so many little things that I forget some of them by the day's end.

So I take pictures, to help me relive the day after it is over. Still shots put things into perspective. Good and bad. 

We had a later-than-normal lunch yesterday which does not set the stage for palatable pre-lunch banter. In fact, it was probably one of the worst moments-in-time we have had in oh ... maybe a day.

My little Rule Breaker was already sitting in the kitchen with me as he simply could not help himself and had to wander in. So I placed him in his seat so I knew where he was, what he was doing and that he (and everyone and everything else) was safe. Then the girls had a minor collision of some sort. The older of the two was saying "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!!" and the younger one was not to be consoled. So I brought her into the kitchen to keep her 'safe', despite the fact that she was crying for the sake of crying (not an injury in sight - I think it was her feelings that got hurt most of all). Which made the oldest in the crowd feel guilty and ready to cry and so I brought her into the kitchen with the rest of us.

The girls sat at the table and screamed. Then when they were done screaming, they dredged up some inner turmoil to create more tears and more crying. It was a very dramatic (and loud) performance. I thought about taking a picture of that moment but I knew it would be over by the time I found the camera and got it to focus on the scene. So I just moved through it, knowing the end was in sight.

My quick lunch (which should have taken no longer than eight minutes to prepare, from start to finish) became very labor intensive. I have no idea how long it took to get lunch on the table but it would not be stretching the truth to say it took at least twice as long as it should have (probably longer).

Then we ate.

Poof! Full, satisfied and contented children = Bliss. We can go from zero to sixty in ten seconds flat in this house. It can be over-the-top stressful and traumatic one moment and sitting-on-the-couch, ready for our story and singing time before naps, the next. 

We have those 'moments' (almost) each and every day. They are getting shorter in their endurance but I believe they must be a necessary part of living as a child. Don't we all have 'moments' like that within our days? I know I do. The moments where little things add up and become bigger than they are, add up when you don't have an outlet for your emotions. Thus, I write. A lot.

Maybe I need to teach these kids how to spell so they can start writing things out themselves. I guess we have to start with 'how to hold a crayon' without breaking it and pealing off the paper first.

Baby steps. One step at a time, we will walk through one phase and directly into another. It is inevitable.

Yet ... when I look at my little daycare family and watch them play, interact, adhere to the rules-of-safety-and-consideration within our isolated little world here ... I remember where-we-have-been and appreciate where-we-are ever so much more. My little people are learning so much and have come so far.

Here is one snippet from yesterday which brought a smile to my heart.

I finished changing my one-and-a-half-year-old's stinky diaper and when I was done, she sincerely said (as clear as a bell, because she is becoming one good little talker), "Thank you, Colleen!"

I hear that phrase all day! How lucky am I?? "Thank you, Colleen!" Three little words. They mean the world to me. Especially when it is straight out of the mouths of babes.

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