When I discovered I would only have two children coming to daycare, visions of an easy day ran through my head. Then my day began and my dream bubble popped.
I have learned a few things during my fifteen years of daycaring:
- "One" is never enough. Kids love kids. Kids love action. Kids love playing. Even when they are arguing incessantly with each other, kids like to spend their day with kids. On the rare occasion when I have only had one child, we try to find other kids to play with.
- "Two" is better than one. For a while. When there is not a third child to trade off, interject new ideas and energy it seems that two children can run out of things to do and tire of each other's company. Sometimes. Not all the time, but a lot of the time.
- "Three" is okay. Much depends on the ages and stages of the children. We very often have "three" children here and there seems to be a good amount of trading off and playing, some disagreements but most of all it's okay.
- Even numbers usually work better than odd numbers. Everybody has a buddy and that usually bodes well for everyone concerned. Usually.
- There is never ever ever a certainty when it comes to kids. What works one day, doesn't work the next. The only thing that is certain is that uncertainty is always a factor.
- What kids are arguing over one day is boring when there is no one else around to argue with. The most coveted toys of all are abandoned when no one else wants to play with them.
- Non-verbal days are hard. Very, very hard. That is all.
- My favorite age is when children learn to blow their nose.
Yesterday was a day of "two", ages 1-1/2 and 2-1/2. The two and a half year old copies everything. Everything. So yesterday, he didn't talk. The one and a half year old had a runny nose. I quite literally had to wipe it every thirty seconds to a minute. Yesterday I logged 14,150 steps on my Fitbit (5.7 miles). I wish my Fitbit measured the decibel level within the house. It was loud. So loud. There was crying. Crying out of frustration (no, it wasn't me) over not being able to take a toy out of a shelf.
It was such a hard day. I was talking to my friend who runs a daycare. I said, "I can't do this for the rest of my life." She replied, "You just have to do this until lunch. Then it's quiet time. Just an hour. That's all you have to do right now ..."
I hung up the phone and we went for an hour long walk. It saved the day. Then quiet time happened. It was the quietest quiet time in recorded history. I do believe my two young, noisy, non-verbal, runny-nosed, frustrated children were tired. They slept. They slept so well. It saved my life.
Then they woke up and we were right back to where we were before they closed their eyes. Sleep did not fix what ailed them. I felt like a referee in a boxing ring. Thank goodness they slept.
The two year old was picked up just as he finished his snack. Then I was down to "one" again. Did I mention "one" is hard? "One" with a very, very runny nose?
I so needed this week to end. Then I woke up to "Saturday". Another work day. But at least this day will challenge my verbal, mathematical and reasoning skills on an adult level. I want to stay home and bury my head under a pillow but at least I can "speak adult" today and the decibel level should be low.
My tolerance is not good right now. I long for a two-day weekend but it may not happen until May. Thank goodness spring has sprung. I do believe sitting in a sunbeam will do me a lot more good than burying my head under a pillow. I just have to get through the day. Then the next thirty six hours are mine, to do with as I please.
I must go now. Our cat is attackinio9g 9999999999999999oik [the other cat just walked across the keyboard and typed that - it should say "attacking"] the closet doors and it sounds like someone is trying to break into the house. Where is that pillow??