I have been so busy revelling in the day and taking full advantage of my ability to be flexible while tending one child that I haven't found time to sit still and write. It is now nap time in this daycare for one, my one child is sleeping soundly and this moment is mine. Let me savor it out loud.
First off, I had a restless night and for some reason couldn't fall back to sleep when I woke up in the middle of the night. Instead, I fell asleep within the last hour before my alarm went off at 5:00 a.m., so do you know what I did? I just kept on sleeping.
Miracle #1. I slept in and got up when I was good and ready. When I looked at the clock, I was delighted to discover I still had 2-1/2 hours at my disposal before my daycare daughter arrived. Her start time is an hour later than when everyone else arrived. I get a bonus hour in the morning. So far, I'm loving it!
My little girl wandered in and the first thing she noticed were the books which I had placed back on the book shelves. Books have NOT been respected or treated properly within this daycare setting. I have tried, tried and tried again. "Books are NOT toys!" Book hoarding, standing on books and using a book for any other reason than reading grates on my nerves. So I kept putting the books away. I brought them back out today and it was a delight to watch ONE child take ONE book, read it for a while and then exchange it for another book when she was finished with the first.
Then, she asked to go to the bathroom. Without three other warring children in my midst, assisting my little not-quite-2-year-old with her bathrooming needs was quick and easy. The last time we tried this, I believe I had two other children swinging from the chandelier while my back was turned. I exaggerate of course (I have a ceiling fan, not a chandelier), but you get the point. I made the grave error of flushing the toilet for her while the others were screaming for attention and she did not get rewarded properly. This morning? She had my full attention. It was a little thing but it was so big.
While she was in the hallway, she happened to notice the open bedroom doors. Doors could not remain open in my previous daycare world. No matter what I tried, no matter what the ages, no matter what combination of personalities were here, if children were out of my line of sight "bad things happened". So all doors remained closed so no one could wander out of my sight (it is no wonder that everyone's dream home "must have list" includes open concept - children must be watched. At all times). My little girl peeked in and glanced at me as if to say "Did you know this door was open?", to which I nodded and said, go on in. It's okay. You can play in there. Well! It was like Christmas in October.
My little girl played and played in her little doll tending oasis. I grabbed a cup of coffee and joined her. Jet came in to join us and he was treated to the same TLC my little girl was generously doling out to her dolls.
We were just stepping out of the play room and thinking about making some toast when my little one discovered the "library" of kid's books within easy access. The good just kept on getting better!
I wish I could say her early morning habit of "one book at a time" and putting her books back on the shelf where she found them remained intact. But she was happily singing along to our rainy day music book while I made our toast, so who was I to complain?
Our original plans included going for a walk but my son dropped by with coffee in hand so we forfeited those plans for the morning. The novelty of having a daycare zone resemble a home instead of having so many areas off limits made for a sense of newness in the air for my little girl, so I relaxed with the idea of simply going with the flow of the day and revelled in a good visit. We will walk later.
Having only ONE pick-up time (and a pretty stable one, at that) to work around means we can actually leave the premises after nap time. Having only one mouth to feed made it pretty easy to whip up a quick lunch. Clean up was a breeze, "bathrooming" for one is quick, story time could be as short or long as the moment dictated. Then when it came time to go to sleep, it was as simple as putting her to bed. No staggered nap times; no one who was awake throughout quiet time; no pussy footing around the one who always seemed to wake up crying. "One" may be pretty easy on me.
Except they do say "One is the loneliest number ...", so this could get a little trickier as the days go by and she realizes her friends are not coming over to play. One could prove to become a challenge on an ongoing basis. But for today? It feels pretty darn incredible.
I'm savoring this first day of quiet. I can't believe I'm getting paid for this!! The hourly rate isn't too high, so maybe this is pretty believable after all ...