Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Old Dog: New Trick

For an indecisive girl; I can make some pretty good decisions.

When I first embarked on operating a home daycare, I opened the door to any age and stage of child. I had a small group of kids who came here in the morning on their way to school, and I had another small group of children who came to spend their days with me. The mornings were very busy, and typically loud. The television would be on, the frying pans and milk would be out, and large children would be outside bottoming out the trampoline and wrecking my little tykes wagon. (yes, that's bitterness that you sense). Then summer would come along, and I'd have this disparent bunch of kids ranging from diaper-poopers to wagon-bashers. I did my best to grow an extra two brains, seven more arms, and rig up some sort of program that made the older kids think this was a stellar place to play, and make the younger kids make happy sounds instead of whiney, needy sounds.

Mostly, all eight of my heads would hurt, and I felt chronically incapable at following the bouncing babes.

I don't like to say "no". And I don't like to give the message of rejection.
But. I like liking my job.

So, I began to fine tune. First I received no more school age children. Then I encouraged the ones I had to find other arrangements. Then I just started chasing them down the street screaming unkind things like: dummy, yella-bellied snakeskin, sissy... and your mom. And I'd throw moldy baloney sandwhiches at them. Okay, I never did those last two things because I figured I wouldn't get great references that way, and that's what it's all about.

Slow and steady, those spots got filled with little people. My favourite. Kids who play puppy, think a walk is comparable to a week in Cuba, kids who are so secure in themself that they see no issue in pooping their pants, or puking on my $25.00 couch. I thought it was mostly all adorable, and much prefer it to wagon-crushing fifth graders. They think it's hilarious when I answer their "What's for lunch?" question with the politically incorrect retort; "Lips and bums!"

This morning at 7:00 am as I melted into the couch sandwhiched between a cabbage-patch faced little toddler, and a slobbering, furry little puppy, I revelled in the loveliness of it. I didn't miss the plate spinning mania of the years before. I didn't miss the couch lined up with big kids making fun of Sesame Street. In fact, the tv stayed off, and the house was so peaceful that I had to go wake up the daughter not once, but three times.

The puzzles and the blocks would be exciting enough entertainment today. As would animal crackers and fruit and veggie juice served in mini happy face mugs. No one would be bursting in the back door at 4:00 expecting a craft and a snack that rivalled what they'd had in their lunchbag hours back. My jokes would be funny enough, my videos wonderfully lacking in suspense.

No matter if I'm a late bloomer, it's mighily rewarding to get a little assertive, make some changes, and learn to say "no" when it's the correct answer.


gloria said...

yup, you sure seemed happy today... :P)

KG Finfrock said...

Oh stop. You are making me miss it...

joyce said...

welcome KG. Check with gloria for a reality check before you give in to nostalgia. It all looks good in print....