It’s Not All Mary Poppins


This has nothing to do with my usual topics, but I came across this in a blog I’ve been reading now and then for a bit, and I was so struck by it I had to pass it on! He’s writing about the London bus-and-subway bombings, from a poignant and pointed perspective: A Prayer Answered. (No, it’s not schmaltzy.)

July 9, 2005 Posted by | commemoration | 5 Comments

TGIF – a bit of a whine

Oh, thank God, thank God it’s Friday! It’s been a tough week. Bear with me, here. I am about to vent and say all manner of negative things. Please remember while this is going on that a) I genuinely like and enjoy these children and b) I’m tired and in great need of a break.

I’m integrating four children. One is bad. Four is beyond difficult. I hadn’t anticipated this, since three of these children are quite familiar to me: Liam was in my full-time care for three years, and this is his third summer with me. He lives in the neighbourhood, and his dad is a friend of mine. He’s far from new. Kyle and Adam have been coming to me for July’s since – well, since before Adam was born! Four years? Arthur is new, but he’s just finished his third week. He should be settling in nicely by now. And he is, really, as much as can be expected when the population of the daycare is in such flux.

July has been my nightmare month for several years now. I have too many teachers as clients! If I could afford to, I’d be well set to take the entire summer off, but I can’t. As it is, these teachers stay home with their kids – and good for them, say I!! Problem is, this reduces my attendance, and thus my summer paycheques, by 20 to 60%. It’s not too difficult to find other kids to care for, kids whose caregivers are also taking time off. But, what with holidays amongst my regular daycare children, and incoming replacement tots, my attendance for the summer constantly changes, week by week. This is stressful.

Since I have all these new/temporary children this month, my attendance varies from 3 to 8 children on any given day, and they’re all getting used to each other. They won’t actually get used to each other, because there won’t be the time. *sigh* So the dynamic is more than usually negative. I spend more time correcting, instructing, reprimanding. There are more conflicts and misunderstandings between the children, more tattling. Integration is like that: more negative, more drudge-work, fewer rewards. Wearing.

This is one of the many reasons why I am taking the month of August off. The Entire Month. The Entire, Blessed Month. Though I’ve wanted to do this for some time, this is the first year I can afford it. I’m so excited!! It’s the light at the end of my tunnel.

Meantime, though, there’s Liam, the maniac child from… No, not there. That’s not fair. He’s a nice boy, generally well-meaning and endlessly cheerful, but loud, and frenetically active. He doesn’t walk if he can run, run if he can bounce, bounce silently if he can yell too, bounce and yell if he can do all at once. And believe me, he can. I comfort myself with the fact that his energy is almost wholly positive, but still, it’s wearing.

He’s also developed some character traits that irk me. Primary among these is the competitiveness, competitive in the negative way. He doesn’t use the accomplishments of others to spur him on to greater achievement, which would be a good thing. No, he must simply always be the best, others must always be inferior. At everything. If he can’t be the best, he either quits, cheats, or denigrates the other’s accomplishments. “So? he’ll sneer. “ I can…” It’s very tedious. And not nice to see. We’re working on it, because I can’t not do something, but I know that, given that I have him only two weeks this summer (another heartfelt Thank God here), it’s a lost cause.

Kyle (5), and Adam (3) are genuinely nice boys. I have no problem with them at all, at all. Adam misses his mommy when he’s with me, and we tend to have one quiet but sad teary bout each day, but with a little comforting he recovers nicely. His big brother is kind and supportive. They’re very sweet.

Arthur is coming along nicely, but he’s only just turned three, and he’s young for that. Yes, he’s very verbal, but his articulation is… well, to be frank, I don’t much enjoy the way he talks. Each syllable comes out slowly, yet is poorly articulated. He speaks in a grating monotone, and it’s loud, loud, loud. He drools while he speaks, and if you’re too close, you get sprayed. And to top it all off, it’s ceaseless. The boy talks absolutely incessently. He’s wearing. He’s a lot of work. He’s toilet trained, but he needs assistance, which makes for endless trips up the stairs. I think I’ll bring the potty out until he’s more independent.

Bah. Enough whinging. I need a holiday! And I’m going to get one, which is what is getting me through this month. I will have earned it by the time it arrives. And when I’m back in September, I’ll have a nice, stable attendance. I’ll be refreshed, and I’ll enjoy all the challenges of the job, instead of just feeling put upon by them.

Let’s hear it for holidays!!!

July 9, 2005 Posted by | holidays, the dark side | 3 Comments