It’s Not All Mary Poppins

It’s just for the day, it’s just for the day

A friend of a friend’s child is here for the day. He’s just turned four. A veteran of a small home daycare in his own city and a year of pre-school, he is well accustomed to group care. There was a possibility that it might be for the rest of the week, but only today was confirmed. I do a certain amount of this during the summers, taking on kids for a day here and there between school and daycare, between gramma and grampa’s visit and the family summer vacation.

There was a possibility that it last more than just today. Until I spent a half-day with this child. So far this morning, we had this…

– Emily plays a game: she hits a hanging balloon with one she found on the floor. Visiting boy (VB) comes along, shoves her to one side, forcing her to watch while he plays the game she devised, and then tells me, “Emily is not letting me play.”

…just for the day, just for the day, just the one day…

– I reprimand VB for some small misbehaviour. He wanders away, scowling, over to where baby Lily is holding onto the chair. Holding on, that is, until he shoves her head violently back, causing her to topple to the floor.

…just for the day, just for the day, just the one day…

– I let VB decide which vegetable we will eat at lunch. He chooses carrots. Then refuses to eat them. When he is cheerfully told he can therefore leave the table, he demands the sandwich he sees the others eating. When it is cheerfully explained he must eat a carrot stick first, he glares at me, then picks up his milk and deliberately upends it.

…just for the day, just for the day, just the one day…

– After he has finished wiping up the milk, he quietly drops the wet cloth on my foot.

…just for the day, just for the day, just the one day…

– VB holds a toy out to Rory. When Rory reaches for it, VB pulls it away and grins. This happens twice, as Rory becomes more upset. When VB sees me heading in his direction, he says, quickly, “The baby is trying to steal my toy.”

…just for the day, just for the day, just the one day…

“I’m faster than you.
I can do that better than you.
My picture is nicer than yours.
My tower is taller.
You can’t do this, because you’re too little.
Fifteen? I can count to fifty!
I have TWO of those.
I’m stronger.
I’m smarter.”
(Yeah, maybe, but you’re not nicer…)

It’s a damned good thing I don’t have to like a child to do my job.

But it sure makes my work more fun.

July 13, 2010 Posted by | aggression, behavioural stuff, manners, Peeve me, the dark side | , , , , , , , | 13 Comments