Last night I sat down on the lounge and cried.
Sobbed, really. Now, I’m not going to say this is an extraordinarily unusual thing for me to do. I am a woman, I get emotional and I like to let it all out. Last nights little episode was note worthy, however, due to the circumstances.
I got to work at 6:30am and set up my room so that it was ready for the centre to open at 7am. I performed all of my usual duties. Greeting parents and taking their children into my care, applying their sunscreen, playing with and supervising them, changing their nappies, assisting them with their toileting, feeding them, putting them to bed, cleaning their beds – you get the gist.
It sounds simple enough.
However, several of those kids had full on meltdowns upon drop off (hello separation anxiety) and settling a distraught toddler is no easy feat. I had to chase four of the children in order to put their sunscreen on. Playing with them entailed chasing them repeatedly, setting up some art and craft (paint = everywhere) and simply supervising and joining in on their games.
Whilst doing this I notice that Julia* is having great difficulties with her gross motor skills, which will mean an hour of my own time researching why this might be and how we can assist her.
Feeding them is a constant fight; the babies will spit their food right back at you and the toddlers will either scream at you until you take it away or cry and cry because you have cut them off. Bedtime means more fights. Once the children are asleep it’s constant cleaning and planning until they wake up. Then the chaos commences.
Paper work can be intense. Each child’s learning must be documented adequately and meaningfully. Once you document the child’s learning you work out what’s next for them; how can they improve, what other skills could this lead to, etc., etc. and then you plan accordingly. You may observe something that doesn’t sit well and have to give the heartbreaking news to parents that you believe that their child should undergo further assessment.
At any given time there will be several children at once demanding your attention. Children who have injured themselves. Reports to be filled out. Parents to be called. Kids with temps. Medicine to be administered. Accidents to be cleaned up..