Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Schools Out For Summer....Schools Out Forever...or it seems like it anyway!

They say the key to writing a good blog is to write often. So I suck at blogging...sue me.

Since school has been out I am incredibly busy! Oh my Lord! I have a house full of kids who are already complaining about it being too hot outside...that was it was too cold. It's definitely been adjustment for me as a day care provider! I am used to a house full of pre-schoolers, which for some reason I seem to have more patience with. But we are learning, all of us, to co-exist and have fun, while I try not to loose my sanity in the process! I have found the key so far is to KEEP THEM BUSY! Boredom produces BAD IDEAS! LOL! Which would explain why I spent my teenage years chasing boys and smoking weed! LOL! Ok ~ not funny, but true...maybe just a little bit funny...

Surprisingly the school kids seem at their happiest when they can "help". I came up with a plan to give them jobs and 'reward' their work with incentives like computer time, special movies and the occasional video game or treat. We sat down today to make the job list out, and I'll be damned if those kids didn't more than TRIPLE the workload I had intended for them. They were very excited about all the things they were sure they could do around here. And for the first time in a long time I ended my workday with a clean kitchen. Yes, Moms, I said clean kitchen! I have no delusions that this enthusiasm will last forever...or even for 1 week, but you can bet your sweet fanny I am gonna milk it for all I can!!!!

I have a special needs child also, and I was a bit concerned about his integration with this rowdy group of school kids. But the experience has been fantastic for everyone involved. Much as it was for the pre-schoolers, the kids are learning compassion and patience for people, and are quickly understanding that unless you have walked in someone else's shoes, you really shouldn't judge. One of the older kids told me yesterday that he felt 'sorry' for "Johnny"...I quickly explained that there was absolutely NO reason to feel sorry for him. He has a great life, a great personality and now he has great friends! That made him smile before he quickly ran off to ask "Johnny" if he wanted to play ball. It made my heart smile....the first few days I was worrying, he got left out of a lot of things and bullied a bit for not understanding how to play with them. I feel like I have explained 1000 times that he looks like a big kid, but his brain doesn't work they way theirs do. They seem to be finally getting it, and I am happy. Today he got to be just another school kids as they included him in sitting in a huddle far from my ears where I am sure they were testing out cuss words and talking about farts....I don't want to know...but the smile on "Johnny's" face was priceless. He got to be 'one of the guys'.

There are moments I want to scream, but I have found that enlisting the older kids to dish their own plates, clean up after themselves, help small children with hand washing and shoes has been a tremendous help. And they seem to be very proud of themselves. Which makes me proud of all of us!!! I just might survive the summer!!!


Mum-me said...

That's great that the big kids are helping out, especially that they WANT to help. I would milk it for all it's worth too! Hope you get through the summer holidays - they are really long in US aren't they? (Our summer school break is only 6 or 7 weeks.)

Shannon said...

Got another tear from me. I'm glad Johnny is fitting in and thank you for teaching the no feeling sorry lesson to one more kid! I get so sick of hearing "oh, don't you feel sorry for "them"" I could just scream! ;) They are all people just like us - with strengths and weaknesses, just like everyone else in this world! And I do think that having someone with a disability teaches everyone so many things! Good for you!

Glad you are back!!!!

3rd... said...

"Boredom produces BAD IDEAS! LOL! Which would explain why I spent my teenage years chasing boys and smoking weed"

I for one always end up with a smile after reading your blog.. ;) But its really true that boredom produces bad ideas, I think even for adults.

Gosh, I don't think I could do what you do. Really, working at the office is nothing compared to this. I shut myself off and focus when i need to, read a blogpost from you :) then work hard and stress about the deadline, but truly, I'd go nuts the whole summer with kids screaming and running around.