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THE DAYCARE DIARIES: STORIES FROM A FORMER ECE TEACHER
Working with children is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of guts and grit. Have you ever walked into your child's classroom to see chaos? Yeah, wrangling 16-30 kids at a time is not easy. I spent six years working in daycare, and it was one of the most rewarding and stressful jobs I have ever had.
I was reminiscing the other day, and I thought, "Hey, this would make a great post." So today I'm going to share some of my favorite stories with you. Some stories are about the kids while others are about my coworkers. There is never a dull moment when you work in a daycare. I hope these stories entertain you and give you a glimpse of what it's really like during the day while you're gone.
You Don't Need Your Mommy to Come to Pick You Up!
One morning in my two-year-old room the kids were eating breakfast and discussing their Mommies coming to pick them up later.
"My Mommy is coming later," said Layla.
"My Mommy is coming after nap," said Elliot.
"My Mommy is coming after snack," said Brynn.
It just so happened that my car was in the shop that day and my Mom had to drop me off and pick me up so I could get my car later. I casually joined the conversation and said, "Guess what guys? My Mommy is coming to pick me up later." At that moment, Jenna whipped her head around and looked at me exasperated and said, "You don't need your Mommy to come to pick you up! You're a big gurl!"
I just about lost it and I had to hold in my laughter. Luckily we needed more milk, so I was able to go down to the kitchen and let out my fit of hysteria. When I told Jenna's Mom about it later, she thought it was hilarious.
I Like These Ashles (sounds like A**h*les)
I used to work in the kitchen on Mondays since our cook was off and sometimes I would fill in when she didn't have help. During the summer, we would serve frozen mixed fruit and fresh fruit like apple slices and bananas.
One day after lunch, one of our 2 1/2 teachers came into the kitchen and was laughing her head off. We were like, "What is so funny?"
She's like, "Oh my gosh. Gracie's like, I like these asshles, and it sounded like she was saying assholes. I had to get out of there; it was too funny." We cracked up too.
911. What's Your Emergency?
Toddlers are notorious for getting a hold of things they shouldn't. In the daycare I worked, each classroom had a phone. Often the classroom phone would be nearby while the kids were playing inside and outside. This way, the teachers didn't risk missing an urgent call.
Once in a great while one of the kids would get ahold of it, but most of the time the teachers would beat them to it. Unfortunately, not this time. Gabe got ahold of it and started pushing buttons, dialing 911. Luckily he brought it to one of the teachers, and they were able to explain what happened and assure emergency dispatch that all was well at the center. From then on, that phone was in within hands reach at all times.
Kids are curious and often touch things they shouldn't. One day in the toddler room, Paityn crawled up on the low shelf and pulled the fire alarm. I don't remember if the fire department actually came but her Mom, one of the teachers, was mortified and so embarrassed.
Do You Smell Poop?
When the weather was beautiful, we would go out on the playground with the two 1/2-year-olds in the afternoon. Before we went out, we would change diapers and double check everybody to make sure there were no incidents.
Well, one day we were outside and caught a strong whiff of poop. Feeling pretty confident that it wasn't one of our kids, we alerted the other teachers. Boy, were we wrong. When we finally found the culprit, it was one of ours. Casey had had a massive blow out. It was all up his back and down his legs and everywhere. I think that was the most disgusting thing I ever had to clean up. It still makes my skin crawl thinking about it.
My Mama Change-a-Me
Kids do say the cutest things. I had a girl named Lola in my class and every day when I would change her diaper she would say, "My Mama Change-a-me."
And I would say "Your Carrie change-a-you."
And she would say, "My Carrie Change-a-me."
One of the scariest days working in daycare was when my friend and coworker Becky burnt her foot with hot water. It was a usual day in the kitchen, and once again I was filling in. We had spaghetti that day, and I was cutting lettuce at the time. As I was going to the sink, she was testing the noodles to make sure they were done. Then she took the pot off the stove and headed over to drain it in the sink.
The next thing I knew she let out a blood-curdling scream and was laying on the floor. To this day I don't even know exactly how she did it, but she wound up pouring boiling water on her foot. It happened so fast, and my back was to her, so I didn't see it all go down.
In the end, she wound up having third-degree burns on her foot and was off work for a month. I will never forget that day.
Caring for Carlton
During this time, I had a cat named Carlton that I adored. I found out not long after I adopted him that he had chronic kidney disease. I put him on prescription food, and we kept a close eye on his kidney enzymes. Eventually, it got to the point I was going to start giving him subcutaneous fluids at home.
I had never done this before and was a little nervous. My boss loved cats like I did and had gone to school to be a vet tech initially. She let me bring in Carlton one morning with his fluids and needles and showed me how to administer the solution. My now husband took him back home after she was done. Several months later, I had to put him down because he was just too sick.
As you can see, there is never a dull moment when you work for a daycare. Although those were crazy and sometimes scary days, I wouldn't trade them for anything.
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