PRIDE Training – the Third Week

IMAG0325This week’s session was all about attachment, an essential part of any child’s development.  We don’t often consider how important a step attaching to a caregiver is for a newborn baby, since in many cases it just happens naturally without too much thought.

Our instructors used a Post-It Note to illustrate how easy it is to disrupt attachment and affect future relationships.  They gave each of us one to stick on our table, and every time the word the word “attachment” was mentioned, we were to lift the Post-It, and stick it back down again.  It didn’t take too long for those Post-It Notes to start to curl up from the table and the non-sticky parts adopt-pg-photoended up sticking straight up.  Our instructors pointed out that this is how it works with kids.  Every time a baby, child or teenager is forced to uproot from the family they’re with (good or bad), they lose a little bit of their natural ability to attach to a new family, and it becomes harder and harder with each move.  This causes problems with behaviour and trust issues surface.  Relationships with foster and adoptive parents, friends, spouses, bosses, and siblings can be seriously affected.  We learned a few tricks for helping attachment along, and in the reading I’ve done, I noticed that it’s quite often recommended that adoptive parents do ALL of the caring, cuddling and comforting for the first while with any child.  Even to the point of not allowing others to hold a newly adopted baby for the first several months.  We definitely learned a lot!

We also talked a bit about the issues that may come up when a child has experienced abuse in their lives.  The instructors had a video for us to watch that in their words “is 20 seconds long, but feels like it’s 5 hours long”.  It was from a little girl’s perspective of living in a home where verbal, physical, and sexual abuse was happening.  Nothing was explicit, it was all implied, but by the end I was entirely tensed up, and my hands had balled themselves up into tight fists.  When one of our instructors turned on the lights and told us to take a deep breath, I realized it wasn’t just me that was so affected by this short video.  I think it really brought all of the tedious paperwork and so many weeks of training back into perspective.  If the intense screening and training process is what it takes to provide a safe place for a child like the girl in the video, it’s all worth it.  It created a lot of conversation for the ride home, that’s for sure!

We still haven’t heard who our social worker will be, but I’m hoping we will in the next couple of weeks.

I also should take the opportunity to say a huge THANK YOU! to the two families who are making it possible for us to attend training.  They know who they are :-) .  One family is watching our kids for the entire evening each week, while another family is picking up our oldest part way through the evening to take him to Youth Group, and bringing him back.  We have awesome friends, and we’re so grateful that they’re willing to help us out!  Thank you guys!!

PRIDE Training Session 2

IMAG0325A couple of days ago we had our second PRIDE session out of a total of 9 sessions.

We started off with statistics for our county. With a population of 450, 000, our county had 451 children in foster care at the end of last year (March 2011-March 2012). A good portion of those kids may be in care only temporarily until they can return home, or until a relative can provide a home for them. The rest may be in care until a plan for a permanent home can be worked out. The total number of adoptions (which is the stat we were really interested in) was 28.

We talked about the reasons that a family may not be able to care for a child, resulting in the child or children being placed with the CAS, and we talked about the importance of permanence for a child. The CAS really strives to minimize the number of moves a child goes through, and tries to keep siblings together as much as possible. The legislation surrounding child welfare in Ontario says that children under the age of 6 should only be in care for a total of 12 months before a permanent care plan (ie. adoption) is acted on. As soon as a child comes into care, several options are planned for that child, all dependent on the participation of the child’s biological family. Of course, the legal system can slow things down, but the intent is there to make sure the child is not bouncing back and forth from home to home.

We also discussed Authoritative/Optimal Parenting, the style of parenting that the CAS endorses. Basically it’s the parenting style that most parents would probably agree with, involving consistency, love and nurturing, communication, building the child up, recognizing strengths and setting firm limits. We also talked about having a daily schedule, while allowing flexibility to accommodate occasional changes. All very much common sense.

We discussed the importance of teamwork, something that we spent a great deal of time on. After thinking on it for a couple of days, I realized that CAS workers must encounter A LOT of resistance from biological parents (understandably so), and that they must also get the same resistance from resource families — foster families, adoptive families, and so on. Our instructors spent time talking about the knowledge and skills that each member of a child’s “team” — their social worker, doctors, therapists, teachers, bio parents, foster parents, and adoptive family — bring to the table, and how important it is to respect and hear each member as different issues or situations come up.
As potential adoptive parents, for us this would mean staying connected with our child’s foster parents for advice and help with our child’s schedule, likes, dislikes, routines, temperament, etc. It would also mean maintaining some degree of openness with our child’s birth parents, from communicating through non-identifying letters/emails and pictures, to having regular visits and sharing birthdays, etc with them. As a side note, any degree of openness is completely up to the adoptive parents to determine, based on what they believe the best interests of the child to be.holding-hands

Our homework consists of detailing our family tree and looking for patterns in naming, birth or marriage dates, in marital relationships, and in reasons for deaths. I believe the intent is to demonstrate the importance of knowing your history and your place in it. It shows how crucial it is for a child to have a way of hanging onto their family history and heritage, even if it’s not picture-perfect.

We also found out that we’d be getting our social worker’s name in the next two weeks! That’s exciting, because then we’ll be able to touch base, and get things rolling for our Home Study! Can’t wait :-)

What Not To Do When Dropping Your Child Off At Daycare

1.  Let your 2-year-old walk to the door alone while you watch from the car.

2.  Say “Junior just threw up in the car.  Call me if it gets worse.”

3.  Give your child a kiss goodbye, while stuffing his pockets full of Halloween candy.

4.  Tell your child “Miss M. won’t mind if you don’t want to nap today.”

5.  Say “I forgot to bring (mitts/snowpants/underwear/etc) for Junior.  He can borrow your daughter’s, right?”

6.  Pat your pockets absentmindedly while muttering “I forgot to bring this week’s payment.  I’ll just bring it next Friday along with next week’s payment.”

7.  Brag about how you have the day off and you plan to enjoy it by sleeping, shopping and taking a “break” from your child.

8.  Ask for a discount for the month because you’re “a little short on funds”, whilImagee checking the texts on your new iPhone 5 with your freshly manicured hands.

9.  Say “I know breakfast ended 20 minutes ago, but Junior hasn’t eaten yet …”, and hand him a can of Coke and a Chocolate Dip donut, while guiding him into the playroom.

10.  Arrive a half-hour earlier than opening time.  Knock and ring the bell repeatedly until someone answers the door.

11.  Stand idly by and chat for 35 minutes about your crazy ex, your terrible boss, your expensive trip to Hawaii and your plans for a fourth child, while your daycare provider tries to get 5 toddlers and 3 school-agers out the door and to the bus stop before the bus gets there.

12.  Bring a six-pack of Cream Soda for the kids to share at snack time.

13.  Forget to bring more diapers for your child, and then tell your daycare provider that “It’s okay, the diaper she’s in will last her for the day.”

14.  Ask if you can pay your daycare bill with canned food items.

15.  Try to guilt trip your daycare provider into opening on a Saturday because you realImagely need some “me-time”.

16.  Try to pull the old “dope-and-drop” — drugging your child with medication so that your provider won’t notice she’s sick and potentially contagious.

17.  Ask your daycare provider to keep your 8-month-old awake all day so that he’ll sleep better at night.

18.  Tell your daycare provider that Junior is in Big Girl underwear now, without any previous warning or toilet training attempts at home.

19.  Forget to mention that your preschooler has a pocketful of loose change after he goes to play with 2 or 3 of the babies.

20.  Say “Baby didn’t want to change out of her diaper and pajamas this morning.  Here are her clothes for the day.”

The Great Experiment

I love social experiments.  Hence, my undying fascination with reality tv shows.  That’s why I try to avoid them.  They’re like an addiction for me.  But that’s not what “The Great Experiment” is about.

As you probably already know, I am a home daycare provider in a tiny little town in Ontario.  I’m doing it to contribute to the family finances while also staying home and being (mostly) available for my own kids.  I do it because I love kids and I enjoy providing an educational, loving environment for the little ones that spend my days with me.  However, I run my home daycare like the business it is.  I have contracts and policies and invoices.  I started out with a business plan, knowing exactly what kind of service I wanted to provide, what that was worth in this community, and what kind of clientele I wanted to attract.

But it’s starting to look like I was completely wrong.

A colleague and I have worked closely over the past year or so to align our home daycares, discussing rates, policies, procedures, menus, curriculum, and more.  We both work hard at providing the type of environment that we would want for our children if they had to be in daycare 50-60 hours every week.

Through interactions with a few other members of our community familiar with the world of home daycare,  we’ve come away with some interesting revelations.  It seems that a number of other home daycare providers in our area depend largely on tv and convenience foods (ie. not-so-healthy foods), and are not concerned about legal limits on the number of children in care.  That much we already knew.

What we weren’t aware of was that these other home daycares charge the same weekly rate that we charge.  The solution: to raise our rates to reflect the level and quality of care that we provide.

But, we surmised, if our care, in our own opinion, is in fact higher quality for the same price, why aren’t parents seeing that when they set out to look for care?   When you’re shopping for a car or any other large purchase, most people will look for the most bang for their buck.  The more bells and whistles for your dollar, so to speak.  So if we’re offering a daily curriculum, lots of outdoor play, providing healthy foods, etc, etc, for the same amount as a provider that is watching too many children, who depends on KD and hot dogs to feed the kids, who has the tv on all day, and who rarely takes the kids outdoors, why is that provider full while we are searching for weeks to fill our spots?

Another provider gave my colleague some insight into our advertising methods.  She said that our online ads are too complicated.  Too many details and pictures.  Keep it simple, she said.  So, we devised “The Great Experiment”.

We each placed two online ads for the available spots that we have.  One was the usual ad, with details about the care we provide and pictures of activities and the playroom. My ad reads:

Doodle Bugs Daycare
currently has
One Full-Time Spot Available!

Your infant or toddler will enjoy:
-lots of outdoor play time
-a tv-free and smoke-free home environment
-early potty learning
-curriculum specifically designedfor ages 6 months to 36 months
-daily Circle and Craft Times
-trips to the playground and splash pad

Care is provided by Megan Elford who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, has experience working as a nanny, in a daycare center, and in Children’s Ministry, and who is mother to 3 children of her own.

Visit the Doodle Bugs website for more information, or to book your interview now!

http://www.DoodleBugs.tk

The second was a bland, simple ad.  It reads:

  Mother of 3 offering full-time child care.

Reasonable rates, food provided.

That’s it.  No pictures, no phone number or website listed.  Not even my credentials.

I’ve been keeping a running tally on how many views each of my ads has had.  Guess which one is in the lead?

The simple ad.

That other daycare provider was absolutely right.  My first impression was that perhaps I should save myself some money.  Stop buying curriculum, start buying KD, and put a tv in the playroom.  Less work for the same amount of money, because that SEEMS to be what parents are looking for.

However, I then started to think that perhaps parents are intentionally looking for the more basic ads, assuming they will be less expensive than a more detailed ad.

Little do they know, those home daycares are not less expensive, and may even be operating illegally with too many kids in care.

The solution?  I’m not sure.  I have come to the conclusion however, that I need to stop spending so much time working on my ads.  Based on this little experiment, a simple, concise ad will direct more people to my website, which will fill them in on what kind of value they really will be getting for their money.

The question then remains: Am I looking for the kind of parent that picks a daycare provider based solely on her rates, or am I looking for the kind of parent that balances cost with the quality of care?

In a world without bills, the latter, without question.  But there are bills in this world, and I need to balance the quality of parents with the necessity of a paycheck.

And so, I suppose, my business model needs to change.

Back to the drawing board!

You Know You’re A Home Daycare Provider If …

1. You speak in third person between the hours of 7am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

2. You narrate everything you do between the hours of 7am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

3. It takes you until 5:30 pm to realize you’ve got two chocolate pudding handprints on your torso — but nobody else knows that they’re just chocolate pudding.

4. You find it odd when parents undress their child, just to change a diaper.

5. You can pee faster than a man.

6. You can carry on a conversation with your spouse while simultaneously reading “Barnyard Dance” during a performance of “Daily Tantrum #5″ and while diapering a doll for a toddler.

7. You repeat everything you say at least 3 times, during the hours of 7am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

7. You repeat everything you say at least 3 times, during the hours of 7am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

7. You repeat everything you say at least 3 times, during the hours of 7am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

8. You can dress a toddler in full winter gear in exactly 3 minutes.

9. You can sunscreeen 5 toddlers in exactly 4 minutes 30 seconds.

10. You find it generally unnecessary to lay a child down to change their diaper.

11. You consider five dirty diapers in a day to be a light day.

12. You go through 504 Huggies Diaper Wipes over the course of 10 business days.

13. When your spouse suggests cutting your 2-week vacation time a little short, you say “Not on your life, buster!”

14. When your spouse comes home to only 3 kids, he comments on how quiet it is.

15. You think it’s funny when it takes a parent 5 straight minutes to get their child’s shoes on.

16. While you may practice it occasionally, you know just how thoroughly the art of negotiation is lost on a toddler.

17. You wake up at 5:30 am on a Saturday just to savour the quiet before the “Mommy, Mommy!” starts.

18. You consider sitting down during the entire duration of a meal to be a luxury.

19. You’re okay with wearing puke until closing.

20. You get more hugs and kisses during the day than a honeymooning couple in the Tropics.

21. You understand just how quickly Littles grow into Bigs.

22. You share in the excitement and fascination of watching a grasshopper jump from a fence slat to the grass, and back again.

23. Your table has bite-marks on it.

24. You can tell which child needs a change by the aroma in the air.

25. You KNOW that nap-time is a special gift from God, and you consider it a sacred event to be recognized religiously.  Every.  Single.  Day.

26. You find a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that if a child can’t spend his or her days at home with mom or dad, that at least they aren’t spending it plunked in front of a screen or left to their own devices all day.

27. Your cupboards contain 50 colour-coded plastic plates, 30 colour-coded plastic cups and bowls, 8 sets of colour-coded plastic cutlery, 16 colour-coded sippy cups (8 with handles, 8 without),  8 colour-coded bottles, and 6 colour-coded water bottles.

28. Watching the babies watch the two-year-olds sing at the top of their lungs makes your day.

29. Your house has no living room.  Just a playroom.

30. You believe that pants with snaps along the inside of the legs might possibly be the World’s Worst Invention Ever.

31. You know that a perfectly quiet child is either unconscious or getting into something.

32. You see yourself as extremely blessed to be able to make your own schedule, set your own income, spend your days with (mostly) happy little people, and most of all, to be the one to put your own kids on the bus in the morning, meet them in the afternoon, to be able to have fresh chocolate chip cookies waiting for them, to not have to find someone to care for them in the summer and on school breaks, and to be able to contribute to your family’s finances while doing it!

Our Natural Playscape Experiment

My last post was about our Little World, an area of the backyard dedicated to the creation of miniature tableaus for pretend play primarily for our daycare kids .  The rest of the backyard has also been undergoing a slow transformation to an environment that incorporates as many natural elements as possible.  We have a tiny yard, so it has been challenging.  But, since getting rid of the 10 or so plastic playhouses, toddler climbers, slides and sand tables, I’ve noticed a dramatic change in the play habits of the toddlers I spend my days with.

I have 5 little ones, 2.5 years old and under, and they will spend as much time playing in this yard as I let them.  In the summer, that can be anywhere from 3 to 5 hours, broken up by meal times and nap time.   They are endlessly occupied in this yard, whereas before they would start to get bored after about a half-hour or 45 minutes.  The few plastic things I haven’t gotten rid of are our Step 2 Roller Coaster (the kids have a blast with it!), our picnic table (soon to be replaced with a wooden one), and the playhouse attached to the sand pit (also with a replacement in the plans).

Here’s the progress so far:

This is our teepee, surrounding by balancing/sitting logs and stepping stumps.  A pathway of portable tree cookies leads into it.  One little guy loves to pretend he’s “fixing” the teepee, while the girls like to have tea parties in it.

Our Sand Pit, Dirt Pie Kitchen, and Playhouse.  The benefit of living in where we do is that much of the town sits on an old lake bed.  Once we take off the sod and a bit of topsoil, we hit sand that goes much deeper than the kids could ever dig.  No need for store-bought sand!  And the sand is much better than store-bought too — uniform in size and texture.  The kids could play right here the entire time we’re outside.  They take the sand and pots into the playhouse and stage hour-long, 12-course meals in the comfort of their own little home!

The water trough and table is also incredibly popular.  The kids can pour water into the top of the vinyl (read: no sharp edges) eavestrough.  It pours down into the water table at the bottom.  This is my answer to the problem of incorporating water into our playscape.  Water is an essential part of a Natural Playscape, preferably with close access to the digging pit.  I’m not brave enough to allow mud play in the yard yet, so the water table stands at the opposite end of the yard to the sand pit.

This isn’t the greatest picture, but our painting wall is my own brainstorm.  It consists of a short length of vinyl eaves trough with end caps and several paintbrushes hanging from the fence using twine and eye hooks.  When it’s warm enough, I fill the trough with a jug or two of water, and the kids use it to “paint” the fence.  The water dries quickly and they start a new masterpiece when they’re done the first one!

We also have bird feeders, a garden, our own version of thunder drums, talking tubes, and our dome climber to enjoy too!

SOOO much better than our village of plastic, much more enjoyable, and much better for the kids and I to spend our time in!

Adventures in Little World-ing (or, Stealing From Teacher Tom)

Natural Playscaping is an increasing trend in Early Childhood Education right now.  Natural Playscapes are simply that:  safe areas to play where children can interact with natural features (hills, streams, dry river beds, digging pits), natural foliage (trees, herbs, flowers), and natural playthings (rocks, shells, branches) and/or toys, climbers or swings made from all-natural products, ideally indigenous to the area.  You won’t see Little Tikes here — just Little Ones exploring, creating, and immersing themselves in the outdoors.

Studies show that all children can benefit HUGE amounts by spending greater amounts of time outdoors (something we all know, either intuitively or by experience).   And even greater benefits happen when children are not just outside, say, at a traditional playground, but when they are outside getting their hands dirty, so to speak.   Children with challenges like autism, ADHD and others, have all been observed experiencing dramatic improvements when interacting with nature.

Last summer I embarked on a journey to (slowly) change our home daycare environment to one that includes more opportunities for children to do just that: get dirty, get wet, explore, experiment, build, tear down, dig, pretend and play with nature.   I’ve received lots of inspiration from the Let The Children Play blog and Richard Louv’s book “Last Child In The Woods“, and others.

But today I decided to do some unabashed plagurism by stealing Teacher Tom’s ideas for “Little Worlds”.

The idea is to provide materials for children to create tiny, three dimensional scenes for pretend play.  While some Early Childhood Educators call them “fairy gardens”, Teacher Tom has chosen the more generic term “Little Worlds”.  I prefer the term also, as it is less restrictive to the imagination.  After all, would you have dinosaurs, cars or elephants in a Fairy Garden?  Perhaps, but the idea of a “world” tends to encompass anything that a child could imagine would be there, without limiting him or her to any preconceived notions of what a “Fairy Garden” is.

With that in mind, I’ve created our own “Little World” in the backyard.  An area set aside to encourage creativity and dollhouse-style pretend play.  The kids haven’t been at it yet (although my own 4-year-old spent about an hour playing with the various materials yesterday).  The true experiment begins tomorrow, when I show the 2-year-olds how to use this new area …

With an Ikea table from Value Village, some cedars pilfered from our front yard, Dollarama decorations and picket fence, and stump stools from a good friend of ours, I pieced together this Little World.  I still plan on adding a sign with it’s name on it, to designate this as a special space for a specific type of play.  I’m hoping that it’s obvious to the kidlets that this area is not for running or climbing, but for sitting and creating.  I’m also hoping that the visual boundaries of the little picket fence and cedars will help with reminding the kids to keep the loose part items in Little World.

I added some shells, river rocks, little tree branch cookies, bark, aquarium castles and peg people to jumpstart the creativity.   All are large enough to not be choke hazards, but small enough to fit the scale of their miniature creations.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the Little Ones come up with in Little World!

12 Things Daycare Providers Wish Parents Knew

I have amazing clients.  They are wonderful parents that love their kids to pieces.  They spend extra time with them, they miss them when they’re at work, and they show appreciation for what I do.  They pay for stats and don’t complain about my vacation time.  They bring me TimCards and Thank You cards and flowers and Mother’s Day gifts and Christmas gifts.  They back me up when I need to discipline their children, and they respect my home, my time, my children, my property and my business.  In a word, they’re awesome!

In the past however, I’ve had some parents that don’t always get it.  And I’ve heard crazy stories from lots of other daycare providers about just how clueless parents can be.  But here’s the thing:  if I was a parent taking my child to daycare everyday, I might not understand the provider’s side of things either.  So, in the interests of everyone involved, I thought I’d do a litte PSA, just so parents can understand where home daycare providers are coming from.

#12 – If you are at a good Home Daycare, your spot is likely in high demand.  Do everything you can to follow the Provider’s policies, because there is a good chance she can replace you very quickly.

#11 – If your child starts daycare before the age of about 2, he or she will call your Provider “Mommy”.  As much as she reminds them  of her name, they will still default to the name “Mommy”.

#10 – There is a direct relationship between how many hours a child spends in daycare and their behaviour.  In general, the fewer hours a child spends in the care of someone other than Mommy or Daddy, the better behaved they are.  Which means that just because your Home Daycare is open 12 hours a day, doesn’t mean you should leave your child there 12 hours a day (which is 60 hours a week!).  Children benefit from spending the most waking hours possible at home with parents.

#9 – Most Home Daycare Providers can’t imagine taking time off without spending at least some of that time with their own kids.  So it blows their minds when parents take a week off of work and still bring their children to daycare the same hours as every other week.  You’d be surprised how excited your child gets when you show up early — they love it!  And children even as young as 18 months will brag to the others about how their Mommy or Daddy is picking up first.  So if you have the day off, why not spend a little of it with Junior and show up an hour or two early.

#8 – Kids do not have more fun at daycare than they would at home with their own toys and with their own Mommy and Daddy.  As much as they enjoy playing with their friends, doing crafts and circle time, and going for walks, most kids would MUCH rather spend a day playing at home with their own toys, reading books with Mommy and wrestling with Daddy.

#7 – Sick kids need to be at home.  When you get sick, I’m sure the first thing on your mind is getting home to your own bed.  When your child gets sick at daycare, they would much rather be picked up as soon as possible, rather than have to continue to go through the daycare routine (which may involve a bus run, playing outside, meal & snack times, etc).  Your daycare provider does have other children in her care, and quite often can’t sit with just one child without adequately supervising the others.

#6 – If your child throws up on your Home Daycare Provider, there is a very good chance she will not be able to change until closing, because there is simply no one else to watch the kids while she does.  Please, please keep that in mind when your child does throws up at daycare.  An “I’m so sorry this happened” goes a LONG way!

#5 – Daycare Providers are in it for the money.  Yes, Home Daycare Providers do this job because they love children.  But would you do your job if you couldn’t pay the bills with it? And Home Daycare Providers are not “raking it in”.  Yes, I’ve seen parents do the mental math when they think about what they’re paying and multiply it by the number of kids in my care.  Yes, we do make that amount, but then we deduct taxes (about 15%), daycare groceries and cleaning supplies (about 14%), extra insurance and utilities (about 10%), and any new toys, furniture, or outdoor equipment or repairs to our homes caused by running the daycare (5% – 20%).  If you really do the math, you’ll see that we’re making much less than minimum wage.

#4 – You are paying for a daycare spot, in addition to the actual care your child receives.  So if your child visits with Auntie Sue for the week and doesn’t come to daycare, you still need to pay for the week.  Home Daycare Providers need to be able to depend on a steady income.  If they can’t, they will either find a family that comes more regularly, or close the daycare because they need a job that pays the bills.

#3 – When you “forget” to pay your Daycare Provider, she quite often will not be able to pay her own bills.  Her bills include food for your child, heat for your child, water for your child, electricity for your child, insurance for your child, … well, you get the idea.  She will need to remind you to pay (have you ever had to beg, nag and plead for YOUR paycheque?) and that won’t be a enjoyable job for anyone.

#2 – Your Daycare Provider loves your child, but she loves her own more.  So, if your daycare is open from 6:30 to 4:30, respect that.  Don’t show up at 6:25 to drop your child off and then leave them in care til 4:45.  Your daycare provider has a life, and wants to spend it with her own children, not yours.  Sure, she may be up at 5:30, shovelling the driveway so that you can get in, or getting breakfast set up, or showering, or having some quiet time before the day starts.  But please respect that that is her personal time — not time for you to use as you please.

#1 - If your daycare provider closes because she is sick, she does NOT want to watch your kids!  Yes, I’ve been asked.

The most important thing that your Home Daycare Provider wants you to know is this:  She would LOVE to hear how much you appreciate how hard she works!  She takes care of the most important thing in your life, she does it without breaks or meal times, and quite often she needs to run to the bathroom at close because she hasn’t had a chance to pee during the day.  She gets “I love you’s”, hugs and kisses from the kids, but when you say “Thank you” at the end of a crazy day, it makes it all worth while!

Day At The Museum

With only two daycare kids today, we (I) decided a foray into the world was in order. It started off well, with everyone listening and attentive. Of course, that was while they were still buckled into the carseats.

I do tend to forget that not every child has as much experience with visiting museums as mine do, and that whenever our family goes sight-seeing, there are two adults present, and that I’ve mostly blocked out the memories of running errands with two toddlers in tow.

But really, I’m not completely sure all of that justifies the tantrums.

Or the fact that I thought I could take 5 kids to the museum without stopping at a Timmy’s first.

Tantrums and slapping fights aside, I think we had a good time.  All one-and-a-half hours of our day went relatively smoothly … which means there were no permanent injuries and that we came home with the same number of kids that we left with.

So, all’s well that ends well. 

With thanks to our good friends at Advil.