Monday, June 06, 2005


Thomas is leaving at the end of June! Although I've been "doing daycare" for over ten years now, I still heave a sigh at the departure of certain children. Thomas is one of them. He's been so much fun: articulate and funny, stubborn, creative in his mischief. I love the feisty ones! Now, I am gaining more patience with the ones who start out meek, weepy, and clingy, because experience has taught me that with love and support, the odd challenge, and steadily increasing expectations, they generally evolve into delightful, thoughtful, calm and happy children. Their shaky beginning is well worth the outcome. Still, I have to admit that my heart prefers the in-yer-face and up-yer-nose ones with lots of spirit and bravado. The ones who start with me roaring their displeasure. It's so much satisfaction to roll up my sleeves and meet them head to head, and come to a state of mutual respect. He's one of that band, for sure! Yes, I'll miss him. (He's also very loud, and so is his mother... I won't miss that at all! It's really the only downside I can think of, though. Not such a small one for me, though, because my tolerance for noise is low. A strange quirk of character for someone in this biz, I know, but it does mean that my home is generally very peaceful, despite the mobs of children in it!) I need to plan a goodbye party for Thomas! Today, we were visited by a new child, a three-year-old boy who will start the middle of next week. I think he'll be fun. He spent a good two hours with us at the Park by the River, and meshed very well with the boys. I'm looking forward to it! Alice's mother has told me she's expecting baby number two. This doesn't always change the status of the elder child, but in this case, Alice will be at home with mom as of the end of December. Lots of time to find a replacement, though, and a good time to be looking. The two surges in people looking for care occur in September and January. George's younger brother, Dwayne, starts in September. He'll be a year old by then. They come in, they become part of the family, they roll on out again. My fluid daycare family. Such fun!


Blogger ASouthernGirl said...

I think that thses children are very lucky to be in your care. It seems as though you are teaching them the right blend of humanity and humility.They will remember you for years as one of the adults that Really cared for them. Being able to tach children is one of the greatest gifts in the world.

6/07/2005 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger ASouthernGirl said...

sorry about that. I meant to say'being able to "teach " children. Duh..

6/07/2005 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger aaron said...

It's wonderful that you so clearly love what you do -- how hard is it to say goodbye when children like Thomas leave your care?

6/07/2005 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Mary P. said...

SGirl: thanks! When next I get a difficult parent, I'll give you their email address, and you can go to bat for me!!

Aaron: how hard is it? It varies. There have been one or two children I've simply never warmed to: after a concerted effort and a trial period, I didn't keep them. It's not fair to anyone.

Apart from those exceedingly rare exceptions, I do become fond of my charges, and it is hard to see them go. Generally, the parents help out by giving me email reports for a while, which eases the transition. Every summer I have a barbeque for all my former clients, so we have creepers, crawlers, toddlers, and ten-year-olds charging around the park. That's always fun.

As my blurb says, I'm a pragmatic optimist, and it's here that the pragmatism becomes evident. I do my job and I do it well - which means caring for them emotionally as well as just physically - but at the end of the day, they have to move on. I take satisfaction that I've helped lay the foundation that will carry them throughout their lives, even though they probably won't remember me!

And then there's always the next one, coming in.

6/07/2005 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger Candace said...

There is no way that you live in Cincinnati, is there?

6/07/2005 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger Mary P. said...

LOL... looking for childcare? Nope, sorry, I'm Canadian, happily situated in a lovely city in Ontario.

6/07/2005 08:10:00 PM  

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