Saturday, July 09, 2005

TGIF - a bit of a whine

Oh, thank God, thank God it's Friday! It's been a tough week. Bear with me, here. I am about to vent and say all manner of negative things. Please remember while this is going on that a) I genuinely like and enjoy these children and b) I'm tired and in great need of a break. I'm integrating four children. One is bad. Four is beyond difficult. I hadn't anticipated this, since three of these children are quite familiar to me: Liam was in my full-time care for three years, and this is his third summer with me. He lives in the neighbourhood, and his dad is a friend of mine. He's far from new. Kyle and Adam have been coming to me for July's since - well, since before Adam was born! Four years? Harry is new, but he's just finished his third week. He should be settling in nicely by now. And he is, really, as much as can be expected when the population of the daycare is in such flux. July has been my nightmare month for several years now. I have too many teachers as clients! If I could afford to, I'd be well set to take the entire summer off, but I can't. As it is, these teachers stay home with their kids - and good for them, say I!! - and reduce my attendance, and thus my summer paycheques, by 20 to 60%. It's not too difficult to find other kids to care for, kids whose caregivers are also taking time off. But, what with holidays amongst my own compliment of children, and incoming children, my attendance for the summer constantly changes. This is stressful. Since I have all these new/temporary children this month, my attendance varies from 3 to 8 children on any given day, and they're all getting used to each other. They won't actually get used to each other, because there won't be the time. *sigh* So the dynamic is more than usually negative. I spend more time correcting, instructing, reprimanding. There are more conflicts and misunderstandings between the children, more tattling. Integration is like that: more negative, more drudge-work, fewer rewards. Wearing. This is one of the many reasons why I am taking the month of August off. The Entire Month. The Entire, Bless't Month. Though I've wanted to do this for some time, this is the first year I can afford it. I'm so excited!! It's the light at the end of my tunnel. Meantime, though, there's Liam, the maniac child from... No, not there. That's not fair. He's a nice boy, generally well-meaning and endlessly cheerful, but loud, and frenetically active. He doesn't walk if he can run, run if he can bounce, bounce silently if he can yell too, bounce and yell if he can do all at once. And believe me, he can. I comfort myself with the fact that his energy is almost wholly positive, but still, it's wearing. He's also developed some character traits that irk me. Primary among these is the competitiveness, competitive in the negative way. He doesn't use the accomplishments of others to spur him on to greater achievement, which would be a good thing. No, he must simply always be the best, others must always be inferior. At everything. If he can't be the best, he either quits, cheats, or denigrates the other's accomplishments. "So?" he'll sneer. " I can..." It's very tedious. And not nice to see. We're working on it, because I can't not do something, but I know that, given that I have him only two weeks this summer (another heartfelt Thank God here), it's a lost cause. Kyle (5), and Adam (3) are genuinely nice boys. I have no problem with them at all, at all. Adam misses his mommy when he's with me, and we tend to have one quiet but sad teary bout each day, but with a little comforting he recovers nicely. His big brother is kind and supportive. They're very sweet. Harry is coming along nicely, but he's only just turned three, and he's young for that. Yes, he's very verbal, but his articulation is... well, to be frank, I don't much enjoy the way he talks. Each syllable comes out slowly, yet is poorly articulated. He speaks in a grating monotone, and it's loud, loud, loud. He drools while he speaks, and if you're too close, you get sprayed. And to top it all off, it's ceaseless. The boy talks absolutely incessently. He's wearing. He's a lot of work. He's toilet trained, but he needs assistance, which makes for endless trips up the stairs. I think I'll bring the potty out until he's more independent. Bah. Enough whinging. I need a holiday! And I'm going to get one, which is what is getting me through this month. I will have earned it by the time it arrives. And when I'm back in September, I'll have a nice, stable attendance. I'll be refreshed, and I'll enjoy all the challenges of the job, instead of just feeling put upon by them. Let's hear it for holidays!!!


Anonymous Haley said...

Three more weeks, Mum. You can do it! I'm finding it rather amusing that you're going batty because of the noise and constant action, while I'm going insane because it's so quiet and calm over here. I think we should trade for a bit!

7/09/2005 11:45:00 a.m.  
Blogger ieatcrayonz said...

Yes, you are surely due for a nice month-long holiday. For all that you do in raising, caring, and loving the children you care for, you are underpaid and overworked.

This is the same for those in the teaching profession in the states, mine being one of the lowest paying in the nation. I'm glad that many daycares hold spots for teacher's children over the summer, but I understand what burdens that places on caregivers like yourself. It is convenient for the teachers, but more demanding of yourself.

Have a great weekend, and remember that August is almost here!

7/09/2005 11:55:00 a.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

Haley: You're on!! Except, since I'll be getting no pay for half of next month, I can't afford to pay you. Still interested??

Crayonz: I understand that teachers down there tend to be poorly paid. Up here, they're paid reasonably well. A woman I know (high school teacher, who get paid more than elementary) is making $65,000 - 69,000, or thereabouts. And the pension and other benefits of teachers are second to very few, if any. They have a strong union.

7/10/2005 08:13:00 p.m.  

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