Zero to 30…

Sigh. I’m having some issues and thought maybe if I wrote about it, I’d be able to process it better. To be clear, I love working, get along well with my coworkers, and absolutely adore the babies. But there’s been a storm a-brewing. Change. Grrr. I hate it. But here are some reasons why I’m opposed to this particular change.

Only inappropriate 0 to 30 picture I could find. Just ignore the guns, must be from a video game. Don’t get me started…

First, I believe anyone can find a research study, thesis paper from some grad student, doctor or therapist. A new pilot program, or helpful book to solidify what you’re trying to push to achieve your agenda about almost anything. At first glance when I saw the topic heading, zero to 30, a name popped into my head. As I read the 3 page article I was convinced the face belonging to the name was the reason the article showed up in our infant room in the first place.

I am low man on the totem pole at work. No, probably even lower than that. I’m ok with that. When there are discussions about changes in procedures or policy, my opinions are not sought out or included. It’s not that I don’t have opinions, I do and they’re often strong. (Which could well be the reason I’m never there when this kind of shit comes up).

Shannon, age 30 months in 1973. See how big they are…

I’m a worker bee/drone, content with my job. My opinions don’t matter in dealing with how the daycare/school is run. I’m part time, which usually includes a day off during the week. Thus the 25 hours I spend there each week is of no importance. (Except to my babies). I believe they (the higher ups, not the babies) appreciate my work ethic (I’ve never called in sick, never been late, though I do take time off) and most can clearly see how devoted I am to the babies I care for. But as for policy and procedures or any changes that might occur, I am invisible. But not mute. Or unable to type out her frustrations.

So this research paper/study thingy strongly suggests an alternative to the way our daycare is run. The study believes once a baby is acclimated in our room, they should remain there until puberty. I jest. It’s just my sarcasm rearing it’s ugly head at my frustration. The study believes the baby should remain with the same set of caregivers for 30 months. Two and a half years. Very long years. So the kids are not traumatized by moving to another room with different caregivers. Oh please. I got some red flags here.

Joshua at 2-1/2. How adorable, but not what I signed up for at work…

1. No one is ever going to get rich working at a daycare. (People working at Dairy Queen make more than I do. Scooping ice cream. While I care, nurture and entertain our most important commodity/asset/gift from God on the planet. Think about that for a minute). Working here is either a stepping stone while you get a degree, a second vocation after you’ve retired from teaching, or a retired grandma like me who has hours to fill doing something worthwhile, like helping care for and raise incredible babies. Very few women aged 25 to 50 have sought to work here as their career. At least those I’ve seen in two and a half years. But I don’t get out much.

2. We have quite a turnover rate. Since our staff picture was taken in April probably 10 people have moved on. Our staff boasts maybe 30 plus. (Our infant room has been one of the exceptions however. Four of us have been together almost 2 years (me, the no-opinion-sought-after-worker-bee the longest) with one new lead teacher starting a few weeks ago).

Adam in 1981. Look at that gorgeous blond hair…

3. Our room is not conducive to adding/keeping toddlers. Toddlers sleep on cots, (Why, I do not know. My kids each stayed in their cribs until they were dry through the night, which was about 2-1/2. State licensing for daycare requires those under 3 to have their own crib OR cot. Love reading those rules, yes I do) we have 12 cribs. Toddlers eat at low tables, we have 4 low high chairs. Our kitchen area needs to be cordoned off because we have exposed cupboards. Scissors, glue, office supplies, changing station, waste paper, diaper pail, dishes, snacks are too easily accessible with only elephant print cloth and spring loaded curtain rods keeping curious crawlers, walkers at bay.

4. We already have the room divided into 2 sections because our tiny ones can’t be in the same area as our movers and shakers group. One group is too rambunctious, other group too fragile. And we’re still trying to remedy the discrepancy in the section for our non-mobile unit. It’s just too small for 5 babies, toys, rocker, plus a couple bouncy seats.

Ariana almost 2. My, my love those thighs, but not to carry around much these days…

5. If we keep kids past, say 15 months, we need a plethora of different sensory, climb on, ride on, chew on, push toys. We’re already crowded.

6. Potty training. The Ones room have their own kid sized bathroom. Aww. Each toddler is taken to the bathroom (getting used to the concept of sitting on the potty) everyday. We would have to go outside our room and use the school hallway bathroom which has regular sized fixtures. Or put in a new bathroom in our room. Ha.

Landon (Drew to the rest of the world) at 2. My favorite hoopster…

7. If an individual is traumatized after they move to a different room-it’s usually THE PARENTS. We move our children slowly. A few hours a week for several weeks. Now the parents-they get used to seeing/chatting with the same gals. I truly believe it’s harder for them to get used to a new set of caregivers than the child we just moved. I recently ran into a mom and her little boy, almost 2, who moved to the Ones in January when he was 14 months. (None of us wanted him to move-a fabulous little guy. For the most part, we’re reluctant to give up any our babies to another room. We truly love them. But. We watch them grow increasingly bored with our toys and limits on what our room is able to offer. We are the infant room, geared towards INFANTS. The 15 month olds are toddlers and need a different set of stimulating toys/activities than we have). Anyway as we were talking, mom gushed how much he’s enjoying the “Ones” room, but how hard it was for her to get used to new gals and the move. Then again we are that good in infants.

8. Jovi. My own great granddaughter was in my room for a year. Was it traumatic when she made the move? Not very. The hardest part is in the morning when they’re dropped off. Especially for little ones who come in a bit later. I think there’s a definite advantage to the babies/kids who come early. Before it’s gets hectic. We read stories, sing, each one gets held as they adjust to the busy room. Same goes for the Ones room. With only 2 or 3 kids when Jovi arrives, she gets a lot of attention adjusting before the room has a dozen toddlers.

My pretty ballerina, Peyton at 2….

9. I don’t think there was enough time or discussion given to determine this change (even though I was not included) and the huge impact it might cause. I assumed it was food for thought and it would be 6 months in the making at least. Suddenly, bang a done deal. Now this part is touchy. The “Ones” got a baby. And the worker who came back from maternity leave. (Going back to the face that popped in my head as I was reading the research paper). Now part of their room is partitioned off because those busy, active, noisy toddlers can’t be with the tiny one. One baby. Who should be in our room. WTH.

Asinine. Our system of yearly classrooms, under ones, one year to two, two to three’s works fine. We’re the infant room. We have babies. We already have one room for infants, newborn to 12 or 15 months. When the ‘baby’ starts walking and acting like a toddler (just being honest here. If you’re a parent of a well adjusted toddler you know by now they start talking, running, climbing and helping. But they can also bite, pull hair, throw tantrums and scream bloody murder). Part of their learning process of independence, pushing boundaries, who the leaders and followers are. If this mom and baby are the major reason for the change in our daycare, why not just say, “hey, we’re making an exception in the room for a worker mom and her baby?” I’m ok with that. But don’t change everything just to accomodate one individual.

The youngest paleontologist, Graham in 2011 about 2…

Surprisingly, besides feeling we’re in over our heads sometimes and a bit overwhelmed when some of the bigger kids start fighting and screaming about a toy that will be dropped and forgotten in 30 seconds flat, if that, there have been some awesome moments. This week one of our darling 14 months old boy was standing near the kitchen, seeking asylum. Actually he was hinting about breakfast. I said, “are you hungry? What do we do before breakfast? We have to wash our hands, right? It just takes a minute.” He came in, walked right past the high chairs, stopped next to the sink, turned towards me and lifted up his arms for me to pick him up, and plop him on the counter to wash his hands. WHAT? I was flabbergasted. Guess I never worded it that way to him before. He understood and was following my directions. Wow. Incredible. To see if had been a fluke or not (he’s very bright, but all of our babies are) I repeated the same thing to the next 2 kids from The Breakfast Club. Both of them walked right up to the sink. The last of our group is not walking yet, but she clearly understood what I was saying.

I thought when I started working in the infant room, (which I had requested because of my hearing loss), I’m gonna love the littlest ones the most. The younger the better. But that hasn’t been the case. I’ve been more drawn to the 7-14 months old. Pretty much once they can sit up. The goofier I am (wearing hats, or a clean wash cloth on my head is somehow mesmerizing. Marching around the room, singing songs about the banners on the wall, or singing old commercial jingles while they eat, you’d think they’d lose their appetite, but none have. Every week they fall for the same, lame veiled threat I impose. “It’s dental hygiene week, we all have to brush our teeth this morning for 90 seconds. The clock is ticking.” No one has ever said, “hey, you said the same thing last week.” They appreciate my singing and are much too polite to inform me I’m unable to carry a tune. God bless them.

Jovi 18 months, just because. Our room could keep her another year…

I just don’t know if I’m up for the task. Or if I want to be. I was hired for the infant room. I’m deaf and see all kinds of issues trying to navigate through toddlers first soft words. I rarely understand any of the older sibs who tag along when bringing in their baby brother or sister in our room. Two year olds weigh a lot more than an infant. Especially a 2 year old in the throes of a meltdown. I’m old. I have Meniere’s Disease which affects the fluid in my inner ear, thus my balance. I’ve been through enough temper tantrums to fully appreciate not hearing, witnessing, or dealing with them very often anymore. Now let me put this on the back burner to simmer for a bit while I ponder. Thanks for letting me vent…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s