I’m sitting on the bathroom floor at 1:00 in the morning.
My dad has been working on our car all week, so we’re taking the train down to my hometown tomorrow midday. Which means I should be getting to sleep soon … mostly because I first wrote ‘getting to work soon’ and it took me about five minutes to realize what I typed.
But I have been up for the past two hours instead, thinking about my day at the other center today in a two’s room. The most boring room ever. And I don’t mean the actual room was boring. I meant the kids were so well behaved and capable of playing independently that I thought I was in a Montessori class. I had to interfere only a couple times, and that was mostly because I wanted better word choice from the kid, not that they actually needed help.
I watched two year olds clean up by themselves without complaining … at all.
I watched a teacher scold a two year old for screaming (in good fun) … outside on the playground.
I watched a two year old define the word ‘tardy’ for his teacher.
I watched sixteen two year olds sit on a rug five times through out the day to look at books for about fifteen minutes each time.
I watched a two year old request to hear ‘We Are Young’ followed by ‘Call Me Maybe’.
I watched ten two year olds play in dead silence (okay, there was pretty much dead silence throughout the day) while my coteacher sat and ate chips -n- salsa.
I did not watch a two year old receive a hug, a snuggle, a tickle, a lap sitting, a high five, or even a soothing naptime pat from their teachers. (I was actually told NOT to help them go to bed at naptime.)
This keeps me up at night because I realized … I totally miss my normal, crazy, emotional kids. I admit I was thinking of (and was even offered the opportunity today) to transfer to this center. And I realized, I cannot. I cannot leave my hugs and kisses and snuggles and dancing and tickles and fights for my lap and giggles and jokes and ‘Mama’. Also … my center is full of diversity. And this may sound … whatever, but the center I went to today is 10% biracial children and 90% white. I miss the variety.
And as I discussed all this with Husband, and how not child-like and open and imaginative and creative these children were, the baby fever inside me opened a sleepy eye, yawned, and shook itself awake. Long enough for me to baby item vomit all over Pinterest and rant to Husband about how MY child is going to play and scream outside and play with others as well as independently and may not know what tardy means at the age of two but WILL have friends of all colors.
Now I am on the bathroom floor, writing this, blinking my eyes for moisture, and awaiting Monday more than ever before.
Because I sat with a barely two year old on my lap today, as she laughed with me and high fived me and let me read her stories and fix her hair with a big, goofy smile. She barely knew me but I could tell in her face and the way she consistently ran to me for more high fives that she was falling in love with me. And then her teacher told me that she was “OK, a hot mess, but once she gets older and talks more she will be better. She will be good.” What? Why is she not good now? How could she get better than she was right then?
I’ve been thinking for a few months now that I want the ‘easy way’. I want a day care with lots of toys and quiet, behaved children and rich parents who were ‘involved’ … but now I see I would die of boredom in a perfect, easy place. Much like the way I was slowly dying in an English classroom killing Shakespeare and great literature in an attempt to make students understand facts for a test. I was told I could not listen to what they had to say, to what they thought, and I could not effectively teach if I was not following a certain approach.
I take more joy now in teaching toddlers/infants because although there are some rules, they are flexible, and are open to creativity, and demand exploration.
Oh, 1:30 AM bathroom musings. How rereading The Fault In Our Stars has nudged the writer, thinker, and dreamer in me. Quotes from the book to come.
(( If you got this far … congrats and thank you. ))