Thursday, October 23, 2014

Children: The True Teachers

Lately we have been opting (now and then) to stroll around the block, as opposed to visiting the playground. And let me tell you, these Autumn walks have felt like paradise to this daycare provider! The kids are often just so happy, adorable, and downright angelic. I mean, look, in the photo above, Thomas even has a heavenly beam shining down on him! ;)

It just feels so peaceful, for all of us, I guess, to walk (or ride, as Thomas often does) down High Park Avenue on a beautiful fall day. I am so grateful to be able to enjoy this time with them.

I love my job. There are times when it is so challenging; and every time it is challenging, I am reminded who the real teachers are. It's them. It's the kids. They teach us patience. They teach us that showing them love, in a moment when they are showing us quite the opposite, is far more effective at restoring their happiness (and ultimately ours) than any complicated technique found in a parenting book.

But while I find myself compelled to reflect on what I have learned from these, and other, little teachers over the years, I never want to sound all-knowing. Because raising children, taking care of children, and trying to manage their sometimes eccentric behaviour is, in a term, rocket science.

When I am most effective with children is when I maintain some humility and when I am able to reflect without guilt (guilt can really impede our interactions with children). I am best when I can keep at the forefront of my mind that although many things might be directed towards me, they are really not about me. I am best when I can roll with the unexpected; the chaos. I am best when I can focus on the sweetest and simplest moments (as this blog helps me to do). And lastly, and most importantly, I am best when I can nurture my sense of humour. They REALLY help with this! They are utterly hilarious. :)

I love how these guys, and all children remind us of the joy inherent in the simplest things. (I am so excited to jump in the leaves with them soon!)

Okay, that is all for my deep thought reflection. Now back to business. ;)

Here is Amadea doing our Thanksgiving craft. I had each child place one foot on brown construction paper, and traced around it. I later cut this out; it represented the body of a turkey. I also traced the children's hands on orange, red and yellow construction paper, and cut these out; these made up the feathers. Each child glued his or her hands onto the back of their cut-out foot shape. Then we added googly eyes, an orange triangle for a beak, and little orange legs. I meant to draw in a red squiggle beside the beak to represent the snood, but completely forgot. Anyway, here are the little turkeys' turkeys, decorating our front door!

The Tuesday after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend was Dea's birthday, so Leila and I made her cake on the holiday Monday. Leila had a blast with all the chocolate and Smarties involved!

Tada! Ahhhh.....Take a break, have a beverage, and admire all that hard work, Lei-Lei! ;)

We were not permitted to give Amadea her card and present until Noah was back from school. Here, Noah is reading her birthday card to her. (She adores Noah, by the way.)

Hmmmm....what to do next? I think Dea needs a little help opening her gift. No worries there. The beasts were more than ready to mean the kids were kind enough to help her get the paper off.

We got her a baby and a stroller, since that is what I see her playing with the most at the daycare. (She always does lap after lap around the kitchen, walking her baby.)

She was delighted.

I don't quite remember what Thomas was doing to make her laugh so much, but boy, was she happy!

Happy birthday, Amadea. You're two!

When her mother brought her in to our daycare that morning, she asked Dea, "How old are you?" (They had obviously been rehearsing this.) Dea replied with "Two old", rather than "Two years old." I decided that that would be a good way to respond to the kids in the future, when they ask how old I am. "Too old." :)

She had trouble blowing out the candles. It's funny, almost all of the kids in my care (including my own), at an early age, would make an "F" sound when attempting to blow out the candles. This is what Dea was doing. We called in Noah for back-up. As you can see if you look to the left of the picture, Thomas is also eager to help!

Yum yum! It was so nice to have her friends celebrate with her! I think she had a special day.

You WISH your hair could do tricks like this. That is all.

So in addition to visiting the Annette Street Library drop-in program (shown in my last blog), we have also been visiting the Early Literacy Centre drop-in program at Indian Road Public School. Here, Dea and Tom are splashing around at the water table.

Thomas and Leila later went grocery shopping together. Interestingly enough, they get their groceries from their very own kitchen!

It only made sense to then load the groceries from their home onto the conveyor belt at the grocery store. Adorable!

Another adorable sight: babies pushing babies on swings.

What a big boy Thomas is becoming! He now sits on the big boy swing! He likes very slight pushes at this point, but nonetheless, it is quite the milestone!

And here they enjoy a leisurely picnic lunch, while their babies nap.

This is another photo taken on one of our walks. Not the best shot of Leila, but Amadea just makes my soul sing here. She's such a happy girl!

Again....hello little sunshine!!!!

And here are two friends just hanging out. It takes a while for us to get around the block because they like to sit on every planter bed edge!

Halloween decorations have been popping up more and more. So fun to see!

The kids love trying on my shoes, and my husband Dan's shoes. (I often hear Dan muttering to himself that he can't find his other shoe for work in the morning. This would be why.) I love the randomness of this photo. Notice Leila in the closet, in the background. Such a mess. Such chaos. So hilarious to see it presented in a photo like this. Gets me laughing all over again. :)

Did you know how exciting EVERY item in a store really is?! These children reminded me of this when we took a trip to Dollarama one day.

 Thomas tried this mask on in isle 1, and it stayed on until we had explored every inch of the store. It was just so cute, how he would innocently say something to me, and I would turn to look at him, and see this.

 So, while we were all in the same isle, I was standing with Leila, about 10 feet from Amadea and Thomas. I was focusing on the products in front of me, and trying to decide what to buy. I could hear Amadea killing herself laughing, playing with Thomas, and I could see them in my periphery. Finally I picked out an item, and Leila and I walked over to the two monkeys. I finally discovered what was so hilarious to Dea. I had heard her repeating, "Ampoo!" but now I had the visual to go along with it. She was taking all the mouthwash bottles off the shelf, and as she placed them on the floor, she would declare, "Ampoo!" And each time Thomas confirmed for her, "shampoo" (c'mon shampoo and mouthwash are pretty close), she would break out in hysterics and reach for the next bottle.

So Thomas was Dea's henchman. And once Leila saw all the fun they were having, her impressionable young mind just had to join in the shenanigans.


If you are drinking a nice warm cup of coffee, please swallow before you view the picture below.

You're welcome. I think this wins the prize for the most random photo I've ever taken, though I'm sure there are some pretty strong contenders.

Enjoy those crazy moments, folks! :) Til next time!

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