Thursday, August 6, 2015

stories from a summer daycare

A collection of stories from my days at daycare.

During the first week of summer camp, when we were all still learning names, one of the older girls, Betel, came up to me. She wanted to ask me a question, but first she was trying to get my attention by calling my name. The problem was, she didn't actually remember it. So she came up and said, "Miss..." and then glanced at my name tag. Then she looked back up at me and said, "Can I call you Miss Mary?" When I asked her why, she said just because she liked it, and when I told her that wasn't my name, she just sighed and walked away.
One day towards the beginning of the summer, I was sitting outside monitoring the bathrooms as all of the kids rotated through and changed into their swimsuits for the pool. My favorite little boy, Will, was chatting with me. I asked him when his birthday was, and it happened to be a few days after mine in February. I gasped and said, "Will! Mine's the 15th! We're almost birthday buddies!" Will thought about it for a second, then he looked at me and said, "We can still be best buddies though." My heart melted on the spot, and from that moment on, I gave that kid basically anything he wanted. The other teachers teased me about it because I couldn't bring myself to discipline him. Everyone, even some of the kids, knew that Will was my favorite. Whoops.
My favorite coworker, Laine, has 5 kids and a foster baby, and the younger kids often came in to work with her. Her youngest, Cameron, holds a special place in my heart. Most afternoons I worked with her mom, she would end up sitting on my lap taking selfies on my phone. I love Laine and her kids so much that I went to one of their swim meets. It helped that my best friend is one of their swim team coaches. I spent the whole night cheering on the kids and teaching Cameron how to use snapchat. Cameron also liked to say that we were twins or that we looked like sisters, because we both have curly brown hair and brown eyes. I love that girl.

Will's older brother, Luke, could be a pain in the neck, but he was also incredibly fun. Whenever he could, he was playing ping pong and beating everyone. Every once in a while he would ask to play me, and most of the time he won, but once or twice I beat him, and every time I did, he said it was the hardest match he'd played so far.
Another cute little boy, Javi, did the sweetest thing for me. One day he had fortune cookies in his lunch, so he gave one to one of the other workers, Miss Sarah. I teased him about it and asked him why he didn't have one for me, and then a few days later, when he was being difficult and not wanting to play the game, he asked to go get something out of his basket, baiting me by saying it was something he had brought for me. When I asked what it was, he said he had brought me a fortune cookie. Then he said he had two. I told him I only needed one, and then he said, "do you have a mom?" I told him I did, and then he nodded like he had known all along and said, "it's for her."
The only field trip I went on all summer long was to an outdoor zipline/ropes course. One little girl, Madisyn, was having a really hard time, getting scared and refusing to go forward. I spent a solid hour and a half following her around the most basic course, and when a little boy started pestering her to move faster and started bouncing on the rope, she turned around and told him to stop it, saying, "you're going to make me scared, and I was doing so. good."

One more Will story to end this collection: I went through a phase during the summer where I would color pictures to stay awake during the kids' free time. Will would always come up to the picture I was coloring and ask who it was for, and when I said no one or I didn't know yet, he always asked, "can I have it?"

Sincerely, mad

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