Since I started volunteering with the infants and young toddlers, I’ve realized I really miss the conversations that I had with the preschoolers. During my internship, Shy and I would usually have a conversation before her nap. Here’s some of one that I had with her before nap time.
Shy: “Is somebody sleeping in here?”
Me: No. David is usually here, but he’s sick today. So he’ll be back tomorrow.
Me: Well, he’s sick so he had to go home early.
Shy: “He need to go to doctor.”
Me: “He does. He has a doctors appointment.”
Shy: “Then he can come back here.”
Me: Yeah. He’ll come back here when he’s better. He’ll take some medicine and get better.”
Shy: “Yeah. I also go to doctor when I get all better.”
Me: “What do they do at the doctors?”
Shy: They check on my throat and my elbows and my hands and my hand.”
Here’s another conversation we had on the same day.
Shy: “I had to pee-pee on the potty.”
Me: “You’re getting to be a big girl.”
Me: Are you going to be big, big, big?” (She liked to say that things were going to grow big big big.)
Shy: Yeah! I’m going to just be more than you.”
Me: “You’re going to be more than me?”
Shy: “Yeah!! I’m gonna be bigger too when I come next time. I’ll come back in that door and I will see you.”
Me: “You’ll come back and see me when you’re big?”
Me: “I hope so.”
Shy: “You’ll stay here till you get back in your car.”
Shy: My mommy’s coming after nap.”
Me: “I know.”
I enjoy working with babies and toddlers, but they can’t really talk to me and I miss hearing some of their thoughts. With the preschoolers, there was at least one conversation or something I heard as they were playing that would make me laugh every day. I also miss doing some of the activities you can do with preschoolers that you can’t do with younger kids. With infants and toddlers, you worry about a lot of safety issues. Not that you wouldn’t worry about a preschooler’s safety, but the younger the children, the more you worry. There is a bigger variety of activities they can do and toys that they can play with. However, you don’t get as much individual time with older toddlers and preschoolers because there are more of them. It’s also easier to manage a group of younger kids at least in my experience. I like that you have more time to work with the younger kids individually, the group size is smaller and they do other things that are cute and funny. Some of this balances out and makes the extra worries worth it. There is much more hands on work with toddlers and infants which I don’t mind. Of course, there are a lot of laughs with babies and young toddlers too. I feel that I’m better at working with them, but sometimes I miss the way things were with the preschoolers.