Friday, April 22, 2011

Where's the Chicken?

Today, I got called in to sub at a different center. It’s affiliated with the center where I volunteer, but it’s in another town. I worked with the infants and toddlers for a couple of hours this morning. My job was to cover everyone’s breaks. It got a little confusing because every half an hour, I had to go to a different room. Luckily, it was only two rooms or I really would’ve been confused because the place was totally new to me.

The infants are older at this place and most of them are walking. We only had four this morning. The only one who wasn’t walking was another Baby L. I come across a lot of Baby L’s. This one is a girl and she’s very cute. If I spend more time with her, I’ll come up with a better name. She had come in on one of my times in the toddler room so when I came back to the infant room, I didn’t notice her at first. When the other teacher left the room, I looked over and noticed her in the jumper. She started jumping really fast and I told her that she was really good at jumping. One of the boys noticed and he started grabbing her and the toys that were bouncing up and down with her. This made her nervous and she started to fuss. I tried the technique of showing the boy how to be gentle with her like I did with Baby L and Crawling Baby, but it didn’t work because she started to freak out. She stopped after we backed away from her a little bit, but then started to cry louder. I thought it was me that was bothering her at first because I’m new and I had touched her cheek. I’ve noticed that babies always try to touch each other’s faces because that’s what Crawling Baby does and that’s what this little boy did. Anyway, she reached her arms up so I picked her up, but I was worried that the other teacher was going to come back to the room to a screaming baby. I was surprised though when she calmed right down. The other teacher came back and I was glad because I couldn’t hold her and pay close enough attention to the other three walking around the room. So we sat in the rocking chair and another little girl brought over some blocks that the boys had been throwing all morning. I gave them to Girl Baby L to look at and she babbled a little bit as she looked at the different blocks. After a few minutes, we took the babies outside and Baby L sat in a swing which she enjoyed. She started fussing again when we went back inside and then didn’t want to sit in a seat while the older babies ate lunch. I held her for a while and she kept putting her head on my shoulder. I would’ve helped put her to sleep, but I had to go back to the toddlers.

I met some cool kids there too. There was one girl in particular who was really talkative. I’ll call her K. When I first walked in, she was talking about how she was fixing cereal for her baby that was sitting in the highchair. Then another girl came over and she showed me some different juice containers. They were containers with different things in them that were glued shut. Most had water with different food coloring, but others had some substance that was made to look like milk and another one had cheerios in it. I thought it was creative to make these for the kitchen area and the children really enjoyed them. They were different sizes and had different amounts of liquid in them. The girls wanted me to keep pouring them juice, tea, milk etc. Meanwhile, K pretended to feed her baby cereal and juice. I asked her what kind of juice she was drinking and she told me, “Milk juice.” Then she brought over a different bottle and I asked her what kind of juice that was. She told me, “Cereal juice.” Later, she said another bottle had grape juice in it. The girls started trying to dress their babies and wanted me to put diapers on them. K told me I needed to put a diaper on her baby so she wouldn’t pee or poop. She brought over a doctors kit and said she was making everyone feel better. The other girl said her baby wasn’t sick so she didn’t need to go to the doctor.

They asked me my name and I told them it’s Darcey. I asked them what their names were and K kept giving me the other girl’s name instead of her own so I was getting confused about who was who because the other teachers hadn’t told me any of their names. They told me that they were both two-years-old. K said, “I’m a toddler and my sister is a preschooler.” The other girl told me that she was a toddler too which got them into a conversation about how they were all toddlers in the room.

Later during lunch, we had scrambled eggs and toast. They loved the eggs, but K asked, “Where’s the chicken?” I told her that we weren’t having chicken for lunch and that I didn’t know why. She said, “Why aren’t we having chicken?” Then she said that when she was a baby, her mother had chicken, but it was all gone. She also told me, “When I was a baby, I was a boy, but then I turned into a girl.” I asked if she was sure because she looked like a girl to me and that I thought she had always been a girl even when she was a baby. She told me no, that she was a boy as a baby, but not anymore. She was a girl now. When the director came over to check on things, the toddlers at the table told her I was a lot of fun.

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