I have a very different kind of favourite for you today. I've debated about writing this particular post because I rarely talk about my Monday to Friday persona on my blog. There has been a ton of revision and editing because I'm always conscious that at some point a parent I work with may stumble across my blog and see the "real" me. But what happened to me yesterday was such an epiphany and has been my favourite thing by far this week so I'm taking the leap and sharing it this week.
I've had a whinge or two (or possibly three ) lately about how busy I've been at work. Like "crazy busy". "Don't get to eat lunch most days" busy. Like "if my phone rings one more time with something else I need to do right bloody now I'm going to explode" busy.
I work at a pretty high level of busy most of the time and I think I'm pretty good at juggling and responding to individual situations. But since I went back to work post holidays it's been insane. Usually I have a balance between the tricky stuff and the other stuff. But lately work has been all about intense situations that can't be resolved in a day or week or month. To be dramatic about it (and we all know I do love me some drama) I feel like I'm running but I'm not sure what I'm running towards or whether I'll ever catch it. And I've tried all the things I know that would usually decrease my stress levels and help me put things in perspective and I'm coming up with a big fat zero.
Back track to yesterday morning. I had an appointment for the whole morning at a kindergarten to see one of the little munchkins I work with. I'm thinking of the two other appointments I have crammed into my afternoon as well, and wondering when I'm going to have time to return phone calls, and emails and do all the other things I need to get done before I go home. And since I have about 30 hours of work racked up behind me and I know I'm going to generate another 10 hours worth today I'm feeling beyond overwhelmed.
It's a well known joke among some kindergarten directors that when I walk into a kindergarten where I know multiple children instant chaos ensues for at least 5 minutes post arrival because of the level of excitement that my appearance tends to generate. It's very cool to be the "Flavour of the Moment " for that 5 minutes. I get pulled around by the hand while Child A , B or C drags me round to see their art work , tries to pull me into playing with trains/in the sandpit , or brings me a book so we can read together.
So yesterday I walked into the kindergarten and dropped my bag and was immediately surrounded. I had one child recount with excitement the last time we saw one another which happened to be outside of work when I was buying Christmas decorations with Little P in mid December , three months ago.
Another little person that I normally see at home, looked at me quizzically trying to place me because he knew he knew me but my appearance at kindy was completely out of context. It took him about 15 seconds to work it out and then I got the biggest smile ever before he flung himself at my legs for a huge squeezy hug and then dragged me off to a corner to do puzzles.
Another child legged it the length of the playground to come and say hello yelling my name the whole way. You know what's awesome? Having someone that excited to see you.
I had a rainbow painted in my honour, I was spontaneously offered a half eaten cracker and a bite of banana to share at eating time because I'd totally forgotten to bring my snack, and I played in the sandpit without my shoes on. I became a one woman cheer squad for two kids going up and down the slide, helped make a cubby house out of old sheets and helped someone choose a library book to take home (Russell the Sheep in case you're interested in what the 4 year olds are reading at the moment)
Kids have a way of putting things in perspective without even doing it on a conscious level. Kids tend to live in the moment and take great delight and joy in most of the things they do. Disclaimer: Vegetable eating may not be on that list. Kids tend to be excited about things that we as adults would barely notice. Three hours at kindy yesterday was all it took for me to gain the gift of perspective again. I walked out of there feeling lighter and calmer than I have in a very long time because a bunch of 3 and 4 year olds showed me how it should be done.
In my profile I make mention of working with the pre-school crowd. What I don't make mention of is that all of the children I work with have disabilities or significant delays. Every day things for some of those children can be really difficult. Sharing can be hard, waiting can be tricky, and sometimes social exchanges and interaction can be a bit of a minefield. Yesterday I was reminded that even though I may feel that I'm running round in a circle like a headless chook that the things I do really can make a difference in the long run. And that I can still be an honorary kid when I want to. I just have to seize the moment.