Tuesday, September 6, 2011

now change clothes

Day One of kiddies in the school.  I'm still a "floater" which meant that after helping with carpool I was asked to check with two particular classrooms to see if they needed help.  On my way to one of them I was snagged by a teacher of "barely 3's."    "Could I help settle this one down?"  Sure.  I made my way to Dominic, a silently sobbing boy sitting by but ignoring a table of puzzles.  Half an hour later he was still not talking but he was calming. (His caretaker had said parting words in Spanish and he had not yet been heard to speak either language, but it was believed that he spoke both.) 

Then the fire alarm went off.  Seeing as no one had known about it being a drill, it was taken seriously. The nursery tossed three to a crib and rolled the cribs out the doors. Toddlers everywhere were crying.   (Did I mention it was raining?)  I carried Dominic outside and then discovered he wasn't about to let me put him down.  He simply wiped his snot on my shoulder and continued his sobbing outside in the rain.

Once back in the room, he gently pushed away some attempts from other kids to interact and sat firmly on my lap, still with the silent sobs.  The rain turned to light sprinkles and the class decided to check out the playground.  The little guy explored a bit but then clung to the fence separating the carpool area from the playground. 

This was the same classroom in which I will substitute while the other support teacher is getting married, so I was trying to watch her tot too, so I could get a feel for his needs.  Mac has cerebral palsy and does not yet walk independently, so she'd been carrying him outside.  When Dominic was exploring, she asked if I'd hold Mac while she took a quick potty break herself.  He immediately started to cry, then gagged on his own mucus and threw up on my (other) shoulder. Seems he'd bonded pretty quickly!

I stayed with this group most of the day.  When I caught Dominic calm and interacting after snack time, I decided to take my own potty break.  On my return he was still calm and playing, so I kept out of his sight, then left the room to check on my original destination.

While that classroom needed all the help it could get (one child needing the support teacher 100% of her time and a second charge needing about 60% more of her attention) no one in that room rubbed either snot or puke on me.  I spent the remaining half hour of the day with them and will probably return to help them out on Thursday too.

Bodily fluids aside, I enjoyed my day a good deal.  I'll clearly be getting to know both rooms and all the kids.  No sign of a charge of my own yet.


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