Laugh ... Don't Cry

Today was one of those days: a day when you don't know whether to laugh or cry. Crying would definitely be easier, but laughing usually yields better results.
So what was there to laugh about?

Five minutes into session time and a teacher had to be sent home sick. No problem. Get a reliever. It's standard practice and usually someone is willing to work. Except that today no one seemed to be answering their phones. Thankfully a teacher arrived to do something else and was willing to fill in.

About an hour later, a child dropped a glass jar and a teacher, not realising that it had broken, picked it up and slashed her finger open. At the time I was in the bathroom assisting children to wash their hands. I herded them out to the table and got them sitting down and we started singing songs - anything to keep them away from the broken glass that was now being cleaned up. At this stage I didn't realise a teacher had been injured.

After the children had been fed and watered, I had a look at the teacher's finger and suggested that she just might like to go and get some stitches put in it. She wasn't too keen, so I grabbed some steri-strips and did the best I could to hold the gash together. When the blood continued to seep through the bandage around it, I decided it was time she went off to the doctor. [My family will be pleased to know that no, I did not faint. Not even a hint of it - despite all the blood.]

Another reliever had to be found. Easier this time than the last. But I do feel for the poor lady in the office who is going to have to sort out all the comings and goings of teachers throughout the day and make sense of it. [We couldn't even make sense of it and we were there.]

The teacher returned after the doctor had added more steri-strips and bandaged it. Things began to return to normal apart from a child turning the shower on in the bathroom and wetting our chairs and aprons, and several children being upset and wanting extra cuddles.

Lunch time came around and a new parent came in to check us out. We pasted smiles on our faces and pretended that everything was under control.

But it wasn't. Eventually I commented to the parent that it wasn't always like this. She replied, "It's just what I expected." [I wanted to ask her if she was crazy. If we were always that noisy and chaotic - and thankfully we aren't - she would still consider leaving her precious child in such a centre?]

If I'd had the time I would have liked to explain that we work hard at providing a peaceful curriculum, one where things are done at an unhurried pace and children's care routines are done according to their schedules not teachers. But I was too busy. Besides, she probably wouldn't have believed me. Perhaps we can show her by example the next time she comes in.

I was just about to go off for a well-deserved lunch break when DH texted and asked what time I was going to be home. Apparently the tilers who had assured me on Friday that they would definitely not be back on Monday had turned up and needed someone to lock up after them when they were finished. By now I was beginning to think that I wouldn't be home before Christmas but I didn't tell him that.

The afternoon went pretty much according to plan except that I was needed to work with the children rather than doing office duties (which would have been a welcome relief at that point) and two children decided to remove their nappies/diapers which is never good. Never. Another child had the greatest fun on earth pulling all the used paper towels out of the bin and strewing them all over the floor - just as parents were arriving. [At least he didn't stuff them down the drain and block that - others have tried before.]

The end of session was drawing to a close when another teacher dropped a glass - [What was it with glasses today?] and we were almost back to where we'd been this morning except that there were no injuries - something that caused me to be extremely relieved and thankful. I herded the children outside (I should have been a shepherd) and we waited there until all the glass had been cleaned up inside. [That floor is going to be super clean after all the times it's been vacuumed today.]

Tomorrow is another day and I'm just hoping it's going to get better. If not, at least I'll get another chance to laugh ... or cry.

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