This is a day in my life. It might differ to your day but this is how my day goes on a ten hour, 8am till 6pm shift in the 2-3’s room goes.
6:45 – This is when I should’ve woken up
7:00 – When I actually got up
7:05-7:15 – Shower
7:15– Hair, makeup, get dressed into my uniform
7:40– I’m getting a lift from my mum today (she works down the road)
7:50 – When I’m meant to be at work
7:55 – When I actually got to work..you can see the recurring theme here.
8:00 – My shift has started!
In the morning we have breakfast club, and that’s my job today. I herd the hungry children who are chanting in a voice that sounds more than a bit like Gollum’s: “Rice Krispies! Weetabix! Miiiiilk!” And pour the cereal they want. While they chat I get the chance to sign in any children from my room who might’ve arrived while I was getting the flock fed. It also gives me a chance to do my opening checklist, and prepare for garden checklist too.
8:10 – We’ve had our first spillage of the day. Milk. And we’re out of j cloths. It’s that kind of day, huh?
8:12 – Spillage number one felt lonely, so one of the three year olds decided to give it a mate. Much obliged.
8:15- Now that I’ve got spillage under control, I’m sitting listening to one of my kids talking about their weekend. 90% of it is pure babble, honestly but seeing them so excited makes me able to nod and chime in the odd “oh my goodness!” and they’re none the wiser about me still being pretty much asleep.
8:25 – “Oh, dear!! Don’t hit him! That’s not kind!” And you thought that Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn were the only ones with serious politics going on.
9:00 – We’ve split into our rooms, and it’s time for circle time. We sing songs about the days of the week, the months, and then do some counting. Then we talk about what we’re going to be doing today and I ask the children what they want to do. They say they want to go swimming. Well..life’s full of disappointment, teach ’em young.
9:30 – The sky is grey why are we going in the garden?
9:40 – It’s pissing it down with rain. Fantastic. Messy wellies everywhere. Peppa Pig would be proud of the muddy puddles these kids have created on the carpet that was professionally cleaned a week ago ! !
9:50 – Is it too early to retire..? Asking for a friend. A friend who is dealing with fifteen two year olds who are cooped up inside.
At least at this point I can get on with my paperwork. The kids now have sufficient activities and are behaving. My manager is having an audit of our files today, and thank god I got mine done last week or I’d have a massive problem. A you-have-to-stay-after-work shaped problem. I get two important assessments done and am feeling very happy with my productivity.
10:30 – Now that snack time has been and gone, we’re basically burning time until lunch. I take one of our newest, youngest, and truthfully, most babied kids and tell them that we’re going to get beds set up for nap time. Now usually this child completely refuses to help. I don’t mean that as an exaggeration. They won’t help with tidy up, they won’t feed themselves, nothing. So I take them and with very little whinging, amazingly, they help and they do beautifully well. I can’t help but feel proud of their progress. Crisp high five for you, little bud.
11:25 – Lunch time! Today we have macaroni & cheese for lunch and I’m looking forward to it. Our cook makes really good mac and I’ve held off from bringing lunch today just to have some.
11:27 – Mid mouthful of mac & cheese, another member of staff from a different room appears and says they’re ordering pizza. Must. Resist. I am stronger than the carbs I eat.
11:30 – Have broken. Given £1 and am allowed a slice of pizza.
12:10 – Lunch is over. The kids have eaten, and are now fast asleep on the beds that I and the Little Bud put out before. Now I wait to see if I can go on my break now or in forty minutes. Of course in forty minutes.
12:20 – Oh my Godddd if I have to tell these kids to stop wiping their bogeys on pillows one more time I’m actually taking retirement.
12:50 – Finally, it’s time for lunch. I go and sit down and fight sleep. I start writing this post.
1:30 – No way was that forty minutes. Ah well. I go back and sign my phone back into the office and return to do the afternoon round of nappies. This takes about forty minutes on a busy day and fifteen on a quiet day. Either way, afternoon nappies is the second most awkward change of the day, as it’s when the toilet trainers have to get their underwear on and you have to constantly be on ‘poo face’ or ‘wee dance’ watch for the rest of the afternoon while simultaneously taking them to the loo every fifteen-thirty minutes. It’s hard with just one child, and we have about seven at the moment all going through this very process. My sense of smell has taken a much needed sabbatical.
Between 2pm and 3pm we have activity hour where we do some form of planned activity. We plan every day for our key children and cross reference to the EYFS (which I can, after just under two years of working in child care-chant in my sleep) to further their development. Today one of my fussiest eaters is in, and in order to help her feel more comfortable eating, I’ve organised a messy play activity where she can add pasta (dried fusilli) to a saucepan filled with red paint (pasta sauce) and ‘cook’ it for her friends. I know that might seem trivial, but hear me out-my key child is fussy because she enjoys sweets, but she also hates sauce. She doesn’t like it touching her food, and heaven forbid you put it anywhere near her rice. She will lose her mind. So gently introducing her to sauces in a play form helps her to understand that it’s not going to burn her like molten lava, which, judging by the way she shrieks at meal times, is what she thinks is going to happen.
3pm – Tea time. Focused activity did not work. Beans are now on the floor, key child is eating carrot cake. We’ll try again tomorrow.
Between four and six parents come to collect and we give them feedback based on how their child has been, how they slept, if they ate etc. This is also the time when we tell parents if their child has any bumps or scrapes, if they’ve been ‘cheeky’ and also when ‘fussy’ parents rear their ugly heads. I’ll make a blog post on what I mean when I say ‘fussy’ parents but for now, just know that they are the types of parents who want to know everything from the exact minute their child fell asleep to the colour of their 2pm poo. They’re infuriating.
6pm means home time, and I’ll be asleep by 8pm. I’m all danced, Frozened and nappied out. When’s the next bank holiday?