Our Mentor, Teacher, and Friend

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One Tuesday night at 7:10 PM my 5yr old asked, “Mommy, may I call Ms. Suzann?”

Looking at the clock and noting the time, I responded, “Sure. You can try to call her, but she may already be in bed.”

Running to get himself ready for bed, Charlie yelled from his room, “Tell me when you’re ready.” (He needed me to enter Suzann’s phone number.)

I told him I was ready, and he appeared immediately, wearing only his pajama bottoms. Smiling, I dialed the number for him. As I handed him the phone I reminded him, “Please don’t get upset if she doesn’t answer. Just leave her a message. You’ll see her in the morning.” He took the phone, pressing it against his ear, and walked away. Continue reading

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I miss the good ol’ days.

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If you have already heard me tell this story, my apologies. Due to recent events, I am addressing it again.

.:: Ten years ago I drove by a log home and fell in love. The log home was beautiful, and horses roamed about the property. Being a dreamer, I envisioned a life behind the doors and windows of the log home. In addition, I noted the playground and kids I would see on occasion. Though I had no kids at the time, I made a mental note of the log home, wondering if the owner had an in-home daycare.

Fast forward a few years, when my husband and I welcomed the birth of our first son. Initially, Joe stayed with our next door neighbor, while my husband and I went to work. I still passed the log home daily on my way to work. One morning, I noticed a sign in the yard of the log home. ‘Montessori Style Child Care, 3yr – Pre School, Space available.’ Continue reading

Just another day at daycare

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This is the third year I have put together a calendar for our daycare provider, Ms. Suzann. I ask the Moms to send me pictures of their kids to include in the calendar, and I have one or two photo days at Suzann’s house during the school year, catching the kids in their element. Because I didn’t have any good holiday pictures of the kids, I decided to head to Suzann’s house for an impromptu photo session.

To my delight, all the kids had on festive clothing! It was as if someone had contacted the parents, asking them to put their kids in holiday clothes for daycare. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t an impromptu photo shoot. One thing is for certain, I did not tell Suzann what I was doing, yet she donned a red shirt! Honest!

The plan was for me to drop Charlie off at Suzann’s in the morning and linger a bit, while the other kids arrived. My lingering gave me a great opportunity to see the kids enjoying their time. I watched as they sat at the table, all eating cereal. I watched, as they decided to gather on the couch, and Charlie helped Riley take off her shoes. And, I watched as Ms. Suzann popped in a yoga DVD and gathered the kids for morning yoga.

Charlie and Caitlyn

After their morning yoga, I decided it was time for the photo shoot. Ms. Suzann and the kids came outside on the front porch, and did a great job following directions and posing for the pictures. Everyone had a great time. When I was done taking pictures, I went home. Shortly after returning home, Ms. Suzann called to say Lacy had just arrived. And, I assured Ms. Suzann that I would return in the afternoon to take some holiday shots of Lacy with her friends.

Going back to Ms. Suzann’s house in the afternoon gave me another chance to see the kids in their element. I soon learned their afternoon was an exciting one, because the four bunnies at Ms. Suzann’s house ‘broke free’ from their pen. Actually, the bunnies had broken out of their pen earlier in the morning, but the excitement didn’t pick up until the afternoon. The kids had successfully corralled two of the four bunnies, but the two other bunnies were still hunkered down under a nearby barn.

While I was visiting and waiting for Lacy to wake up from her nap, I watched the other kids keeping their eyes on the windows. The kids were watching for any bunny sightings. I listened, as the kids chatted, and I was amazed at how they encouraged each other with every word. And, when Lacy woke from her nap, I watched as the kids greeted her – so excited she was awake.

Lacy and Charlie

Once Lacy was dressed in her holiday attire, I gathered the kids for another photo shoot. Again, the kids did a great job of listening and posing. The kids listened so well, I was done taking pictures within five minutes. And, because it was the end of the day, I gathered Charlie’s things and was ready to take him home with me. However, Charlie wanted to stay; he wasn’t ready to go home. So, with Ms. Suzann’s permission, I sat in the corner, watching the kids have fun.

I enjoyed watching the kids play. I smiled, as Lacy reached into one of the bunnies’ crates, grabbed a carrot and started eating it. The bunny just watched, clearly willing to share. I welcomed the opportunity, when Riley and Lacy came to me and asked me to read a book. Shortly after I started reading, others joined us on the couch to listen to the story.

Today, Joe gets to spend the day with Ms. Suzann, because he does not have school. Charlie was excited to have Joe back in the classroom. And, this morning, Charlie said he was slow to wake up because, “I was dreaming about Joe loving Caitlyn and Riley.” Joe heard Charlie and he said, “Yeah, I can’t wait to play with Caitlyn and Riley.” The boys were so excited to spend the day with Ms. Suzann.

Riley and Ms. Suzann

“What do we call Ms. Suzann’s again?” Charlie asked. “Do you mean ‘daycare’?” I asked. “Yes,” he replied. “Daycare.”

As we went to get into the car, Joe was bouncing along saying, “Today is a special day at Ms. Suzann’s house.” And Charlie said, “Joe, every day is a special day at Ms. Suzann’s house. We always do special things.”

Ms. Suzann’s house is more than daycare. Ms. Suzann’s house is special place the kids love visiting. I’ve sung Ms. Suzann’s praises several times. It seems fitting that I write this post a day before Thanksgiving, because Suzann is high on my list of things for which I am thankful.

There’s a rhino in the room

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*Cough* *Cough*
*Sniff* *Sniff*
*Cough* *Cough*

Ah, the sounds of the season. Cold and flu season, that is. As parents try to cover up their sick child by saying, “It’s just allergies”, or “He/she is teething”, truth be told, your kid probably has a cold. Dun dun duuuuun! Lock the doors! Bolt your windows! God forbid you take your cold suffering child out in public. What will the neighbors think?

Don’t mind me, I’m just a working parent with kids in daycare and school, currently dealing with the shunning that comes to cold suffers. I’d like to think I run a tight ship; but in reality, I think at least one of my sails is not tied down properly. I’d call a repair man, but I have a cough – and I’d hate for him to catch my cold. Then again, I send my kids off to school and daycare when they have a cold, so I suppose I could invite the repair man onto this laden ship.

I think I will attached a scarlet colored letter ‘C’ on my chest and the chests of my boys, letting the world know we have colds. Better yet, just for me, I’ll attach scarlet colored ‘B’ and ‘M’ letters on my chest for ‘Bad Mom’; yeah – BM – I’m sure that would go over well.

Before I go too far on my rant (or have I already reached that point?), I’ll share some verbiage I found on WebMD:

“A little sniffle. A slight cough. “I don’t feel good,” says your child. Should this kid stay home, go to school, or go to the doctor immediately?

Usually, if your child has cold symptoms, the deciding factor is whether she has a fever too, experts say. If there’s no fever, it’s probably just a cold. So long as your child feels pretty healthy otherwise, it’s fine to send her off to school.

Children with bad coughs need to stay home and possibly see a doctor. It could be a severe cold or possibly bronchitis, flu, or pneumonia. But when the cough improves and the child is feeling better, then it’s back to school. Don’t wait for the cough to disappear entirely — that could take a week or longer!

This BM has no intention of keeping her kids out of school or daycare, while they battle their colds and are free from fevers or other infections. A cold is not also known as ‘common cold’ because it is some rare and deadly virus. Though I do understand, a common cold can lead to more serious illnesses such as croup. Croup is not a friendly virus. Croup is down right scary, and it is something my family has dealt with on several occasions. Rest assured, if the croup cough is heard, we take steps to isolate our kids from others. But a cold? Buckle up Betty, because my kid is going to daycare/school, and he may even sit by your child. Mwahahahahaa

And don’t waste your time asking me where I think my child found this lovely rhinovirus (or other cold virus). This BM is not on a mission to find the source of the virus. A wise teacher once told me, trying to pinpoint the source is like going on a witch hunt. Germs and bacteria are all around us. If the mail person is sick, she can transfer her germs onto the mailbox handle and the mail itself. If the UPS man is sick, he can transfer his germs as he smiles and passes you your latest purchase from QVC. And, let’s not even think about the grocery stores. Face it. You are surrounded. Surrounded. You should probably just stay in bed and keep your kids in their room.

Perhaps we could all travel in zones, just like airports have zones for various modes of transportation.
The Green Zone is for the healthy people of the world, who carry no bacteria, viruses or germs: Please breathe freely in the Green Zone.
The White Zone is for the people of the world who carry bacteria, viruses or germs. Please do not breathe in the White Zone.

(God help the person who is on the moving sidewalk in the Green Zone, when they cough or sneeze.)

My apologies if I sound cranky. It’s probably just allergies.