I am the Queen of disjointed thinking. I like your hat! :-D

Posts tagged ‘life’

What I would like parents to know about childcare

I have been thinking about writing this post for a long time. I don’t want it to come across as bossy or preachy, it’s just some suggestions from my personal observations that would make life easier for early childhood educators, and in turn for children and parents.

I am an early childhood relief educator. I’ve worked in rooms in childcare as well, but at the moment I’m a relief educator. I’ll be in a room if a staff member is away, or I may be in every room at some point, covering lunches, cleaning, putting laundry away.

When you first put your precious family member into childcare, the centre director or manager will tell you basically everything you need to know. They will tell you if nappies and meals are provided or if you need to bring your own. They will introduce you to the educators that will be in the room with your child each day. They will give you a copy of the centre policies and procedures, or let you know where a copy is that you can read at the centre. There are a few little things they probably won’t go over with you, that I would like to share as a relief educator.

  1. Name everything! If something goes to childcare or kindy with your child, it should have their name on it somewhere, clearly. Please make sure you write your child’s first name on everything, also. While the regular educators in the room will know your son is Edward Smith and he has an older sister called Ramona, relief educators in the room will only know him as “Eddie” or “Edward”, and won’t know that things labelled “R. Smith” are his. Reusing things for younger children is fine, but please make sure you put their first name on it somewhere, too.
  2. Send nappies with tabs. If you provide nappies yourself, please send the kind with tabs rather than pull-ups. We have up to twelve nappies to change each time we do changes, and it goes much more quickly if we can keep every kids’ pants on. Pull-ups are fine for older children that just need them at sleep time, especially if they can put them on themselves or with just a bit of help, but if your child is in nappies full time, please send  the tab kind or cloth nappies. Speaking of cloth nappies, don’t feel like you can’t use them in childcare. Unless the centre has a policy against them for some reason, even if the centre provides nappies, it’s fine to choose not to use disposables. We’re usually not allowed to scrape or soak them though, so at the end of the day you will have to take home a bucket of gift wrapped poo.
  3. Relief educators may not know what’s normal for your child, so we may ask “silly” questions or tell you things that made us feel concerned that you may not even think about, like “Shirley didn’t eat much today and she had a runny nose. She might be coming down with something.” when actually Shirley just eats lightly all the time and gets a runny nose on rainy days. The more you can tell us, the more we know next time we’re in your child’s room. I know it’s frustrating since you’ve probably already told the regular room educators. It’s not that we don’t talk to each other, it’s just that these things get so routine and normal for the room educators that they don’t really think about it anymore.

If I think of something else, which I’m liable to do, I’ll come back and edit this post, but that’s it for now. Just three little pointers to help things run more smoothly.

Signed with love and care,

The Pretty Kitty.

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Whatever am I Doing with this Canvas!?

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Well, obviously right now I’m wearing it, but I mean long term.

I’m entering an art comp. I figure 20 years of believing that my art is not as good as anyone else’s art is enough, and I’m entering an art comp.

I’ve always been especially hard on myself, even as a preschooler, but when I was eight years old it got really bad. When I was eight years old, with the help of my peers I decided I was ugly, worthless and stupid. I decided everyone must be right about my terrible art.

Well, now I’ve decided that my “terrible” art is just as worthy as anyone else’s “terrible” art, and I’ve also decided that all art is good. I work with children; how can I tell them that all art is good because it uses creativity and then not live by that rule myself? Ethically, I can’t, so I’m entering an art comp.

The competition closes in May next year, but I’m already making a start, gathering materials. I’ll be posting all future updates about my new project on my Patreon page for my supporters to see. If you’re interested in watching the story unfold, you can support me over on Patreon for anything from $1 (US)/month. All contributions will go towards art supplies and the entry fee for the comp. If you can’t or don’t want to support the project, that’s fine too and I’ll be sure to post the finished product here on the blog for everyone to see!

Always follow your dreams!

Signed with love,

The Pretty Kitty.

Best Corgi Ever

The best corgi ever was Stanley.  His middle name was Borris, but I’m not sure dogs know their middle names.  Stanley passed from this life only yesterday.  He was about thirteen years old, but we don’t know for sure.  We never knew Stanley as a puppy.

Stanley was a foundling, until he was found by our other beautiful dog, Rozzy (Rozaline Rosalea, actually).  Before the problem was amended, Our Roz would take herself for walks, usually by way of jumping the fence (now much higher), which was the cause of much anguish.  One day Our Roz came home with a skinny, dirty, smelly friend.  Her friend was nervous but friendly.  He was obviously hungry, and so we gave him some food.  An obviously pure-bred corgi, we were certain someone would be missing him very much. We cleaned him up, took him to be checked out by the vet and set about finding his family in every way possible.

One week, two weeks, three weeks.  Nobody claimed this beautiful animal, and so he became our companion, our family.

I haven’t met many corgis; just the one, actually.  So how do I know he’s the best corgi ever?  Well, the facts are simple:

  • When he wagged his tail, he wagged his body in the opposite direction, to make sure you could see the wagging.  He knew he didn’t have much tail.
  • When you threw a toy for him, he would only bring it 3/4 of the way back.  He would throw it the rest of the way, so he could get a head start on the next run.
  • He knew each of our cats by name and would round them up to help bring them inside at night, only collecting the appropriate cat (I promise the cats were fine with this.  They loved him too).
  • He’s mine, and I’m his.  Always present tense.

My eyes remember his happy face.

My fingers remember being completely hidden in his big, thick mane.  When I think of him, my fingers tingle.

My arms remember brushing him for hours and still pulling loose hair off him, until the dog and the pile were about the same size.

My body remembers running and playing with him, rolling about with him like a dog would.

My face remembers being pressed against his sleeping chest, to hear him breathe and hear his heartbeat.

My brain remembers knowing I’m safe from anything and everything if he is near me.

My heart remembers comfort and sympathetic eyes when I am sad, someone to talk to who will not judge and him lying outside my bedroom door all night because it was the closest he could get to me (I couldn’t have him in my bedroom, due to the nature of the set up.  He would have been locked in and he only had a tiny bladder…)

I have loved a lot of dogs; some mine, some of family, some of friends.  I can’t honestly say I’ve loved any of these dogs more than any of the others, but always differently to each other, as they are very different people (yes, people!).  I can say there was never a Stanley before, and there will never be a Stanley again.

I love you, Stanley.

I send love to each heart of each eye to read these words.  Thank you for sitting with me for a while as I cry and remember.

The Pretty Kitty.

Women are people too, just so you know.

I originally wrote this post on a blog I no longer use.  It was written on the 31st of October 2009, and I was probably crying,hugging a cup of tea and wearing nothing but my fluffy dressing gown when I wrote it, because that’s how I used to write.  I have not edited this text in any way except to fix one typo.  So now I take a deep breath and publish for the second time something I wrote which is laced with meaning and hope.

~~~

OK, I’m gonna start with a story and then launch into random but related crap:
The first time I tried to kill myself I was only ten years old. Not a joke. I tried to hang myself with a skipping rope (that part is a little funny…) but knots were not my strong point, a fact that saved my life. I had two skinned knees to explain to my mother, but I was alive to explain. Now I’m glad, back then I just got pushed into a deeper depression; I’d found something else I’m no good at…
was very good at creative writing, very good at craft, at art, at singing, at maths, at science and at computer studies. None of those things mattered. They were barely ever encouraged. All that mattered to my teachers was that I had bad handwriting, and didn’t like sport. All that mattered to my peers was that I was bad at sport, spent a lot of time with the year one kids, and had no friends my own age. Children my age had been calling me “ugly” the entire time I was at school, even at preschool, and before that at childcare when I was three. I’d always had no friends my own age and been called ugly. I look at pictures now which were taken at the time, and that isnot an ugly little girl! But when you hear something so often, how can you help but think it’s true? I related this situation to fairy tales. The evil witch is always ugly, scary and mean. Good fairies, good witches and princesses are always beautiful. I “knew” in my heart that if I was ugly, I would live my life hated, because, after all, it’s not like I’m a man and my looks don’t matter… I even thought that maybe I was evil, which is why I’d turned out ugly. I “knew” nobody would ever love me, I’d never get married or have a family, men only want to marry the princess, not the warty old witch! It certainly didn’t help that for almost two years at this point I’d been getting the occasional pimple. I equated them with the witches’ warts and arrived at the conclusion that I was hideous and unlovable. Thank God for bad knots! I stood up, went inside and had a cry. About an hour later my mum made me a cup of tea and brought me a cupcake. I was glad I had my mum, but I didn’t feel any better for years.

I was twelve when a girl in my class at school said to me, “You’ll never get a boyfriend if you don’t act how boys want you to act!” I asked this eleven year old girl what that meant, and she said, “You need to wear shorter skirts, unbutton your skirt, stick your boobs out when you walk and wear lots of make up, like me.” I looked at her, saw Barbie, and felt sick in case it was true. I interrupt this post to bring you my list of things I see/hear about little girls doing that makes me sick:

  1. Wearing string bikinis (outside of dress-ups)
  2. Wearing high heel shoes (outside of dress-ups)
  3. Talking about kissing boys and making their friends who haven’t been kissed feel inferior (have seen this in four-year-olds)
  4. Calling each other ugly
  5. Calling each other sluts (have seen this with year two kids!)
  6. Using “bitch” as a term of endearment.
  7. Teasing friends who aren’t allowed to wear make-up

Anyway, I’m basically bothered in a big way by anything that makes out that girls and women aren’t allowed to be smart else nobody will love them, or if they’re pretty they must be stupid, or if they enjoy playing or watching sport they’re obviously gay. Other things which irritate me include the phrase “women and children”, indicating that women are somehow below men and need to be sheltered and protected, when people say “men and girls” when they mean “men and women” and being addressed as “bitch”EVER.

Also, I don’t like being asked, especially by men, why I don’t wear make-up. To those men I say, “You first!”I shouldn’t have to remove every hair below my eyebrows, and some from my eyebrows, cover my face in goo and force my body into all kinds of painful contraptions because I was born with a vagina! Yes, I said “vagina”. I have one of those and a brain at the same time.

I was thirteen and really wanted to get a job as a trolley collector at Coles (please don’t laugh. I just really like shopping trolleys). I told my dad and he said, “I’ve noticed something about all the trolley girls in Maryborough; they’re all boys.” I then stopped talking to him completely for two weeks while mum and I looked around for trolley girls. We found several, I then spoke to dad to point this out to him and he said, without ever meeting those girls, “Yes, but they’re not smart! Most girls aren’t smart like you! You can get a nice inside job behind a cash register!” So, that’s what intelligent women have to aspire to, eh dad? Checkout chick. Great. Alert the Nobel people.

As a child I played with an equal mix of “boy” things and “girl” things; my Barbie really loved her monster truck. My dad drew the line, though, when I had my heart set on a skate board. He said they were only for boys and lesbians. He actually told his seven-year-old she couldn’t have a skateboard because he didn’t want her to turn gay. Yes dad. That’s what’ll do it. A skateboard.
I’ve still to this day never ridden a skateboard.

If anyone has similar stories to anything outlined above, I’d love to hear from you!

Signed with so much love,

The Pretty Kitty.