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

Posts tagged ‘thoughts’

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.

Whatever am I Doing with this Canvas!?

DSCF1111

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.

Feeling a bit spectrummy.

That’s all it is.  I think I’ve said before that I don’t like the term “Autism Spectrum Disorder” (ASD) because I don’t like the D word.  Seriously, don’t swear at me like that.  Some days I’m more spectrummy than others; it’s hard to explain and it can be triggered by anything or nothing.  Yesterday and today I’ve been feeling a bit spectrummy.  I listened to the one song on repeat for (quite literally) three-and-a-half hours yesterday, and I’m heading towards doing the same thing today.  Constancy.  Repetitive noises actually really upset me, but a song is a different animal.  Anyway, I digress.
There are certain traits not just mentally and emotionally but also physically that are common to all persons with Autism, a certain physiognomy, if you will allow, for want of better wording.  I’m not going to go into that too much here, it’s mostly just my own observations, but if you look at side by side images of persons you know to have autism, even very “mildly” (again excuse wording), you will notice commonalities, I’m sure of it.  One thing that I have noticed as common to spectrummy adults is the thinky-wrinkle.  This is the little wrinkle between your eyes that you get from thinking constantly about ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING EVER!  It’s similar to but different from a scowl line, and when you learn to pick the difference, it’s quite plain to see (maybe just me?  Someone confirm…)
When does it become noticeable? Well that depends how much you wrinkle.  Mine’s barely started now, I have the tiniest, shallowest thinky-wrinkle possible, and chances are I wouldn’t let you get close enough to my face to see it, but a school friend of mine had his very visibly and completely by fourteen.
I like to sit in the Quiet Carriage on the train and see how many thinky-wrinkles I can spot.  They’re quite plentiful in there.
How does it happen?  What are all these thoughts?  Well, from my own experience, they’re constant micro-calculations of one’s environment and surroundings.  Take this example that I hastily cobbled together in MS Paint, a scenario of walking along the footpath when a car (looks like an old Ford) is sitting in a driveway, the driver attempting to enter the flow of traffic.
Image 

For non-spectrummy-type people, this is not a stressful situation or one that involves a lot of thinking.  Walk around the car, right?  Simple.  For me, not simple.  I have the “walk around the car” bit sorted, because can’t go over it, can’t go under it, have to go through it… wait, this isn’t a bear hunt, it’s a walk to the shops, can’t go through the car, have to go around it, ok, sorted…  Around it how?  Around in front?  Around behind?  Maybe I should just wait for the car to go first, I really just want to walk in a straight line.  Too much traffic, too much standing.  What do I do while I’m standing, waiting?  I can’t stand there looking like I’m waiting, that’s weird.  Just go around the car.  Mud behind, go in front of the car, don’t walk in the mud, nice shoes, no mud.  Walk in front (by now one is only about a metre away from the car.  Stress levels are high.  Palms are sweating.  Heart is racing).  CAR MOVED FORWARD!  Wait, it stopped.  GIRLY RUN PAST FRONT OF CAR!  YES DO!

And that’s how thinky-wrinkles happen.

I was going to say more on this, but then I started thinking about yoghurt; fermentation; bacteria; cheese; Italian food; tomatoes; my garden; earthworms; intestinal worms; worming paste; cats; allergies…

Signed with love,

The Pretty Kitty.