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Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Infants And Toddlers

This is kinda what it is like in the "Infants and toddlers" room!
Boy am I tired! I took one of those conference child care jobs this weekend... the kind I wrote about once before where you help take care of children while their parents attend conferences. This time they really needed people to work in the infants and toddlers room, and I volunteered... I felt like I needed some baby cuddles!

The babies were awesome. I spent a lot of the day rocking babies to sleep, feeding babies, and just playing with babies. And, of course, changing diapers, which I really don't mind... I have changed diapers on kids up to the age of 21, so for me changing a little baby's diaper is absolutely pleasant! 

But I have mentioned before that there area lot of issues with the set up of the program. One thing that bothered me was that the "infants and toddlers" room includes children ages 0 to almost 4. Anyone who has or knows children realizes that there is a huge difference between 0 and 4! Infants, and even toddlers up to around 2 years old, spend a large part of their days eating, sleeping, and being diapered, and the time in between can pretty easily be filled with toys and cuddles and stuff. But 2-year-olds and up are a lot more mobile, and don't do very well just being kept for 12 hours in a hotel room with no structure or activities at all! So basically we had 3 and 4-year-olds running around like crazy and screaming, in the same small area where infants and toddlers were sitting, crawling around, or trying to sleep. It just wasn't the right setting for them. A 3-year-old is not a baby or a toddler. A 3-year-old is a preschooler, and needs a lot more stimulation and space to play!

The other issue I had is the same old problem of the company being pretty cheap and supplying the bare minimum of supplies... which for the "infants and toddlers" room, apparently meant a bunch of super-worn-out toys and ripped up books. They put in books like a Phineas And Ferb paperback... for babies! There were a lot of toys with small parts, like matchbox cars, that we had to keep taking away from the babies. And there were absolutely no actual baby toys. No shape sorters or busy boxes or anything like that. There were a bunch of baby dolls, which the preschool-aged girls absolutely loved, there was a Mr. Potato head toy, there were some large Lego blocks, and of course the stupid matchbox cars, and some crayons which we also had to keep taking away from kids. There was one baby who was about 16 months old, and some genius sat him on the floor with some paper and a cup of crayons to entertain himself with. And of course the 16-month-old just started eating the crayons! 

Also, the work day consists of 11.5 hours, with only a half hour break. And it is $10 per hour. I mean, dude. Come on. 

But desperately broke people like me will always show up to take those jobs! And aside from just being super tired (partially in thanks to certain parental units and their friends who stumbled in drunk last night and were hooting and hollering and waking me up) I really did enjoy the babies! There is nothing better than the smell of a baby's head. There is nothing better than the feel of a warm baby asleep in your arms. I mean, nothing better. They had cribs in there and you were supposed to put the babies into the cribs once they fell asleep, but during the morning I kind of broke that rule and held one particularly sweet baby for an hour, and it was just lovely. 

That reminds me, my little Squeak will be coming for Christmas again this year! But he's hardly a baby any more. He's a year and a half old. But still sweet as ever. I can't wait to see him. 

Now let me go catch some Z's, because I need to be up for Day 2 of this job, tomorrow morning! 

2 comments :

  1. I'm tired just reading your post! ;) That was a really long day with a lot of really little babies! My sister's kids all just starting having babies and they have been visiting lately. I had forgotten just how sweet it can be to hold and cuddle and newborn, but how totally exhausting it can be too!

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  2. Oh there is nothing as sweet as the smell of a baby's head! Your day sounds utterly exhausting though - truly tiring. I can't believe they put 3 and 4 year olds in with babies! And no good toys! That's frustrating!! I hope today that they give you a longer break. 1/2 hour in 11.5 hours is not long enough at all!!

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