Archive for the ‘Daycare’ Category

Who want to play “Dora is Dead”?

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

On the way home from daycare Monday night, Reid was sitting alone in the backseat and Ken was driving. I, for once, was not sitting in the backseat as I usually do. (Don’t ask me how or why that started. I swore I wouldn’t but it really is easier.) Out of the blue, Reid asked, “Who wants to play ‘Dora is Dead’?” Well, you wouldn’t believe how quickly Ken can raise his hand while still driving safely! I had to ask Reid to repeat herself to fully believe it but it turns out that she really did want to play Dora is Dead. I had to decline the invitation in order to prepare supper. Reid said that the rules said that there were supposed to be 3 people playing but that it would be okay with 2. Who knew that there would be rules to such a game? In the end, Reid didn’t mention the game once we got home and so we don’t know exactly how it is played.

I suspect that she was thinking of an episode of Little Bear where the friends stage a pretend funeral for Lucy, Emily’s doll. I am going to ask the daycare teachers if they proposed the dead game yesterday when they needed the kids to quiet down a bit in the midst of a day when they couldn’t go outside. They’ll appreciate the humour in the question.

Daycare picnic: cupcakes, wagons and butterflies – Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Baking the cupcakes that we contributed to the potluck

A ride on Farmer Paul’s wagon

Again with the face painting

View More Wordless Wednesday Participants, look at my previous Wordless Wednesday entries, or
check out the Wordless Wednesday HQ. You’ll find lots of cute babies and kids at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Things I learned at the daycare picnic

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

We went to Reid’s daycare picnic on Friday night and, as always, I learned a few things while there. The first involved the kids in the yellow t-shirts in the picture below. Can you guess why they aren’t still all wearing them?

 Listening to Doug Barr at daycare picnic

When I first got there, all of the children were wearing the yellow. As their parents arrived, the children had the yellow t-shirt removed. The daycare staff then were able to tell which children were still “in care” and which were, more or less, being looked after by their parents.

I thought that this was a clever idea and it could be also be used at a birthday party at a crowded location. When the kids arrive, you could give them a t-shirt and when their parents come to pick them up, you would take the t-shirt off and put it in the treat bag. Hmmm… I wonder if they will be necessary for Reid’s party next month?

Secret life of a daycare cook

Friday, May 30th, 2008

I must have been like  school kids who think that their teachers live at school because I was a bit surprised when Reid announced that the cook at Reid’s daycare had taken some time off. Before the conversation ended, I knew more than I ever imagined I’d know about his life. It went something like this:

Me: What did Todd make for lunch today?
Reid: Todd is away. It was Won.
Me: Won?
Reid: *Wuh*-on!
Me: Oh, Ron! Sorry. (That should have been obvious but my brain was tired after a day in French class.) Where’s Todd?
Reid: What is the word for his woman?
Me: Mother?
Reid: No.
Me: Wife?
Reid: Yes. That’s it. She had another baby. He is staying home to watch over the baby. His older child goes to school by itself.
Me: (I had no idea that he had a child already, let alone one that was old enough to attend school.) How long will Todd be staying home?
Reid: He is staying home until… (Her voice trails off as she is clearly searching for an answer. Then with confidence) When he’s back, I’ll ask how long.
Me: If we ask the teachers, you could make a “Congratulations on your new baby” card.
Reid: Yeah! Let’s do that
Me: Is Ron a good cook like Todd?
Reid: Todd is a good cook. But sometimes he cooks yucky food. Sometimes we try the yucky food.
Me: Just because you think some food is yucky doesn’t mean that it wasn’t cooked well.
Reid: (No small amount of skepticism on her face. No words but much doubt.)

After driving a bit further
Reid: Let’s play daycare but there’s no director.
Me: (Wondering: do I ask to be director when we play? Why has she eliminated the option?) I want to be the cook.
Reid: (Humour in her voice) No, I want Daddy to be the cook. And I’ll be the student with CareB and Eeyore and Princess Dolly …

It would seem that in Reid’s world, it is laughable to suggest that men might carry Blackberries or women might do the laundry or be cooks outside the home. I hope there’s a little boy out there who has some pretty flexible ideas about gender roles. Note that I chose “boy” carefully in the preceding sentence. When Reid mentioned marriage recently she said she couldn’t marry L because she is a girl, too. I said that sometimes girls marry girls and Reid told me emphatically that she wasn’t going to do so. During this sort of exchange I usually tell Reid that she has to be a grown up lady before she can get married. If Ken is around, he throws in the number 30 as the minimum age. Dads can dream.

Earth Day bags – Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Earth day bags at the grocery store Earth Day bags and leaves

View More Wordless Wednesday Participants or look at my previous Wordless Wednesday entries.
Check out the Wordless Wednesday HQ.

I’m not that person

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

I asked Reid if any of the kids had commented on her braids on Friday. She said, “no”. “What about the teachers?” I prompted. No one said anything, according to Reid. I said that Ken had told me that the teachers had admired her 12 braids. “I’m not that person,” Reid said. “Pardon?” said the slow-thinking Mama. “I’m not Daddy, I’m not that person.” And it all became clear…

The teachers mentioned that I must have lots of patience to put all of those braids in Reid’s hair. Reid is the one with the tolerance and patience to sit while I comb and braid but I “bribe” her with stories for the full time I work on her hair. The promise of no hairbrushing the next day and only tidying the day after is a major draw – for both of us – as well.

Happy Earth Day, Paper bag style

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Happy Earth Day everyone! We’ve been working on our celebration for a few days already. I spotted an article on Tree Hugging Family last week that mentioned a project to have kids decorate paper grocery bags for Earth Day and then return them to the grocery store. The daycare teachers thought it was a great activity – you didn’t think I would organize a group of kids, did you? I asked at my local Loblaws and the manager agreed immediately to supply the bags and distribute the finished products. Ken and Reid took the bags to daycare on Monday, the kids drew on them and then Ken and Reid brought them back home. This morning I wrote, “Happy Earth Day!” on each bag and Reid and I took them back to Loblaws.  There was only one person at the front of the store and she was harried. I was tempted to say grumpy but since she was the only one at dealing with people checking out, I’ll allow that she might have been to busy to smile at Reid when she handed over the bags or even to say, “thanks.” Reid had been excited to take the bags in and didn’t seem to notice the cool reception.

Reid and I hurried to the bus stop, running down the ramps and crying, “Wheee!” as we went. The other people in the mall smiled, the “look at the happy little girl smile” rather than the tight, “I hope that crazy lady keeps going” kind. Reid was riding in her little umbrella-type stroller. She is probably too old for it but I didn’t want to spoil our adventurous morning (taking a bus is still an adventure for Reid) with a series of “C’mon, keep walking”, “Reid, if you don’t hurry, we’ll miss the bus” and “Mama is going to be very late for work if you don’t stop dallying” comments. We didn’t have to wait long for our bus and then Reid found us good seats, near the front this time, where we ate our bananas and discussed the other passengers, where they were going and why the bus was stopping. She wondered at the highschool boys who were able to go to school by themselves! The things teenagers do these days! When we got off the bus, there was no traffic on the 4-lane road we had to cross (practically a miracle) and Reid hurry-scurried to get into the stroller and we zoomed across the road.

The other kids and the teachers were already outside by the time we got to daycare. I put Reid’s new Blue Lizard sunscreen* on her and then she went to get a paper grocery bag, one of the ones that hadn’t been decorated, to help tidy up the play yard. The teachers were raking leaves, sticks and the like and the kids were putting this stuff into the bags. The paper grocery bags were just the right size for the 3 and 4 year old kids to manage. There were some of the large leaf-and-yard-waste bags but I doubt they would have been anywhere near as easy for the kids to fill. Giving each child a bag also helped to identify the slackers and ask particular individuals to help. Reid was her usual helpful self (not like last week) and picked up many leaves. She even offered tips to Claire about where she should be raking, at one point showing that there were leaves all across the front fence and not just where Claire was currently working. Claire was so polite when she told Reid that she needed to finish the area in front of her first. There was no hint of “thanks, kid, now if you and the other kids would just put the leaves into the bags faster …” in her voice at all. She is a good person to be spending so much time with so many small children. I had missed the soonest bus going downtown because I to clean up my coffee that I spilled and so I had 26 minutes to observe the kids (and take pictures, of course.)

* We’ve used Ombrelle sunscreen on Reid since she was old enough to have it applied. Ombrelle comes with the “seal” of the Canadian Dermatologists Association on the front and I’d heard/read about how it was better than some of the other mass marketed products. Last week, I read a post on Crunchy Domestic Goddess that discussed a recent study that said oxybenzone, a chemical in most sunscreens, has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption and cell damage. Amy, the blog’s author, referred to the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database and a list of the safest sunscreens for children. The type of Ombrelle I bought for Reid received a hazard score of 3. Some of the other products received a hazard score of 8. BUT some others received a hazard score of only 1. I searched for products on the 10 best list over the weekend and again on Monday and finally found some Blue Lizard for Sensitive Skin with an SPF of 30 that made the “best bet” list. There was a zinc oxide stick that has a hazard rating of 0 but it’s not suitable for being in the water or heavy perspiration. Reid plays in water each day at daycare throughout the summer and can be a sweaty little kid when she is running about and being 3 and 3/4 years old. I’m left with a bottle of Ombrelle that I think Ken and I will use since I’m cheap and the effects of chemicals on adults are much less. (Here’s hoping ;+)

Scammer girl!

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

Reid loves to play outside at daycare. When we arrive to take her home, sometimes she runs away or she comes running for a kiss and then zooms away with a giggle. Last night, Ken sat on a bench while Reid played until J, one of the teachers, instructed the children to each pick up 2 toys and take them to the shed. Reid leapt to her feet and said, “I can’t. I have to go home with my dad.” J laughed aloud and Ken told Reid to pick up 2 toys and put them away. He doesn’t fall for her scams.

It’s a bit surprising that Reid would try to weasel out of cleaning up given that she usually is keen to help the teachers. She’s a bit of a teacher’s pet. She gets that from me, I think.

On Russians and logic

Friday, April 18th, 2008

I attended a business dinner Thursday night with a delegation of Russian academics and government officials. When I first mentioned it to Reid, she nodded knowingly and said that Dora had been to Russia for Friendship Day. And it’s true, we have a DVD with an episode where Dora travels to France, China and Russia and maybe elsewhere. I don’t always pay attention to the Dora episodes.

Thursday morning, just before Reid left, she turned to me and said, “You should take me to daycare today since you won’t be home tonight.” Quite a logical proposition, when you think of it. I didn’t have a strong reason why that wasn’t possible and I hurried up and made my coffee and climbed into the car with Ken and Reid short minutes later. Ken drove us to daycare and then went on his way to work. I was early and took time to speak with each of the two teachers, remembering a couple things about which I’ve been meaning to ask. When I got to the bus stop at the side of the 4 lane road in front of Reid’s daycare – I have great sympathy for the parents who wait there with their kids – about 7 minutes before the bus was due, according to the telephone number on the sign. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I’d left Reid when she had a smile on her face.

The dinner with the Russian delegation was so interesting! Or, at least, it was once the fellow from the Russian Embassy who was able to translate for us arrived. They had questions about the price of land, what percentage of land was state-owned versus privately held, aboriginal rights and even distinct status for Quebec. There was another Canadian at the table and we did our best to answer while steering clear of politics. One man had a leaflet criticizing the Conservative Party’s election spending. They were VERY interested in that since the theme of the study tour was anti-corruption. Thankfully, I knew only the smallest bit about the subject and was able to give a brief reply. They responded with a comment about the separation of politicians and public servants. I think that means I maintained my impartiality. Maybe they just think I a waffler.

Reid and Ken seem to have had a good evening together. A bike ride and spaghetti were involved, along with a bath that didn’t include hair washing. Reid was asleep when I got home. I snuck in for a kiss before I went to bed but not right away in case she woke up and I lost my chance at grown up time with Ken. She half-woke at 11:00, calling for Ken but settled for me since he was in the basement. This morning Reid chose to watch Ken shave rather than visiting with me while I was in the tub. It stung a bit but went away when I realized I could read a magazine while I soaked with explaining the ads or the articles. Silver lining, eh?

Show and tell

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Since the first show and tell day, Reid has been particular about what she brings. Some weeks she knows just what she wants to take and others require many suggestions from Mama and Daddy. The problem, you see, is that she only wants to show and tell about things that are “bery cool”. I’ve privately questioned what a 3.5 year old knows about “cool” but I figure that it’s more than what an old lady like me knows.

For the first show and tell day, Reid brought her hockey helmet and talked about skating lessons. Well, technically, I think that the kids answer questions that are posed by the teacher about the article. One of the other kids brought ice skates. I expected Reid to complain because I had refursed her request to bring skates. She didn’t mention it and I refrained from voicing my “Who sends skates with blades to daycare?!” comment.

Since the first day, Reid has brought:

* the green, hooded towel that looks like a frog that Sulienne gave Reid when she was a baby. She talked about her swimming lessons, I think;
* CareB, her pink Care Bear;
* Dora coin bank that is a shaped like a large can. It has quite a few coins since Reid will sometimes ask for coins, even though we tell her it is rude, and sometimes people give her money just because. On the way to swimming of the day Reid took this bank to daycare, Reid shook it and delighted in the sound. Ken had a headache and was, thus, prevented from enjoying the sound in the same way.
* the “Go, Diego, Go” video that Reid took to make her point about girls’ rights;
* a Thomas the Tank Engine-shaped gel pack that wasn’t cold by the time show and tell happened but was still touch-worthy since the back is satiny.

I’m not sure what Reid will take this Friday. The teachers mentioned back in October that they would appreciate if we prevent the kids from being the same thing week after week as they can only come up with so many questions about a given item. With this in mind, I try to go over a few “warm up” questions with Reid on Thursday night. I take the responsibility for leading Reid to something interesting and about which she can answer questions quite seriously. I’m an over-achiever in some regards. But you probably thought that already.