Something made me think of my old job the other day. It’s been flitting around the outskirts of my brain the past few days because I haven’t allowed myself to spend any time thinking about it. In the few months since I’ve been gone, I’ve gone to visit twice and it’s helped, but I’m not sure I can do it again.
For those new to my life, I used to work in a daycare. I was in the toddler room, 18 2-year olds to 3 teachers. I worked there for a short 6 months and it was both the best and worst job that I’ve ever had. They are so smart, able to do almost everything for themselves, but yet still babies.
I spent most of my day trying to prevent conflict and then trying to resolve conflict when I ultimately failed. I don’t think the kids took me very seriously. I’m kind of a pushover when it comes to…well anything…and I think the kids saw me as more of their equal than their teacher. But it meant they liked me best, so I was okay with that.
I had a lot of problems with the management as well as the other teachers. I felt that I did far more than my share of work and got no recognition for it. I also went to the management a few times about issues I was having and never saw any results. That more than anything is what drove me from the job. I felt completely unappreciated by my bosses. The parents were great though.
And the kids. My kids. My babies. I am crying as I write this and I spent both visits to the center bawling my eyes out. I miss them so much. They were so smart and so funny and so goddamn adorable.
The last time I went to visit the kids were out on a buggy ride and I was probably 30 yards away walking up the street. I was straining to see who was in the buggy before my eyes can even focus I hear “Trina!!!” Cue my heart breaking into a million tiny pieces.
It wasn’t always easy or fun. I got bit, hit, scratched. I got a chair thrown at me. I had to change ~20 diapers a day (oftentimes more, see: problems with other teachers) help wash ~18 hands 4-5 times a day. My lap was never mine but rather whichever 3 kids got to it and squished themselves onto it first.
But there were a few kids would cry and cling to me begging me not to go, if I left before their parents got there.
There was a little girl that at some point decided my name was Ms. Chicken and wouldn’t call me anything else.
There was my favorite girl, my daughter, who never ever left my side.
There were the parents that would tell me that their kid adored me and wouldn’t stop talking about me at home.
The kids that asked me to come to their house or if they could come to mine.
The hugs and the kisses and I don’t care that I was sick for 6 months straight and got strep throat from them, I miss them with every single cell in my body.
But I don’t think that I can ever go back. Because they may not have forgotten me yet, but they’re going to. I’m going to be one in a long line of daycare teachers that they have. And even if I was the best and even if I loved them the most, they are going to forget me and I can’t handle that.