The hangover was huge and the celebration wasn’t even over.
A playroom brawl of sorts. Some were reeling, some were rocking, a lot were whining – vintage “no pleasure” wine. The theme had changed from love-n-hugs to spoiled-n-cranky and the air stank of uh-oh maybe we shouldn’t have but it’s too late now..
The daycare party had started out super. We were having a ball. Face painting, exchanging valentines, enjoying treats, playing games and then, the vaguely familiar downhill slide. Bratty and Selfish, my two favourite friends, arrived uninvited to join the celebration, along with MyMommySaid and It’sMine. No longer enough room in the house. It’s around this time when I start to ponder.. why do it. Why put out so much energy and devotion time after time for events that take a lot of extra effort, only to feel jilted and as cranky as the kids (thank goodness for humour). Because sometimes, sometimes it’s just not worth it.
As I looked around and listened to the chaos ensuing a ripped off feeling settled in on my world, but it’s not about me.
I was disappointed. Darn kids. They were so not showing the love on Valentine’s Day. Actually no, I will change that – it’s not their fault. For this shambles I mostly blame the parents. Darn parents.
Yes parents once again I am talking to you. Just wanna help here. Take the blame graciously. Maybe choose small steps and make some changes. Read a few “how to not spoil your child” books or blogs. Join a therapy group. Do something.
Here is the deal. It was Valentine’s Day. We had been incorporating some extra learning components of love, friends, sharing and caring, hearts, red and sugar, into our daily activities leading up to the actual day and everyone was loving it. We made some adorable little milk carton mail boxes and crafted some sweet valentines to put in them.. however, little minds drift and we couldn’t quite keep the focus long enough to finish one for all of our friends, so I told the parents what we were working on and could they please bring some extra little valentines cards from their child to deliver to their friends’ mail boxes on Valentine’s Day. Pretty simple. Sigh, but no. Big mistake. This is when the problem began, and does every time. Some how that little bit of inclusion in our daycare celebratory affairs means parents want to take over. But don’t get me wrong.
Help is fine. It’s awesome.
Take over – not cool.
Offering to bring cupcakes is kind and welcome. But not loot bags, gifts, party hats and clowns (especially without consulting me) It’s not a birthday party. When these items come from home your child naturally is proud, but with this can also come possessiveness. Your child will insist on giving stuff out herself, refuse to share, not wish to leave their favors or participate in the activities planned and open their gifts/loot bags at inappropriate times. Then you have the copycats who hadn’t thought of this behaviour and immediately decide it’s the thing to do. Mayhem. When you times this by 6, believe me it becomes downright unruly, not the ideal party atmosphere. Ever.
I haven’t quite pinpointed the source of this behaviour. From the parents I mean. The need to become bossy and make everything so extravagant (which is nice way of putting it) and while seeming generous, the day becoming about your child.. what they will get as opposed to what they get out of it.
Ouch! Veronica just kicked me. For those of you who don’t know she is my imaginary friend, who speaks up – verbally or physically – letting me know things I should say to parents.
Ok. I’ll own it. I do know the source of this behaviour. Ahaha. Parents often try to take over (perhaps unknowingly unless they are just natural control freaks) out of guilt. They know they don’t spend enough time with their child and want to feel like they are contributing to their child’s happiness by telling us what to do (in their absence). This happens occasionally in the day to day routine, but when there is a party at a holiday time, the parents go nuts. They want to plan everything.
I’m fine thanks! I try to say. I am pretty good at these (after 10 years). Everything is planned.. but they don’t listen.
Really, we are ok! No use. They don’t care. And I don’t feel like I should be too rejecting of the offers because I want parents to be involved, to some extent. And the intentions are usually coming from the right place. Your hearts. You all adore your children. I know you do. And you are just trying to be helpful. I really appreciate it. Honest.
But what you don’t seem to realize.. and honestly I don’t know why. When kids are very young everything is already exciting simply because it’s a new day. Imagine their world and emotions when it is a “special occasion day” how exciting and uncontrollably super fantastically overwhelming it can be. Therefore on a day like this it only makes sense if you take a minute and think about your child and their world (and don’t add your adult guilt ridden baggage to the equation) that
LESS IS MORE
and any more than less is too much and everything starts to go wrong until there is a complete
NO ONE. HAS. FUN.
But as always children are the best. Waking up after their much needed naps as fresh as can be, forgetting all about the morning party mess. Armed with millions of hugs and kisses for me. Not just because it’s Valentine’s Day, but because they are so great.
That’s why I do this job.
I love you guys