Saturday, January 27, 2018

Eating Green Beans With My Fingers and Other Oddities That Come With The Daycare Job

Being a daycare provider has effected my life in many, many ways. As with any job, there's both positive and negative effects. I'm lucky because the positives far outweigh the negatives. Obviously since I'm heading into year seven of daycaring. In those seven years I've picked up a lot of....we'll call them habits, that I'm fairly certain I wouldn't have acquired in any other field of work.

The first being what I call "the teacher voice." It's that authoritative, being able to talk over a dozen kids voice. It's the voice I use to call to my kids on the playground that makes every other child playing stop and get ready to go too. I've had to apologize to numerous parents sitting on the park bench watching their child play. It's the voice I've acquired that makes every child in the Target toy section behave (every child but my own of course).

Then there's that wonderful mothering everyone instinct. It's now second nature to take care of everyone around and make sure they're okay because that's what I do every waking moment. I recently was sitting in a business meeting when another person sneezed. Without even thinking where I was, I asked "bless you. Do you need a tissue?"

"No thanks," the poor gentleman replied, as he started to get back into our talk.

"Are you sure?" I asked again, a habit I've come to ask the daycare kids and my kids. I've learned the hard way not to take their answer seriously the first time because the answer will always be no, even if they have snot covering their face from that sneeze.

My fellow businessman looked at me questioningly and said, "no really, I think I'm good." I slowly realized the conversation that had just taken place, but I couldn't stop myself from saying the rest that I'm accustomed to:

"Okay, let me know if you change your mind. The tissues are just right here." Luckily we all laughed about it, but I've also caught myself handing out a napkin to someone during a business dinner. I did stop myself from wiping their mouth (that time at least).

Then there's the unfortunate habits I've picked up from my kids (my three and daycare kiddos), like looking at the tissue after I blow my nose (boogers really are fascinating, apparently). The kids have an odd aversion to fresh green beans. They MUST be canned green beans (no added salt. I shit you not, they can tell the difference and comment if I buy the wrong damn can). They also prefer to eat them with their fingers, one at a time. Like they're savoring each and every green bean they put in their mouth. They also do this with salad. They refuse dressing on their salads and instead use their fingers to eat each piece of lettuce/spinach/kale/arugula until it's gone. 

So odd but at this point I don't think much of it. We once had dinner guests over and served green beans. All of the other food was finger food (burgers, fries, watermelon slices, etc.) so I when I put the green beans on plates I didn't even bother with forks. My poor friend was clueless and gave me an odd look as I dug into my green beans with my finger just like my kids. She politely inquired about silverware. I didn't even realize I was doing this until this embarrassing encounter. Luckily, my friend is a good sport and laughed with/at me.

If you ever see me doing something odd, just assume I picked it up from daycaring. Chances are pretty good it came from my own daycare experiences or from the kids. I blame them.