Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The End Of Innocence...

So I have to laugh... I work with kids, and they're just so innocent. And they can say the funniest things. I can't remember half of them, but if you ever have a bad day just stand near a child and you will find something to laugh about.

One day I asked my client how she got her hair so cute and curly and she starts talking about
something completely off topic about what her brother did.

And so we have music time at work, and so we sing songs like I'm a nut... traditionally not the girls camp version, but it depends on if we have people at work that remember the non camp version. But you can also tell that a couple of the little girls mothers are camp leaders cause they are singing the girls camp version :D

We also sing Mary had a little lamb, Do your Ears Hang Low, a song about a pirate ship etc.
Well there's nothing funnier than when you walk away and you have one of these children songs stuck in your own head than to hear to the same tune as the one stuck in your head, such as Mary had a Little Lamb, to hear a little girl start to sing "Mary had a little Jam, whose's lease was white with snow... or something about as random.

Or another client who'd be sitting there writing and then all of a sudden you hear "I went down, down, down to that burning ring of fire..." Coming out of the mouth of a six year old boy. It's hilarious!

Or the fact that you can peg what kind of personalities these kids have now at 3 to 7 yrs old. We have a drama queen and a social butterfly, and one's that the born mother that makes sure that all of the kids are okay, especially if one gets a boo boo.

And then there are the crushes of 5 yr olds. It's so blately obvious. Whenever one walks into the room where the other one is they instantly move towards them. But unfortunately there's another girl at our center that has a crush on the guy too, but he likes the other girl, and well you can see the daggers flying... and they're only 5!

And one day I asked the little girl if she had a crush on the boy after she says something about him walking past the door of the room, and she blushes, so totally cute, and she starts to smile, and sweetly and I'm sure you know the -I swear I'm telling the truth voice--- she says "NO!"

And about 5 seconds later, the boy comes into the room and asks her to play. And she beams! And I think, yeah girl, you don't like him at all. And sadly as girls we never change, we still blush and act innocent and swear that "no way we wouldn't like him", but secretly cheer everytime we're near the guy.

And then there's the kids who you tell them not to do something, but you can tell they still want to do it anyway. So they look at you, and they back up into whatever they wanted, or they wait until you look away and then they make a quick move for something. Thinking that you're going to forget that you just told them no or that if they still keep eyecontact with you that you won't see what they're doing.

And they're just so innocent I have to laugh. And I know someday they're going to be looking at little kids themselves going, oh why can't life be like that for me now.

It's memories like these that keep me coming back to TLC.

It's strange that tomorrow is the last day of my 6th summer working for TLC. ... which basically means that I started there originally in June 2004.

But I have a lot of fond memories.

Like my first client ever, a month or so into the summer we worked on spelling his name. So I just started repeating it to him and having him say it after me, kinda sing-songy and by the end of the day he had totally memorized it. We were still working on the rest of the letters of the alphabet, but he completely knew the letters in his name.

Or still that same summer, I had a client that seemed perfectly fine one day, until we were walking into the restroom for him to do the obvious so that we could go on community, and then all of a sudden, puke explodes out of his mouth, thankfully, after we had reached the tiled floor of the bathroom. And it takes me a couple of seconds to process what's just happened, and then unlike what I figured my initial response would be ( like throwing up myself) I just send the kid to a toilet and tell him to stay there. I get someone to help my client up to the couch and then I start in on cleaning up the up chuck.

Okay, don't ask why but I for some reason another of my favorite memories involves another case of upchuck.
So we were driving up to the Splash Park for community a year or so ago, and we are like between Ucon and Rigby and I'm driving a very crowded 15 passenger van, and all of a sudden I hear a gagging sound. And an "Uh-oh." And a yell for a garbage bag or something. Which of course we didn't have. So the child's tech grabbed the next best thing. The kids backpack complete with towel... And so they are also yelling for us to pull over so the kid can get out and walk and puke again outside if needed. And low and behold it's right by the County Line Road exit. That actually has a canal running right off a parking lot next to the road. Talk about good timing. So they get the kid out and he breathes some fresh air and someone else grabs his backpack and heads down to the canal where they commence to wash out the backpack and towel. And inside we find a green changing pad and stick it on the kids seat and we call for another van to meet us at the Splash park in Rexburg and take the kid back. And once we get to Rexburg I head over to my apartment to get some cleaning supplies to sanitize the seat and try to make it somewhat breathable in the van for the ride back. --- There's not a whole lot of airflow in those big vans.

And then there's this year's trip to the Splash Park.
Well this time I was driving the big white 15 passenger van, we have another mini van with kids behind us and a car with techs driving behind the vans, and a couple of cars with IBI therapists and their clients. And we're in this caravan of sorts because the company likes us to stick together incause someone breaks down on the longer trip to Rexburg.
Well we have an adorable little girl that's one of our clients that gets grand mal seizures and of course, guess when she goes into a seizure... while we are driving along highway 20. So I pull the big van over and her tech gets her out of her childseat and lays her out so she can bend and move as needed. Someone else is timing it and I call into let the center know what's happening. Well the other 4 cars in our caravan have pulled over too. And a couple of the techs run up to see what's happening.

The child's seizure ends and she recovers and we are able to get everyone buckled back in and we start to pull back out. All five of our cars merging back onto Highway 20. And then I check the rear view mirror, and guess what is coming across the emergency pull out in the middle of the highway. A police vehicle with lights flashing!

And we realize that it's probably not a good idea to drive away from him. So I pull back over, the mini van behind me pulls over and the 3 cars behind us.

And the cop gets out and walks up to the last car in our caravan, which apparently the drivers window doesn't open, because we then see the drivers door opening and they talk. The officer walks back to his car and we all pull out again.

But isn't this a funny explaination to explain the only time I've ever got pulled over on the highway, not to mention the fact that it was in a company van. :D

And I probably have a million other stories from work, chasing 5 yr olds up the lanes of bowling alleys or trying to push a slow bowling ball up a lane with my bare foot and end up actually kicking it... yeah that hurt... or the reaction of my client with Cerebral Palsy on his first experience playing with shaving cream, and rubs his nose, and ends up getting the stuff in his mouth and just starts to howl because it's so gross, and just keeps rubbing more on his face. And I was trying so hard to not laugh!

This has definately been a life changing job. I've loved coming back each summer and seeing how each of the kids has grown and improved. Because working with them everyday it can be hard sometimes to see the progress, but to leave and come back, you can compare where they were with where they were now. Some of the kids still may seem like little terrors now to some people that just met them.. and I say that with all of the love I have for them... but in comparision to where they were a year ago, or 5 yrs ago, it's like night and day, they have truely become angels at least in comparison to they're former selves.

I love the kids, but I definately have to admit that thanks to my experiences here, I know that there is no way (if I can help it) that I will get pregnant the first year of marriage. I've already cleaned up my own share of throw up and bloodied knees. I would prefer to send them home at the end of the day, at least for now. And hopefully whoever I marry will have plenty of nieces and nephews that we can spoil... and I can continue to enjoy my cousins kids too.

Well, it's getting late. Maybe I'll try to add more tomorrow, but I better get to bed.

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