Friday, November 16, 2012

Story from the Trenches

There is one little girl at my work site who loves to throw temper tantrums. Who can count how many tantrums she throws a day. They usually happen when things don't go her way (duh, like every toddler) and/or during rest time - she refuses to lay down for a nap. I got to hang out with this girl twice at work the other day, and surprisingly to us all, she did not throw any temper tantrums in my presence. That made me feel very good.

The first time was during a fire drill. She did not know that the fire drill was going to happen and was confused when we told her to get her shoes & coat on. "Are we going to the park?" "Do we get to go to the store?" We just told her to be patient and she will find out soon. As we walked outside with the alarm wailing, Her questions kept coming. I was waiting for a full blow-out when we got to the "safe place" and waited to go back inside. Instead she just followed her friends, held my hand, and we were back in her class before we knew it.
The second time was during rest time. Like I said before, this girl refuses to rest and will throw a fit for 1.5 until rest time is over. Usually her teacher will sit in a quiet room with her and play until everyone wakes up. On this day, her teacher was gone, so she was brought into my office to hang out. Mind you... there are no toys, books, or any fun things. There is a computer with no sound, a weighing scale, and bandaids. So what did we do for an hour and a half? Well, we chatted. And that is basically it. I brought out my notebook and a purple pen, and she scribbled for a bit. We talked about our favorite colors. Then for most of the time together we did a Google image search of Van Gogh's A Starry Night. -- her favorite thing ever, besides purple butterflies. I printed off a picture  and cut out the "Van Gogh tree" and she played with that for the rest of the afternoon. Showed it to all the teachers & staff and never let it out of her hand.

The whole staff seemed very surprised at her behavior that day. I guess she just grew attached to me, felt safe, and didn't need to tantrum at all. It felt really good to have that affect on her. It is nice to know that I am making a difference at work.

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