Day Care Substitute

day-care-substituteIn the summer between my first and second years of teaching, while I was still single, I decided to get a job as a day care substitute. Each morning I would get a phone call, and I probably saw about 20 different day cares. Some of them were in areas of poverty, and some were in richer areas of town. I saw such a wide variety.

A few of them were so filthy, I didn’t feel like I could start working with the children until I had scrubbed the entire room and organized it. I’m sure that the health department would have been horrified with the condition of some of these day cares. The majority of the children looked so sad as their parents dropped them off.

After making sure the room was clean, I would look around for activities for the children to do. I took out play doh, and we all made animals. Then we would get on the floor in the blocks area and make a castle with blocks. I pretended to be a dragon coming after the children, who were roaring with laughter. I had no problem putting the children to sleep for nap time, because they were very tuckered out. And by the end of the day, the children didn’t want to leave.

Finally one day care booked me for the entire rest of the summer. It’s because I was the only one who could put a violent 3-year-old biter to sleep. (Yes, this boy bit children regularly and drew blood each time. I always wondered why he was allowed to be there.) No matter what I was doing at the nap time hour, someone would come fetch me to put this violent kid to sleep. First I calmly danced around with him in the dark, swaying and singing “Raindrops on Roses” softly, from “The Sound of Music.” Then I placed him on his mat and continued singing, softer and softer, with my eyes drooping closed. Eventually he started snoring.

At a previous daycare during the first month, there was another violent boy who was 2 years old. He cussed and hit everyone who came near, and he disobeyed every command. I knew nothing about parenting back then, since I was single, but I was used to being obeyed as a teacher. So the first time he disobeyed me, I took him and hugged him while he pounded me with his fists. I didn’t care if I got bruised, because for some strange reason, the love of Jesus flowed through me to this kid. There was nothing lovely about him, but I chose to love him and not allow him to injure anyone else. He thrashed about for what seemed like forever, and then he yielded to me. He looked me straight in the eye, and he knew I loved him for real. He obeyed me the rest of the day.

I couldn’t help but be reminded of how this situation was similar to salvation. Christ chose us and loved us when there was nothing lovely about us. We were wallowing in our sin when He opened His arms to us, and then our sin bruised Him as He chose to suffer and die to have a relationship with us. When we finally yielded to Him, the automatic and true response was to walk in obedience. Our relationship to Him caused a change in our behavior.

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2 Responses to “Day Care Substitute”

  1. SheliaD says:

    So very true Susan. I see it in my own children at times. When they are feeling neglected they act out. Only hugs and love from momma calms the savage beast within.

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