Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Year Seven, Day One

Today is l'astronave's seventh birthday and my first day of my new job: 
I leave in an hour to go lead activities with seniors ...and toddlers.


No one told me in the interview that I'd be responsible for activities when the little kids from the on-site daycare visit the "grandfriends" on the memory care floor where I'll be working with people with Alzheimer's and other dementias. 

But I am.

("Memory Care." Ugh. There's no way to name this, I suppose, that doesn't mean to be kind but sound condescending. 
I like instead how Denny Crane, the old lawyer in Boston Legal whose mind is losing its edge, goes around saying he has Mad Cow. 
Maybe it could be the Mad Cow floor? Same initials.) 

The thing is, little kids frighten me: 
tiny sociopaths with high-powered motors and minds like vacuum cleaners that suck up and remember everything.

See > > >
Advertisers know.

The other things is, my new boss e-mailed me yesterday to ask if I had an activity we could do with the kids today.

She had told me she'd handle the first couple toddler meetings, but I guess she's too busy--she doesn't have any assistants until I start.  She didn't say that, but then, she didn't tell me I'd be doing it in the first place either. 

Have I mentioned she is very young?

I think I see the lay of the land here.

At first I was annoyed:
I don't even know what supplies we have, how can I plan an activity?
But then I decided to suck it up and ask instead,  
How Can I Help?

I may only be paid to be the lackey, but in truth, I do kind of want and am capable of handing the power and self-direction of a boss. Ridiculous though it is, I'd prefer to plan activities even before my first day than to walk into a tightly planned unit I have to conform to.

And also, I may feel uncomfortable being in charge right away, but I do have a lot of life experience . . . and the Internet!
I can think up Mad Cow activities myself, but I don't know what little kids can do.

I googled "toddler activities with leaves" and a few thousands ideas popped up. 
Today, we'll trace hands onto construction paper (there must be construction paper around, right?), cut them out, and staple their stems together to made a leaf chain we can hang up.

This sort of thing, but you know no child or Mad Cow made such a tidy item. >

I can do this.
I think I'm going through a Mid Life thing: feeling like a beginner but really being the old hand.
Mad Cows or Miniature Sociopaths, Bosses or Minions---we all have more or less the same hand shapes.

So, off I go!


Laura B said...

Oh, Fresca! I'm sure the paper leaf chain will be a great group activity for young & old alike...and Good Luck!!!!! on your first day at the new job- I hope it's actually FUN!!!!

Michael Leddy said...

Hands always work. If it were November, they coould be turkeys.

Also, congratulations on your blog's birthday. Long may it wave.

Zhoen said...

Happy blogiversary.

Oh, gods, toddlers. My nightmare. Will the elders be there as grands?

Obviously, I have no clue.

deanna said...

Your great attitude will save the day. It's at least half the battle, I'm sure. And you encourage me to recognize things I can see better at this age, when dealing with young bosses and so on. Fits with some things I'm learning to see about anger. So thank you.

Happy blogiversary, too!

Fresca said...

LAURA: It was fun! And you're right: everyone could do the paper leaves, with some help.

MICHAEL: It's good to use body parts in Arts & Crafts--always on hand, eh?

ZHOEN: Well, the elders are like grandparents--they seem to like the little kids--but a lot of them aren't really clued-in, so they're not very helpful with the kids. They needed as much or more help tracing their hands as the kids did.

DEANNA: Anger... Hm, yes, I'm sometimes annoyed or even outright angry at what seems like ineptitude until I realize it's just youth learning to be "ept"... or, rather adept, just like I had to.
And of course I'm still inept at lots of things, so it helps if I extend the same patience and understanding to myself!

Fresca said...

P.S. Thanks, all, for the birthday wishes: I'm glad some of us are still blogging... and still reading blogs too!