I took care of two little girls one day this week, Grace (5) and Bella (4). They are both in preschool. Grace goes four days a week, and Bella goes 3 days. That day, just Grace had school. It was only the second time I watched the girls, and the first time I would ever go to the school. Since I am totally unfamiliar with the area, and the preschool is about 20 minutes away from their house, their dad gave me detailed directions he printed off the internet. He told me as Bella and I left the house, "Bella knows the way". I thought to myself, "Yea, right", and we took off.
We made it to the preschool with no problems, and I was quite proud of myself, seeing as how I am directionally challenged. Their dad told me to stop at a park on the way home from the preschool, so we did. We were only there about five minutes when Bella announced with a degree of urgency that she had to pee. I couldn't see a bathroom, but I saw a pavilion across the park, and figured it had to be over there. The 3 of us hurried over to find it was indeed a pavilion, and that was it. No bathroom. At that moment, Grace announced she also had to pee, "RIGHT NOW!"
So, I told the girls to hide behind a big tree, I took off Bella's overalls (of course she would have on overalls!), and I bent Bella over my knee so that she wouldn't pee on herself. That was successful, except that she peed on my foot. Meanwhile, Grace decided she couldn't wait for me, so she tried to do it herself. She wasn't so successful, and peed on her underwear and a tiny bit on her skirt. She seemed upset for a brief moment, and said we would have to go home. I told her , "Just take your underwear off, and give them to me. Your skirt has underwear shorts built in, so it's ok. That tiny spot on your skirt will be dry in no time since it is so hot".
By the time we got back over to the playground she decided she was dry and wanted to stay and play. We sat down to eat a snack, when a police car drove through the park slowly. Grace asked, "Is he here for us?" I laughed, said "No", then thought to myself what the scene may have looked like to a passerby. I envisioned the phone call I would make to their dad to tell him to come bail me out of jail! I held my breath until the cop pulled out of the park, and wheew, we resumed playing.
Bella and Grace both tried to go across the monkey bars. They both stopped at the top, looked down, panicked and yelled for me to help them down. A little boy they were playing with decided to show off, and he went all the way across, by stopping at the top to turn around and back his way down the other side. Grace decided to try again. (Way to go Grace! Don't let a boy outdo you!) I encouraged her like I had Bella, saying "You're doing a great job!", and sure enough, she went the whole way across. She was so proud of herself!
We finally left the park, and started home. Grace fell asleep within about five minutes. (I guess the monkey bars wore her out!) I was doing good with the directions at first, but suddenly Bella said, "Miss Jen!!" "Yes, Bella?" "You're going the wrong way!" At first I thought, "she doesn't know what she is talking about", but after a few minutes I realized she was right. I was going the wrong way. I turned around and after a while longer..."Miss Jen!!" "Yes, Bella?" "You're going the wrong way!" This time I didn't think twice. I turned the car around. Of course, she couldn't tell me which way to go, or the names of the roads, but she knew I was going the wrong way! I was starting to get edgy. I hate being lost. I feel totally out of control and I hate that feeling. I tried to remain calm, and figure out what I was doing wrong. "Miss Jen!!" "Yes, Bella?" "You're going the wrong way!" "I KNOW!! Er, I mean thanks Bella". After driving around for a ridiculous amount of time, I was really getting nervous. Will I ever figure this out? "Miss Jen!!" "Bella, I know I'm going the wrong way! I am lost, and I don't know what to do!" There was a pause, then her adorable little voice said, "It's ok, Miss Jen. You're doing a great job!" I immediately felt better. I calmed down, and figured it out, and we made it to their house, where we enjoyed the rest of the day.
Now, I don't know if Bella said that because I was saying it to her at the park all day, or because her parents tell her that, or because her teachers at preschool tell her that. All I know is, those five little words, "You're doing a great job", are so powerful! We should all say them often, not just to our kids, but to everyone! Our husbands, our parents, our friends, our coworkers, our waitresses, our bank tellers, whoever! See how they work their magic!
I was also thinking, wouldn't it be nice if we all had a little voice, who would tell us "You're going the wrong way", when we were about to go to school to get an art degree, about to marry a bozo, about to plunk down money to buy a doomed business, etc? (These are just hypothetical examples, of course!) Problem is, we probably wouldn't listen to that little voice the first time, either.