I spent the day trying to take pictures once an hour. Everything was going well until about 9:40 – the fourth hour of my day.
The students were clearing away their breakfast things and Caleb started vomiting. This has been the worst year I’ve ever had for kids getting sick in the classroom. You’d think it would be routine for a preschool teacher but I have not found this to be true. This is about the 5th time in 2 months I’ve had a student start puking. Of course the child gets freaked out and they start crying. The other kids are either grossed out, curious or sympathetic and no matter which category – they tend to gather around the sick kid which is not what I want to have happening. So far I’ve been lucky to have kids puke in the garbage or I’ve been able to scoop one to their side in record time so the mess has been minimal.
So – daily routine kind of went out the window with that little mishap. But I got back into the swing of things an hour later. Then we had a fire drill… but for the most part, it was a typical day and I caught most of it on film.
It was interesting for me to notice how much of my day is quite predictable, or I can at least anticipate what might happen to and around me. And I realized that routine or ability to prepare is helpful when everything goes haywire – the sick kid, the spilled coffee, the sudden bad news about a loved one. Because most of my days don’t have big bumps, I can deal with them when they happen. And because I know what the comfort of routine feels like, I can work to get it back even with a few new wrinkles.
I am grateful for the safety and comfort of routines I’ve been able to create and sustain for myself. I know there are many who don’t have this same experience. Bumps and wrinkles are the routines for many instead of the lap cat who greets me morning and night, and the other systems I’ve put in place to organize myself and sustain the work I do as well as the relaxation I need to be ready for the routine of another day.