Monday, January 19, 2009

The Group

at the end of the day, i discovered that there were angry bruises on my knees. oh boy, the labour of love :( i never even noticed when it happened. the nursery changed location, and now, the room doesn't have those spongy mats that protected the kids (and their minders) from falls and scraps. if i looked like that by the time the babysitting session ended, i wonder what the kids looked like :P

without realising it, my stint at Church's childcare is almost over. i was only obliged to help for 10 weeks. it was such fun playing with those adorable tiddly toddlers that i considered staying on, but i am sorry to say that it also meant working with adults, which is much less fun :P

it makes me sad to see the forces of socialisation at work even when the children are so young. the children are always brought through a series of activities during the 2 hours - handicrafts, songs, storytelling and games. all these activities are, of course, carefully planned to help optimise their development. what happens when a child doesn't want to follow through?

that is not allowed. i spent the whole morning chasing a determined little girl who wasn't interested in singing or colouring or listening. she just wanted to wander around the room and explore the many objects lying around. we played games and she decided to run off with the ball instead of passing it. finally, another nanny firmly grabbed her and told her that she was being a BAD girl. she should follow her friends and obey instructions. that is a GOOD girl.

suddenly, i didn't know why i was trying to make her clap her hands or sleep with the group. she was happy, her safety wasn't in danger, ok, she doesn't follow instructions, but for goodness sake, she's only all of two years old! maybe she doesn't know why these adults are trying to make her go left when she wants to go right, and sit still when she wants to walk.

one day she'll learn to behave as society dictates. she'll learn what it means to be a GOOD girl. she has to, because being part of the group entails conformity. but surely, growing up doesn't have to start at two :( i think, next week, i'll run about with her. who wants to follow all the scripted actions all the time?

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