I know people call it the terrible twos, but I think being 3 or 4 is harder. Every day must feel like a roller coaster. Your mom leaves you at day care and you’re sad, so you cry. But then you get to go on the swing so you start to laugh. All too soon, it’s someone else’s turn on the swing and that’s really sad, so you cry again. But then someone picks you up and makes some really ridiculous faces and you’re laughing all over again.
|When you’re three, riding the swing is a highlight.
Volunteers in Pokhara, get to experience the roller coaster of toddlerdome at one of two day care centers in between school drop off and pick up at one of the children’s home (see last two blogs about Everest Children’s Home and the Street Kid’s Rehabilitation Center). Today, I’m at one of the day cares that we’ve nicknamed the Garden Day Care because the Nepali name is long and difficult to pronounce for my English trained tongue. This garden day care is always a flurry of activity. There are three teachers and anywhere from 15 to 30 children. The extra hands volunteers provide to break up fights, chaperone shifts in the swings, help feed the kids lunch, lead songs and dancing in English, clean dishes, brush teeth, help wash hands after a potty break and comfort anyone who is crying are a welcome addition to the team. There are endless things to do to help out from cleaning and disinfecting toys to providing entertainment and distraction to children who just really miss their moms.
This past week, our two volunteers at the center, Zarina and Marlene made bubbles out of dish soap, glycerin and water. Their activity turned today’s playground outing into a bubble wonderland. In case you haven’t been around toddlers for a while, bubbles are definitely a highlight of any 3 year old’s rollercoaster filled day. Bubbles are enchanting and surprising. They float out of reach and then come close enough to catch. Best of all, before you can get upset about one vanishing, there are more floating just above your head. As Zarina and Marlene blew bubbles today they also blew away concerns for missing moms or the need to punch a neighbour, which basically means, today, they were heroes.