No Shows

Only four children here today. And three of them sound asleep. Two of them leaving shortly.

It's surreal.

Mostly because the one family that didn't show that should be here hasn't called and isn't answering my calls. I start imagining all sort of scenarios when this happens. Why maybe they have just decided to leave care without a word–I put myself through this every time and usually they've just been sick or something and forgotten to call. But still I go over the past week, worrying.

Was the baby's shirt too dirty when they picked them up yesterday? I'd lost the bib somewhere between nap and lunch, after all. She tears it off at every opportunity. Are they fed up with the dirty knees and inside out socks? Let's see, the father picked them up yesterday–one kid had just smashed a graham cracker all over the floor and their kid had shredded an old coloring book. I figured it would keep her from climbing the cupboards while I fed her sister, so I allowed it, but it really was a disaster when he came in.

Speaking of climbing on cupboards, this kid is insane. She is always climbing and when I warn her to get down she does this heart stopping victory dance as I approach. Two days ago she fell off and got quite a bump on the back of her head. Two weeks ago she climbed a toy outside, slipped and got herself a pretty nice shiner; she told everyone she fell out the window. Yeah–a window eight inches off the ground, in a toy house. She has been bumped and bruised more often in this first month of care than all the other kids put together in my entire career here.

Is that it? Have they called it quits because she keeps getting hurt?

Seriously, all day, I go through the possibilities. Why? When, really, there's nothing I can do or could have done different, and even if they have become disillusioned with this place, and moved on, I really don't care. I have another family lined up that will come tomorrow to take their place–a family who won't care what my floor looks like, and will trust me enough to know that whatever bumps or scrapes occur, well, that's childhood for you.

Grow up, girl. This isn't a popularity contest.

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