My four-year-old is an early riser (5:20 am is the norm in our house – yawn). This means he’s tuckered out by bedtime, which is great because we don’t have the going-to-bed tantrums, but it also means there are some days where he could still do with a little nap, just to stop him from morphing into a monster by early evening. But being the ‘big boy’ that he is, that doesn’t happen anymore, except on the two days he goes to kindy. Of course.
Why?! Why, oh why, will he nod off there on a little stretcher bed but fight me to no end at home if I even suggest “a little rest”?
It got me to thinking, what are some of the other things kids will only do at daycare? I asked around and this is what I and other mums I know battle with.
1. Flush the loo
I don’t know if it’s the routine of wee, flush, wash and dry hands that’s been drummed into him or the little visuals above the toilet that reminds him, but my son will always flush the toilet at kindy. At home? Nope. Well sometimes, but not often enough. My toilet water is usually yellow rather than clear these days.
2. Eat the vegetables
“My kids eat all kinds of food at daycare, but at home just WHITE food,” one of my mum friends tells me exasperatedly. I know the feeling. I love getting the cute kindy photos of my boys’ day in my inbox, but it always makes me giggle and sigh at the same time. Without skipping a beat, there is always a picture of my fussy toddler gobbling up his ‘nutritiously certified’ lunch. I’ve even tried making the same kindy recipes at home, but no. Kindy food is only edible at kindy!
3. Tidy the toys
My boys will jump from one toy to another leaving a trail of toy clutter behind them. While I’m more of a ’embrace the chaos’ kinda mum, I do do clean-up calls when the mess gets to me – always falling on deaf ears. Then what starts off as me coaxing them into picking up their things, becomes me loosing my mind. At kindy though, as soon as that bloody, “Clean up, everybody clean up” song plays I’ve seen my boys leap into action. And no, the same song doesn’t work at home. I’ve tried!
4. Sleep the sleep
I’m not alone in having sleep battles with my boys on their non-kindy days. Other mums tell me this is a pretty common problem with one saying her little girl will flat out refuse to sleep at home but will go down without a fuss at daycare. As for me, my toddler will scream down the house until his sweet lids close and I’ve already mentioned my big boy. At kindy though, it’s all about making their beds and lying down for a communal nap sesh with their little buddies. Awww.
5. Wash the hands
Those kindy toilets with their little handwashing station must be a world of fun because my boys love nothing more than an opportunity to wash their hands. While at home they’d prefer to smear Vegemite on the carpet than take a trip to the sink; at kindy they even show off to me how they can pump the soap, rinse and dry their hands. Oh and toss the paper towel in the bin. That’s right. All. The. Steps.
6. Follow the instructions
The teachers at my sons’ kindy run a tight ship but I am always in awe at how they can simply instruct a class full of children to pay attention. One minute they are chasing each other around the room like excited puppies and the next they are lined up in single file about to go outside. At home, It’s, “Put on your undies please. Put on your undies. Stop playing with that and PUT ON YOUR UNDIES!”