Friday, November 11, 2011

We're Like The Postal Service In That Way

Hail, rain or shine, we always take the children in the daycare outside every day, either for a walk around the community, or at the very least, to the program playground.

On the sunny or dry days, that just means wrapping them up against the seasonal temperatures, either layering on sunscreen, or sweaters and jackets.

But it's the wet days that are the most fun. Every child has boots in their cubby, but more importantly, they also have rainproof covering, affectionately called muddy buddies. These are, as seen at the link, one piece waterproofs, with elasticated wrists and ankles. They can be a bit of a pain to put on, especially if you have a group of eight children all asking for help, some having mastered putting on their boots, while others struggle valiantly to put their leg through their sleeve, a task that is as hilarious to watch as you can imagine. But once they are on and zipped up, once the ankle elastics are pulled over the boots to stop rainwater flooding their feet, they are awesome!

On my second day at work way back in May it rained the proverbial cats and dogs. My group were playing in the yard, all safely zipped up, splashing in puddles, riding trikes in the rain. They were also sitting in a pool of water about a foot deep. I wasn't quite sure what to make of this, but the other staff assured me they were fine. "The worst that can happen is that we change their clothes when we go back in. They all have spares. This is good for them." I was stunned, and impressed.

I've already seen some of the snowsuits that parents are starting to stock their little darlings cubby with. They look like the muddy buddies, but with a much thicker lining. I'm looking forward to seeing the toddlers struggling to play in the snow, their arms stuck straight out from their sides by multiple layers of insulating clothing, beads of sweat building on their little faces, as they slowly heat up from the inside. I've been assured that this too is just as funny as it sounds.

All this post was inspired because of something else we did today that I just could never imagine being let do back home in Ireland. As it was a beautiful, cool, dry autumn afternoon, we took the toddlers outside after snack time, and stayed out there as the evening light faded. In fact, by the time we came back in, it was after 5pm and it was as dark as it was going to get outside. The toddlers had been outside, enjoying fresh air in a playground lit by soft lighting long after sunset. They loved it, and so did I.

Explain to me why this is seemingly not possible under supposed health and safety regulations in Ireland. It makes no sense! You are making us worse, not better, HSE!

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