Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

“Well done you!”: A Parent’s Tribute


Tuesday 06 June 2017

A parent’s tribute to her son’s early childhood teacher

Do I have his bag packed, are there nappies in the bag? What about a box of raisins for the journey? How will I carry the coffee back to the table whilst pushing the buggy and holding his toast at the same time? Oh, but how I need that coffee. Wait hang on a second- how much sugar is in that jam he is eating? Which is usually followed by…. ‘I must pick up toothpaste’ (fluoride free obviously).


This is just a tiny insight into the thinking of a new mother learning on her feet. My every day involved task after task, that I would tick off on my mental checklist. It’s hard for me to admit, but I felt that only once this mental checklist was completed, could I consider myself to have been a successful mother that day.

In hindsight, it was these very same tasks that took me away from all the precious moments unfolding before my eyes. While I was juggling this artificial stress, I was missing out on “Mammy look I made a rainbow shape out of my toast” …. or, “look- I put the straw in all by myself”. I never heard my son’s words fully, nor did I truly feel my toddler’s accomplishments. I just saw task after task.

So, as you can imagine, when I watched my loving little boy walk down the road for his first day of preschool I found myself greeted with a surge of conflicting emotions. I was honoured to say that this beautiful little boy, smiling so openly, was mine. Yet, I felt an alarming sadness that I had never stood still long enough to watch this wonderful little character grow.

Now here I was handing him across to a group of childcare practitioners that I did not know. Hoping that they would know how he can be a ‘particular’ little fellow who likes certain things done in a specific way. Hoping that they too would know how to master the infamous ‘task list’. Hoping that they would willingly play Robin when he wants to be Batman. Or that they would know Buzz Lightyear & Woody are best friends who simply can’t be separated. More importantly, I hoped that they would recognise if he was feeling sad and know how to comfort him in the way that only I know how.

I would soon learn that there was no need for any of the above anxieties. To say he has blossomed within their care is an understatement. My son adores these women like family. He gushes about the fun things they do together. From painting to making robots, he loves nothing more than exchanging stories about his day. I hear all about his ‘teachers’, about their families and their holidays. They too know all about his family and the things he loves and enjoys.

For instance, one Sunday collecting rocks on the beach, my son asks can he bring the gold stones back to show Ann the treasure he found on ‘family Day’. “Ann will love my pirate treasure. She knows I’m a pirate”. It is these passing comments that feed my deep sense of the connection and trust he shares with these women.

There are no inhibitions, no boundaries; he can just be who he wants to be on any given day. Monday a pirate, Tuesday a robot and Wednesday, well grumpy, if he wishes to do so.  I guess what it comes down to is the fact that these women are his first meaningful connection outside of his family. When we think of it like this you can’t help but consider how deeply profound and significant this relationship is.

As my son comes to the end of his first year of preschool it is now so clear to me what a unique and wonderful role a childcare practitioner plays in our children’s lives. Not only do they care and nurture our little ones daily but they also introduce them to many firsts in life. Their first group activity, their first songs, their first plays, their first friendships, and of course the trickiest of all how to resolve their very first conflicts.

On a final note, I am a parent who is so in awe of their work. I also believe that life could be really wonderful if we took a leaf out of their book. If we stopped being so hard on ourselves and halved this never-ending task list that we create to maintain our quest for ‘the perfect life’.

Now I try to focus on having a little bit more fun with my son every day.  The world will not end if he gets crumbs on the good shirt! After all it is our insightful friend Dr.Seuss who reminds us “sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory”.

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Human Resources(1) linc(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) scéalta(41) Valerie Gaynor(1) Trigonometry(1) Albert Einstein(1) under 3's(3) Laughter(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Time(1) The Lullaby Book(1) outdoors(4) NAEYC(1) community(5) risk(2) COVID-19 Reopening(1) SPICE Framework(1) play(34) Decision Making(1) Through the looking glass(1) Window(1) Maths Week(1) INTO(1) keezy(1) National Awards 2019(1) Shapes(1) Performing(1) child-centric(1) Educators(2) Positivity(1) Funding(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) Digital Devices(1) friendships(1) christmas(9) Siolta blog(8) Arithmetic(1) Touch(1) code of professional responsibility(1) Leprechauns(1) MA(1) STEM(3) Youtube Series(1) New Appointments(1) Whole Group(1) eating(1) Employee(1) social media(1) Childhood(1) Engineers Week(2) Well-Being(10) continual professional development(1) Blocks(1) Santa(2) Gardening(1) Rich Documentation(1) bonds(1) UN(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) Aistear(122) Settling in(4) Research Seminar(1) Party(1) Identity(5) The Play and Learning in the Early Years(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) San Miniato(4) Playschool(1) Vietnam(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(1) Workforce(1) Investment(2) Educator of the Year Award(3) Diversity(1) Irish(1) Malaguzzi(1) budget(1) Family wall(1) Body Language(1) Intention(1) Super Shed Stories(2) Kids Own(1) Stress(2) Sculptures(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Communications(1) Online(1) Anxiety(2) child-centred approach(1) awards 2020(1) TOY Programme(1) social science(1) Ariana Pucci(1) TRAP(1) preschool(4) Primary School(2) Biting(1) interacting(2) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Interactions(2) early years learning(1) Confidence(1) Universal Design(2) Visitors(1) Inter-generational learning(2) Appreciation(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Treasure(1) Socioemotional development(1) Research Conference 2019(1) show and tell(1) Favouritism(1) Consent(1) Academics(1) Valentine's Day(3) science(3) play pods(1) Fee Play(1) Family(1) Craft(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Montessori(3) Lego(2) Fantasy play(1) ICBN(1) Painting(1) The Jelly King(1) Upcycling(1) Sequins(1) E.coli(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Maternity Leave(1) Self-Esteem(1) ReCreate(2) science week(2) National Pyjama Day(1) National Awards 2018(2) Creativity(4) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Confident(1) Irish guidelines(1) NCCA(3) movement behaviours(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Child Care(1) EM Standing(1) Kerry(1) Capable(1) ECEC Setting(2) ears(1) toddlers(3) Professionalisation(5) Challenges(1) Afghanistan(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) RTE Investigates(1) Workplace well-being(1) coronavirus(1) man up(1) developing motor skills(1) Music(3) First 5 transitions for children award(1) ECEC(3) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) emotions(2) Flowers(1) Orla Kenny(1) Cork(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Sessional service(1) Children(4) Covid19 crisis(1) CPD(1) Síolta QAP(1) mushrooms(1) Children's Rights(3) Inclusion(3) Nuturing interactions(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Smiles(1) Pre-School Services(1) Breathing(2) Early Years Educators(3) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Patterns(1) Graduation(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Vertical grouping(1) Margy Whalley(1) Qualifications(1) CIT(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) AsIAm(2) conversations(1) apps for children(1) Little Buddies(1) Visual Impairment(1) Snack Time(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Leargas(1) Degree(1) Covid response(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Buddies(1) Pobal(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Recycle(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) risk assessment(1) University(1) purpose(1) june29(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Death(2) Running(1) Our Little Seed(1) code of ethics(1) Culture(2) Book Review(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) Italy(1) UD(1) World Health Organisation(1) Reading Time(1) Early Years(1) maternity health(1) Inspirational(2) Plastic(1) First 5(1) National Holiday(1) documentation(4) Child mental health(1) supportive environments(2) Arlene Forster(1) MECPI(1) Wendy Lee(3) Trade Unions(1) AIM(2) Opportunities(1) imotion(1) Reopening Childcare(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) dining experiences(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) Maynooth(1) Learning Journal(2) Self Help Skills(1) Prexit(1) Pedagogical leaders(1) UNCRC(2) Together Old and Young Programme(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) bloom app(1) Inter-generational(2) Mount Everest(1) Photographs(1) refugees(1) Plants(1) Light table(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) environments(1) Quality(4) learning(19) conference(1) Queues(1) youdoodle(1) Affordability(1) Adoption(1) Winter(1) Infectious diseases(1) Autism(4) Belonging(3) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Snakes(1) Learning Stories(9) early childhood educator(2) Kilkenny(1) Mark Twain(1) Mantra(1) Exercise(1) Ceremony(1) Thanks(1) Infection Control(1) SAC(1) iOS(1) Arts(1) preschool settings(1) Competent(1) Games(1) Grief(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Policy(2) Empathy(1) Obesity(1) Care-giving routines(1) routine(2) Sustainable(1) Thinking(1) Early Learning and Care(1) Equality(1) children development(1) Learning Story Awards(2) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) phone apps(1) family time(1) Supernanny(1) Exit interview(1) Childcare(3) Wrapping paper(1) Feeding(1) Children's Voice(1) Summer(1) Maria Montessori(1) Maths(5) Buddy Bench(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Wonder(1) reopening(1) Jenga(1) Anthony Semann(1) gender bias(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Treasure Chest(1) Technology(3) Limerick(1) European Project(1) dublin(2) ECCE(7) learning bias(1) Engineering(3) Eritrea(1) Self-regulation(1) Trick or treat(1) Exploring(1) books(4) Mixed age groups(2) baby room(1) Awards Night(1) Training(2) research submissions(1) Horizon 2020(1) Builders(1) Line-ups(1) Sport(1) Syria(1) Wilenski(1) Exclusion(1) Early Childhood Ireland(4) dining(1) Design(1) Creative(1) School Age Childcare(1) Shoes(1) overhear(1) Names(1) Reggio Emilia(1) Learning journals(1) Sweets(1) GoToMeeting app(1) Performance Management(1) Traditions(2) PIP(1) CCTV(1) Gratitude(1) Engagement(1) value(1) Routines(2) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Behaviour(3) Certificate(1) relationships(17) Halloween(2) structure(1) Awards(2) Covid pandemic(1) Environment(2) primary education(1) Budget 2020(1) Mayo(1) outdoor play(6) Interaction(1) lockdown(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) Traffic Lights(1) animals(2) early years research(2) Recycling(2) Advocacy(1) Mathematicians(1) life long learning(1) Giraffe(2) Mo Scéal(1) behavioural science(1) reading(5) Meet the Members(1) transitions(10) pablo(1) experience(1) Rituals(1) curiosity(3) Community involvement(1) Social Skills(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Staff Motivation(1) educarer(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Relaxation(1) Independence(1) parents(6) Spiders(1) Nonverbal(1) meals(3) healthy eating policies(1) Trade union(1) HR(1) aistear blog(3) Adverse Childhood Experiences(1) Leadership(1) Reggio(1) Reggio Children Network(1) Graduate(1) food(1) story time(2) Mental Health(4) Thank you(1) Universal Design Guidelines(1) Identity and Belonging(4) risky play(2) Children and families(1) listening(1) mental health problems(1) ERASMUS+(3) Titles(1) Learning Story(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Masterclass(2) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) worries(1) Study Trip(1) COVID-19 crisis(1) Time Out(1) Nutrition(1) keep in touch(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Mindfulness(2) Yoga(1) art of the relationship(1) journey(1) ELC(1) responsive relationships(1) Sustainability(3) Communicating(1) collaboration(1) COVID-19(8) Scéalta Book Review(1) Pen green(1) Scents(1) Magda Gerber(1) Participation(2) emotional environment(2) Health(2) outdoor space(3) Impact(1) reopening ireland(1) Children's Research Network(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) annual conference(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Snacks(1) Sleep(1) Effect of Lockdown(1) GDPR(1) Budget 2019(2) Xbox(1) Imagination(3) Penguins(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Tuscan Approach(2) Mealtimes(1) Celebrations(4) DCYA(6) Fabric(1) Art(6) Document Learning(1) listen(1) development(8) communication(4) Facebook(1) Easter(1) staying connected(1) Norway(2) Building Resilience(1) Role play(1) Leaders in Practice(1) learners(1) DES Inspection(1) Event Guide(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Christmas Creativity(2) Síolta(121) Loss(1) feisty(1) Oireachtas(1) National Childcare Scheme(1) racism(1) educating(1) Reflective Practice(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Scéalta Blog(99) Potential(1) Interests(1) Magic(1) Budget 2018(1) play therapy(1) Administrative Burden(1) early life(1) Weather(1) Love(2) babies(7) Teamwork(1) Trauma-Sensitive(1) Maynooth University(2) gender stereotype(1) Hand Hygiene(2) respect(5) play pod(1) Playdough(1) Map(1) Digital(1) planning(1) blog(37) Japan(1) Cognitive development(1) curriculum(5) Research and Professional Learning(1) Change(1) Academic Skills(1) Story(1) Inspections(1) Bereavement(2) Dance(1) pets(1) EECERA 2016(1) First 5 strategy(1) Mud kitchens(1) Elders(1) Care routines(1) Awards 2019(1) Seas Suas(1) play stories(2) stories(3) Workplace Relations(3) Laugh(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) trust(4) Storytelling(6) Magnavacchi(1) Home Corner(1) Drawing(2) RIE philosphy(1) Twitter(1) research(6) Pedagogy(1) Iceland(1) Your place(1) Book Club(2) Meal time(1) Glitter(2) Support(1) education(2) Brain(1) memories(1) Decisions(1) dogs(1) grandchild(1) Celebrate(1) Frustrations(1) Wesco(1) United Nations(1) childcare services(1) role playing(1) IGL(1) Iraq(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) College(1) Awards 2018(3)


Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine