By Marissa Macy of marissamacy.com
7:00 a.m. — Arrive at the classroom. Make yourself a small sanctuary in the far corner of the room. Use foam blocks from the play area to create a barricade. Secure them with duct tape to make a wall that is tall enough to keep them out. This is where you will eat your lunch.
8:00 a.m. — The parents begin dropping children off. Some of these parents are very busy people and must throw their children over the partition as they pass through. Have your catching arms ready. Other children come with three diaper bags, a lunchbox, a morning sweater and an afternoon sweater. Keep track of these items. They will be important for you later.
8:30 a.m. — Most of the children are dropped off by this point, and it may or may not be within the legal child-teacher ratio. Never mention this if you would like to keep your job. It is still not safe to put your catching arms down.
10:00 a.m. — Begin the first round of bathroom breaks. Since the parents did not have time to tell you if their children are potty training, you need to take five minutes to tap each kid’s behind to feel what kind of undergarments they are wearing. If you don’t feel a diaper, mark their forehead with the letter “P” to identify which children you will be accompanying to the toilet. The ones without a “P” on their foreheads, you are expected to teach how. Some boys stand to pee, others sit to pee. You need to ask them. They won’t answer because they are two years old. You must guess. Once you think you’ve taken care of everyone, it is sometimes helpful to check by yelling, “Do any of you need the potty?” and watch for a show of hands.
11:30 a.m. — Lunchtime. This is not your lunchtime. Assist children with yogurt tubes and keep Timmy from stealing everyone’s raisins. Some children won’t eat their food; you need to eat it for them so that the parents never know.
12:00 p.m. — Nap. Lay out nap pads and sing anything you know that resembles a nursery rhyme. Approach each child and make desperate, empty threats. If none of them has a dirty diaper, need the potty, has peed themselves or are awake, then you may go to your barricade. Eat your lunch silently as not to wake them. Do not take the barricade down when you finish.
1:00 p.m. — Push the curriculum that the parents pay good money for. Force the children to sit in a circle. Teach them how to read, write, and how to do simple math equations. They will take an assessment at the end of the year, and if they do poorly, you will need to have office hours available for tutoring next year.
2:30 p.m. — Blow bubbles. This distracts them and gives you time to take deep, calming breaths. The children will scamper and scream for as long as you blow bubbles. Never stop blowing. Whatever happens: do not run out of bubble juice.
3:30 p.m. — You are covered in bubble juice. Everyone has peed their pants. There are no more baby wipes. Your barricade has been torn down, and there is nowhere safe. Nobody will do the required craft, so you must do it for them, using each of their unique artistic shortcomings. You look at the clock. You shouldn’t have done that, because it certainly isn’t over. Someone is crying, and it is you. There is blood. It takes ten minutes to realize that it is your own.
4:00 p.m. — You jump over the door partition, alerting the infant teacher on the way out. You need to find a safe place, but there are none. The parking lot is full of cars. The parents have come to pick up their children. Get on your knees and beg each of them to pick you up instead, to take you somewhere safe. They don’t recognize you. One woman, a sweet lady whose child’s face you cannot remember, stops before you. She picks you up by the armpits and puts you in her minivan. She gives you a juice box and takes you home to rock you to sleep. She names you Amber. She is your new mommy.
About the Author
Marissa Macy is a nanny by day, comedian by night, and a filmmaker when she can afford to call herself that. She likes to remind people that she was a top student who could have done anything she set her mind to! But instead of being a world-class engineer or neurosurgeon, she chose to make people laugh (while making herself feel cool). You can find more from her on marissamacy.com, Twitter @marissakmacy, and her ‘Disgusting Food’ Instagram @bed_eater.