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A Morning in the Life of Two Year-Olds at Purchase College

October 10, 2014

by Danielle DeMaio

The Children’s Center is an on-campus day-care center where Purchase College students have the opportunity to work with children from ages 18 months- five years old. Students can apply for jobs there, do internships there or (like I am doing) take the Child Practicum course.

As a Practicum student, I spend my Monday and Thursday mornings in the Green Room with the two-year-olds helping out and observing their behavior. Our morning starts out when everyone says goodbye to mom and dad, sometimes even siblings, as they get dropped off. Some run away eagerly to play with the many toys around the room, but some cling to parents legs in protest. Playtime continues until breakfast is ready, served with miniature bowls and plates usually consisting of cereal and apples. It is more common to see the children play with their food than eat it, so it is greatly celebrated when a bowl is left completely empty. When the children are done, they throw their remaining food in the garbage and bowls/plates in the sink (sometimes the last part is forgotten and everything is thrown in the garbage.)

Then it is time to go outside! The most popular activity outside seems to be helping me make sand-castles, destroying them within seconds and then demanding I make another one. Shoes also seem to be the enemy outside and are taken off frequently. Fortunately two-year-olds aren’t very sneaky and are caught with shoes off almost instantly. When it is time to go inside, it is almost lunchtime where a similar scenario of playing with food and sometimes eating it occurs. As lunch is being prepared the children sit at their tiny tables and I read them a story but in reality, they stare at the food being prepared as I read a story to nobody. When lunch is finished it is the dreaded nap-time where some children cry instead of sleep.

My shift ends around this time so I sneak out of the room while they are sleeping, hoping I will not wake any of them up.