Monday, May 10, 2010
The Frustrating Part
I have a lot of dreams about the toy library. They often involve decapitated toys strewn around the room. I don't know why... The other dreams involve children heartily dumping out bags after bags of toys. That one is more of a nightmare to me than the first one.
One of the big rules in here is to clean up after yourself. It is also the rule that is most broken. I am trying to figure out a way to fix it... Especially since school is ending soon and thus begins our super busy season. Apparently me telling kids "only one bag/toy at a time" or "clean up!" doesn't work. There are two reasons why this is officially a problem.
Problem number one: the boss lady has actually commented on the "mess" twice. I am slightly ashamed of that. I am a pretty good about keeping on top of the things she comments on so she doesn't have to mention it again. Problem number two: it is a never-ending-revolving cycle of mess. I clean it up, put the bags happily back onto the shelf and the next day, or an hour later they are back on the floor all sorts of mixed up.
I want children to come in here and have fun... and the fact that I worry about them playing with more than one toy at a time shouldn't stress me out. But all I can think about every time I see a child dump out a bag full of toys is not being able to find matching hamburger roll pieces when I have to put the toy back together in the bag. I spent 10 minutes looking for a matching set or forks, knives and spoons.... don't even get me started on trying to separate puzzle pieces.
I have a wacky work schedule here, two days of week I am here for seven hours. and two days I am here for three. On the long days I usually get about two hours of quiet project/clean-up time. The morning is busy with groups + families and once the kids get out of school (around 2 pm-3 pm) I can't get a whole lot more accomplished. I have to pay attention to what they're doing and saying.
So during my discussion with boss lady about "the mess" for the second time in over 4 years I couldn't come up with an immediate solution. Because not letting children come in here to play to their heart's content isn't an option. It's what this place is meant for...