Munchkin Ladybugs

Note: Enjoy this shorter fun piece while I hammer out longer essays that will come later. I promise more is coming!

By Jennifer M. Dryden (c) 2009

Ladybugs. I’m not talking about a bug, although sometimes these ladybugs do bug me. They’re the wide smile I wear when entering through the church doors, climbing up two flights of wooden stairs that creek every time I advance. I punch my code into the new fad of childcare center security and I’m in. A red, yellow and blue sign reads “Ladybug Room;” I take in the silence that is naptime and enter the room excited for unlaced shoes, overpowering hugs, and small running feet.

Emmett approaches me to say, “I missed you, Jemfer-fer.” Ada comes up wide-awake – she doesn’t like to sleep – complaining she can’t put on her shoes… again. They all know how to put on their shoes, they are two-and-a-half years old; it’s one of the first tasks we teach them. “I tan’t do it,” she whines exchanging the “c” for a “t” sound. I ignore her – sometimes you just have to. The fan is spinning and the air conditioning is turned on high. It’s nice in here – cold – just like home.

Finn comes to the table for snack and repeats, “I’m a ladybug! I’m a ladybug!” He’s new to the room. He transferred in from the Butterfly toddler house next door. The church houses ladybugs, bumblebees, dragonfly, and grasshoppers – the ACPC Bugs as we call them.

When I walk into a day of “work” – I consider it “play.” I am always tempted to take off my shoes. That’s what you would do at home, right? I feel at home around little kids, especially my ladybugs. I never get enough of “Come play with me Jem-purr!” or “I need your help Jenn-fer.” I read dozens of books — the same ones over and over, (“Silly Sally went to town walking backwards, upside down.”) — I make silly faces just to stop the tears; I break out in song just to hear them sing their jumbled version; and I give those ladybugs the best of me everyday. The insect labybugs? I hate. The overly active, gut-laughing, innocent little munchkin ladybugs? Love ‘em.

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