I took J-cub with me to work for the first time today. The boys I look after live in a gorgeous, huge house, which is full of 14 years' worth of accumulated toys. We arrived at 8am, and the boys were still asleep after a hard night's work playing DS. After their Dad had left, we explored the kitchen, utility room, playroom and lounge, and J-cub was beside himself with joy at all these new toys.
They have a lovely play table with a Brio train set, which J-cub didn't really understand but liked picking up the trains and carefully placing them on the floor.
We found an old keyboard under the piano, upon which I gave the boys keyboard lessons when they were little (like most of their musical instruments, their interest waned as they grew older). J-cub sang and banged the keys and made a complete racket, it was lovely to watch. Our piano is currently covered in boxes of stuff, and I haven't played at all since before he was born. I'll have to rectify that soon.
After his nap we made some more racket, which woke the boys and they played with him while I cooked lunch. They found an old box full of play food and spent ages tipping it out, putting it all back in the box, then tipping it out again. After half an hour, one of the boys commented "Babies are tiring, aren't they?" :D
Part of my role involves 'shadowing' my main charge, E, in school. I am technically a teaching assistant, but in a behavioural therapy capacity, whereby I prompt him through his work and his school day in the least intrusive way possible, until he learns through repetition and reinforcement how to do things for himself. I use a lot of gestures which have been adapted from Makaton and British Sign Language, all of which allow me to communicate with him without the other children being aware that I'm telling him to stop pinching his skin or to look at his teacher. I explained to him about the CBeebies programme Something Special, and taught him some of the signs that J-cub uses. Within minutes he was generalising the ABA techniques I use with him, to teach J-cub the signs being demonstrated in the programme. It was amazing to watch.
Towards the end of my shift the boys started to run out of baby-wrangling patience, so I set up a ping-pong tournament to give them a break. It lasted for about 5 minutes, before J-cub decided he wanted in on the action, and stole the ball. We swapped to playing table football, but J-cub swiped that ball too.