I did it! Well, sort of. I’m sure many of you remember the meltdown I had during my first week working at the preschool and then the incident a couple of weeks later when a child had an accident and I froze. Since that day, I have so badly wanted to be able to take care of that kind of situation on my own, but have been unsuccessful thus far. Every time a child has an accident, I have been unable to help. I always panic and another teacher swoops in and handles the problem.
I didn’t clean up after an accident today, but it was close. One of the little girls was in the bathroom and somehow managed to get pee on her dress. I was there with her alone, no other teachers anywhere nearby to save me. This little girl needed to change clothes and I had to do it. I took a deep breath, put on my big girls pants and grabbed the little girl a change of clothes. And then I helped her change out of her pee-soaked dress. And I put the dress in a bag and put it in her backpack. I did it and I didn’t cry, not even a little bit. I didn’t even have to fight back tears. So it’s not quite the same because I didn’t have to clean pee off of her, but I’m proud of myself for dealing with clothes that had pee on them. I did, however, wash my hands four times after dealing with it, but this is also improvement. I was able to stop after four washes. When I had a bathroom-related panic attack my first week there, I had a really difficult time breaking away from the sink.
I needed a victory, too. I have been so tired and unmotivated the past couple of weeks. I haven’t been doing my exposures regularly. I have felt like just quitting. I still do. I won’t; don’t worry. I just want to. But managing the situation at work as well as I did felt good. It just shows how far I have come in the two months I have been there. I’m glad it happened today, too, because this week is my last week at the preschool. It’s crazy. Two months ago, I couldn’t get away fast enough. Now I’m really sad to be leaving. I don’t know what I’ll do without the kids or the other teachers. I have grown way more attached to all of them than I ever thought possible.
These kids have taught me a lot. They remind me on a daily basis that the contamination that I consider life-threatening is really no big deal. If they can survive after going to the bathroom and then proceeding to stick their hands directly in their mouths before washing them, then surely I’ll make it if don’t wash my hands every time I touch something.