Bank holiday cleaning day
When bank holidays come around, I normally take the day off to rest. This time was different.
Instead, a friend, one of the teachers from the school I did a talk for a few months back, asked how she could help. I mentioned that help for a cleaning day is amazing, so she signed up. Then she was able to get other friends to be willing to join in too. So in the end, we had a group come to help.
We wiped down all the equipment, toys and cushions. We put them in the sun to let the heat help with the cleaning process too.
One of my closest friends came with three of her four children (the youngest did not come). We hoped they would manage and they did so well with many different activities, including cleaning the inside of the cushion cupboard.
We all went for lunch and then came back to sorting cushions back into their covers (after they had been laundered) which was no easy challenge, as so many of them are weird shapes and others are the same shape but slightly different sizes.
All worked hard. Mr B come out and I told the team that if he got his shoes, they could not put them on for him. That may seem a little harsh to many people, but I have valid reason. Mr B had already been told that I would not be working with him this day as it’s cleaning day. If he has his shoes on, he then proceeds to badger everyone to take him out for a walk and gets frustrated about that wish not being met. One of my friends didn’t hear this advice: Mr B gave her the shoes and smiled up with his sweet ‘help me please’ smile. As she understood and started to take hold of the shoes, he got so happy, but the message got to her and she stopped. He tried everyone else and then gave up. He was not distressed at all. As he was distracting many, I thought we could get the others out and play with the parachute.
All came out and were changed and dressed and into their chairs. It was loads of fun with the parachute and with the friends’ children playing too. Miss K was giggling as they disappeared under the parachute or even when I got caught out by the timing of the parachute coming down. Mr B did some standing, holding the parachute as it moved without any support, which was great to be able to show people.
The kids went in and we finished up the final bits of cleaning.
The group were so sweet to donate nappies, Dettol, and cleaning supplies. They also brought over two pushchairs/ strollers from another family at the school. This was a great.
Some of the group messaged later to give their reactions.
When Rebekah was asked what she thought of the cleaning day she said…“I thought it was great and I was appreciative of how clear it was at what needed to be done to be helpful. It made it go smoothly and I loved seeing the kids.”
“This is the first time my children were really exposed to special needs children like this. They have seen poor children and gone to orphanages, but this was different. So that was good for them.”
Marie-Claire, whose husband is a missionary for the charity ICare, reported that her children said they liked cleaning the toys and also playing with the parachute together.
Esther (who is a senior staff member at the school) said…
“It was good, I really enjoyed it. I was a bit low energy due to a lack of caffeine. It would be neat to find time and do it every couple of months. A lot of people would love to help and learn more about what u do.”
It was a long, but fun, day of being productive. Here’s to managing it again or running fun things together.
Thank you to all who came and worked, all who donated and all who were keen to, but unable to do either. Even a willing heart is an encouragement to me.