There aren't too many jobs that require you to be a singer, dancer, cook, comforter and diaper changer.
I can think of just one... the one two ladies from Cairo challenged me to do in this latest .. "Art, Do My job!"
From the moment we walked in to Buttons and Bows Daycare in Cairo it was clear that "play" was the order of the day.
(Kids wave at camera)
When your job is taking care of a room full of rambunctious two- to -four year-old's all day, you gotta jump right in and play hard. A book called "No David!" is one of their favorites. It's about a little boy who's always in trouble!
(Art reads to kids)
"Ew!.. you're not supposed to pick your nose. Can you say 'guh-ross?'"
At Buttons and Bows the kids get plenty of entertainment.. but so does the staff.
I asked Angie Thomas, the Center's Assistant Director, if she ever got bored?
"Not with two-year-old's.. you're never bored," she said.
" When I walk in and I'm in a bad mood, I try to leave it outside.. not bring it to work."
Bad moods don't stand a chance around here.
(Staff member leads song 'Alligator!')
Not when you're singing along with 17 cheerful distractions.
(Art leads Old Macdonald song.. EE eye-EE eye oh!)
All this play .. has purpose, as kids learn the basics while they're havin' a ball.
Nicole Thomas, the Director of Buttons & Bows Daycare, remembers a parent who was amazed at what their child had accomplished.
"'Oh my God. I can't believe it. My child come home last night and spelled her name.' And it made me feel really good we had taught her that here. "
Developing a kid's imagination is also critical. We asked Jan here what she wants to be when she grows up.
" I'm gonna be a green giant."
Imagination was also a main ingredient in the munchkin-sized kitchen as we had a make-believe birthday party.
(Art leads song Happy Birthday)
" Happy birthday to you.. now let's blow it out...whew. Good Job!"
All this play can really be a lot of work!
(Art says) "I think I need a nap. Is it nap time yet?"
One thing the staff didn't make me do? Diapers! Thank goodness.
I asked Nicole how many diapers they change in a week?
"Oh my goodness! I have no idea on that now!"
Ten of these tykes are still being potty- trained.
Next up-- bustin' a move on the dance floor.!
"Let's wiggle! Jump, Jump!"
I ask, "is it... is it time for a nap yet man? I could really use one!"
Says Nicole, "you don't get a break.. no. When you're here, you're here full blast till 5:30!"
We've worked up quite an appetite... and it's almost time for lunch.
A little boy said his favorite food was macaroni. I asked about his next-favorite snack.
His response, "Donuts!"
So how do these guys do it... nonstop ... all day long?
One simple word...love. Nicole put it simply: "When they come up to you and give you a big hug ... and they just love you. You've got to love kids.. and I do."
I love kids too... especially ones that understand when you've had too much excitement for one day.
(Art lays down on daycare floor...kids throw a blanket over him.)
"Time to take a nap now. Good night."