Today is my last day of work :(

Yeah, I hate emoticons. I hate not knowing whether to put the period inside or outside of them and not wanting the period to look like part of the emoticon. But I needed a sad face for this entry. I'm terribly sad to be leaving those sweet little children I've worked with all summer. They've made this job so much fun. And my summer has consequently been both more enjoyable and shorter-feeling.

So I've decided to compile the top ten reasons why I have loved this job so:

10. It's six minutes from my house. Yeah, that doesn't have anything to do with the kids, but it's a huge perk.

9. I get approximately 20 hugs a day. That's a pretty rough estimate, but usually any given time that I walk into the room, I hear my name squealed in little high voices and then get a few hugs from the kids. What a joy!

8. I get paid to play Tickle Monster. This is when I put a bunch of pillows in the middle of the floor and pick up one child and make that child make "monster hands and a monster voice," and I stomp around the room with him/her on my hip and we tickle the other kids until they fall onto the pillows. It's the best. Except for its effects on my legs. But I'm overlooking that in this post.

7. And all those other fun games. Like Round and Round the Garden and Airplane and the game for which I pretend to munch on the children (om nom nom) and then tell them what they taste like. That doesn't have a name, but they love it! And I love it when they decide to munch on me in response. Some of them haven't quite mastered pretending to eat something without actually putting your mouth on it.

6. The room where the kids sleep has wireless internet. And I have an iPod Touch.

5. I get to hold babies. And just keep holding them and holding them. On day at work I held a sleeping 11-week-old for 3 hours! I didn't get bored either. If I sat by myself for 3 hours, I would be bored out of my mind. But if you put a little baby in my arms, I will be content forever.

4. I have become a diaper changing pro. Is this something I should be bragging about? I don't know, but I'm going to. I am one speedy diaper changer.

3. It's good job experience. I can take as many jobs during college as I want to gain experience for the work world, but this job is giving me experience for the most important job I'll ever have: being a mommy. I've learned so much about what to expect from children at what ages and how they learn and interact. I also now know what all those grown-ups mean when they say that we're "growing up so fast" because I have seriously seen these little children grow right before my eyes.

2. It's so stress free. I mean I'm probably dealing with six to ten miniature freakouts from the kids on any given day, but they're always over the simplest things like how one of them took another's toy bottle or how one really wanted a blue skittle instead of an orange one. Their freakouts are never over the coming finals week or an article due when no interviews are scheduled yet. Yeah, those are the freakouts I'm used to creating for myself, so this is a nice little break from that.

1. I hear their sweet little voices and see their sweet little faces all day. Seriously, they're adorable. They've got these earnest eyes and big pink cheeks, and I just want to reach down and scoop them up! And I can!