Meal Time Journey

By RoseMary Antony

Setting the mood
Little feet tap with excitement,
Little eyes wait with longing,
Few little minds forget its coming,
‘Its time for snack’ as the teacher remarks.
The gates open to meal prepped tables,
number of little feet scramble to spot their seats,
oh , the joy to see the familiar(their snack boxes),
‘Its time for snack’ as the teacher hums.
The mood is calm, the mood is focus,
munching into their snack with a sense of purpose,
a spill or two is cleaned with care,
‘Its time for snack’ as the teacher smiles 🙂

The choices
From cottage cheese to applesauce,
to crackers and sandwiches.
The choices are one too many,
For little minds to fathom hastily.
A spoon, a bib, ”I’ll open it” an excited friend speaks,
the cold strawberry yogurt is savored with every spoon.
Across the table a little friend perplexed,
pushes away all the choices with a sudden reflex.
A patient educator with a calm and softness in her tone,
offers time to process the choices that lay forth
a momentary pause later a decision is made,
‘I want this’ the little finger points to the quinoa salad that awaits.

The closing
” I want something else”,
“I’m done”,
Few little fingers play with an empty container in sight,
Snack time is coming to an end
Let’s get you cleaned up,
Here’s a wet cloth and a wipe,
Little hands wipe and clean themselves
I want water, I want milk,
Little faces and tummies flooded with joy,
“I want to go play again”
As tables and chairs creak across the floor,
Little friends are excited to return to play,
A teacher stays back, humming a rhyme,
as she wipes and cleans every little crumb.

3 thoughts on “Meal Time Journey

  1. Dear RoseMary,

    Today I shared your story of creating this poem with a wonderful group of students in the infant/toddler curriculum course. I shared that you payed close attention to the rhythms of snack time, every day, while you were in practicum in an infant/toddler room. At the time, you were also enrolled in an English course and studied English literature. Within this context, ideas traveled from your English course to practicum, you saw an opening to think with poetry in the toddler room. Revisiting your poem, I remain curious, ‘How might a poetic response to snack time invite us to listen and respond differently? What might happen when we share the poem with children, colleagues, and families?’ Thank you, hope you’re well, Antje

  2. Here is a poem created for you by a group of students who experimented with the Haikus. From your colleagues in ECEC 223 <3

    Dear RoseMary,

    Poetry fills Zoom
    Noticing and tasting life
    In the toddler room

    Images of food
    Tasting words, some eyes tear up
    Our hearts are sated

    I see yummy food
    Now my tummy is hungry
    Let’s enjoy the snack!

    Children are hungry
    Crackers, cheese and bananas
    Nourishing bodies

    We gather for snack
    Tap tap – the rhythm of feet
    as they meet to eat

  3. I really admired the patience of the educator…waiting for the response of the confused, overwhelmed child. I would like to be around and worked with caring educators. Thanks for sharing Rosemary

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