Buddings Kids: Sneaky Roland
In typical Saturday morning fashion, Rollie saunters through the gates of Buddings eager to play. He makes a beeline for Thomas and the rest of the trains, scoops them up, and gets to work on a elaborate train track. As Thomas chugs along the track with Rollie’s help, I begin to hear a faint “Uh oh! Uh oh!” sound coming from Roland. He’s at the end of the track. Where will Thomas go? Should he turn back? Roland quickly sets out to fix the problem. New track is laid, new ground covered, and Thomas continues to chug along happily.
A short while later, Rollie finds an abandoned elephant laying on the ground near the track. “Adowaday,” he pronounces. “Yes! An elephant!” I reply. The “adowaday” is one of Roland’s favourite animals here at Buddings. He also loves watching the fish swim around the tank, often lining up a fleet of toy animals to give them a larger audience. He and his animal friends watch the fish contently, their silence interrupted by the occasional “boo bee boe” from Rollie.
Though there are many things I love about Roland, his words are probably my favourite! When he first started coming to Buddings just shy of two years old, Rollie wasn’t quite sure how he felt about leaving his mum and dad. In the beginning, Rollie shed more than a few tears waiting for them to return, but quickly those tears were replaced with “bee bops” and “bee boos” as he began to open up. These days, Roland talks a mile a minute! He sounds a lot like a jazz singer doing scat, “bee bopping” along and putting a smile on everyone’s face as he goes.
In addition to being a chatterbox, Roland has also been dubbed Buddings’ “sneakiest buddy”. In his first few months at Buddings, the word “No” had a strange effect on him. Upon hearing it, Rollie would quickly drop to the floor on his tummy and begin to crawl, certain that no one was able to see him sneaking away with his bottle in hand. Occasionally, Rollie would try the same thing with his snacks. Instead of sitting at the table to eat, he’d grab a snack, drop to the floor, and wiggle his way to a secret hide out in the big kids’ room. There, we’d find him gobbling up whatever snack he’d left the table with, giggling at the success of his escape plan.
As Roland has started to talk more, his sneaky ways have dissipated quite a bit. He now uses his “listening ears” at the sound of the word “No” and the need to escape to a secret hide out has diminished. Sitting down to eat doesn’t seem like the cruel and unusual punishment that it used to. Although Rollie’s stealthy ways have been replaced with the sound of “bee boe boos” as plays his favourite games, I will always treasure his sneakiest, most hilarious and heartwarming moments here at Buddings. There is no doubt that there are many more to come!