06 June 2010

Working the Church Nursery

From time to time here in the Den, I've made mention of the opportunity that has been mine to serve in a bishopric in a local ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It's been a tremendous experience, and I'm grateful for it.

One of the unique things about our church is that we serve on a voluntary basis. No one is making bank in their church callings. We all hold normal jobs in addition to our church service. It makes for a unique environment. We try to manage it as best we can, seeking God's guidance continually, but sometimes for a host of reasons, we find ourselves short-staffed. That happened today. So my fellow counselor, Andrew, and I did some pinch-hitting, as it were, and covered the church nursery for two hours.

Eight toddlers, mostly around the two year mark, versus two dads. One dad - that would be me - has been out of the toddler business for far, far too long. Mercifully, the other dad, Andrew, is the father of six and one of those six was one of our charges in the nursery, so he's a little more dialed in to this group. It was good, dare I say a miracle, that he was there. Clearly my first instinct to pull out my iPhone to find an app or game for them to play was not the best.

So here's what I learned today:
- Puzzles are an endless source of fascination. Beating the pieces into submission to make them fit is a must.
- "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" is a great fallback song when you can't remember the full verses to pretty much any Primary song.
- Dunking animal crackers in water is apparently a taste treat. One I don't get.
- The rules of "Duck, Duck, Goose" have changed. Now according to how our little group played it, once the Goose is tagged, a melee of running by everyone in the circle must occur.
- When a kid bangs his finger/head and is on the verge of a big crying jag, asking if he wants to go to the hospital stops the jag instantly.
- Working the nursery is awesome. And exhausting.

All in all, we had a good day in there. This much I know though, I'm going to bed early tonight. These guys wore me out.

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