Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Mommy in Babyland

I brought my mom with me to Babyland on Sunday. It was her first time there.

(For my newer readers: Babyland is the nursery at my church. I volunteer there once per month taking care of the 0-4 years set.)

I thought it would be fun for her. She LOOOOOOVES babies. If life circumstances hadn't intervened, she would have liked to have had five kids. (I'm her only child.) To say that she was disappointed when she found out that I'm not planning to have any babies would be the understatement of the century. I figured that if I could hook her up with some baby snuggles it would be a good thing.

Usually what happens in Babyland is: Between 10:15 and 11:00 am parents come and drop off their kidoodles. We sign them in and give the parents a pager. Then any mobile children are allowed to run madly around the room, playing with the zillion toys available. The volunteers supervise but we don't offer any structured activities. Any babies that aren't walking yet are informally assigned to whoever checks them in. There usually aren't more than two babies under 12 months on any given day.

So basically it's controlled chaos. I usually wander the room with a baby on one hip, using my free hand to break up fights between two-year-olds who don't want to share with each other, and encouraging children who have climbed on top of the Play-Dough table to get back down to floor level. At 11:30 am we hand out Arrowroot cookies and watered-down apple-juice in sippy cups. At around noon the parents show up to collect their wee ones, and after we put the toys away, our work is done.

This Sunday when my mom showed up there were already a few kids there. There was my friend Matthew, and a choice selection of extremely cute, unbelievably good-natured toddlers. I thought that Mom would be in her element. She wouldn't have to contend with the sermon; she could just enjoy the children.

But what should happen as soon as she walked in? One of the little girls, who must be almost four, grabbed her and demanded to be read to. What did she want my mom to read? Stories about Jesus. Well, it's a church nursery. I suppose it makes sense that all the kids' books are Christian.

My poor mom. She is getting to like the congregation of my church more and more, as people, but she still can't bring herself to swallow the theology of Christianity. Bible stories really rub her fur the wrong way. By the time I caught up with her she was half-way through the second picture-book. She looked at me, her eyes pleading "Halp!" But what could I do? It was up to her to tell the little girl if she didn't want to read any more stories.

My mom spent a full hour reading Christian storybooks. I guess it was God's will?

Anyway, the little girl was finally lured away at snacktime, by the cookies and juice. At that point I gave Matthew to my mom, so she could get in her infant cuddles.

She told me that overall she had a good time. And she might even go back. But I think she'll be hiding from that little girl.


wigsf said...

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't there some stories that are shared amongst Christians and Jews.
I could have sworn Moses is a prominent figure in both Jewish and Christian stories.

Vanessa said...

LOL What a great story! Brings to mind the quote, "And a little child shall lead them." :)

I'm glad your mom had a nice time and got some baby cuddles in too. Maybe she could volunteer in a hospital nursery or something too, to get those snuggles in. Babies can never have enough. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh that J.C. is a funny guy! Way to go Lord!

Anonymous said...

It may well be God's will, and if so it's an awesome way to get her over to Him.

It's a fun story whatever the case. And mom did get some baby cuddles in, so bonus there. :)

Warped Mind of Ron said...

LOL... That wasn't a little girl!!! That was a midget undercover Christianity converting agent of the church!!! Her mission was to weaken your mothers mind by repetitive reading before being given a positive reinforcement of baby cuddles. I don't think it will take long before she's totally turned over to Christianity and singing hymns!!

powdergirl said...

Hah, cute. I'm raised Christian but from early on I've had a lot of trouble with the theologies. So I'm an agnostic.
I wouldn't be bothered by reading the books to little kids who were already being raised in that faith though.

Sounds great, cuddle the babies then return to parents. Perfect!

Claire said...

I love baby cuddles!


Sparkling Red said...

wigsf: Yes, the whole old testament (which comprises 75% of the Bible) is common to Christians and Jews alike; especially the first five books (including the Moses stories) which make up the Jewish Torah. However, all the storybooks were about Jesus and the New Testament, which my mom is psychologically allergic to.

Vanessa: My mom spends most of her volunteer time at the Royal Ontario Museum, surrounded by retirees. I suppose she could try to snuggle the old ladies, but some of them are rather cantankerous.

Unsigned: Yup, I was laughing. That was a real Good One.

darcknyt: I believe God's working on her in his mysterious ways.

Ron: Whoever she is, she's an aggressive little lady. Her father sometimes complains that she treats him like her personal slave. No wonder my shy mom couldn't say "no" to her.

Powdergirl: I do love to spend time with Borrowed Babies. Can you believe that I have NEVER in my life changed a diaper? Not that I wouldn't do it if I had to. It's just never be necessary.

Claire: Yup, babies are pretty great. :-)

Anonymous said...

Our Sunday School seems to be populated by children conditioned to complete any task in exchange for graham crackers and stickers. All in all, not a bad state of affairs.

LL Cool Joe said...

Ha ha this made me laugh. Yes Jews (although I musn't generalise) don't believe in Jesus. Most Christian Children's books will focus on stories from the New Testament! I bet your mother loved that then!

NicoleB said...

That's just perfect :D
Maybe next time your Mom goes in disguise...
*still giggling*

Aurora said...

Books always have their own agendas.