Monday, October 26, 2009

Volunteerism is its Own Reward

For the past several months, I've been working in the church nursery. It started out as just a summer thing, but after summer was over there was a desperate need for teachers for fall, so I stayed with it.

There is a continued shortage of volunteers, and that's a little weird to me. I suppose it's a little inconvenient to have to stay at church from 8:45am - 12:20pm (if you volunteer in one service and go to church the other service), but it's really not that big of a deal when you're used to it.

I'm in the two year old class. Some of my friends have asked me why in the world I would work in a two year old class. Despite the whole "terrible twos" myth*, I think age two might be one of the most fun years. I've noticed this when I worked in a two year old class in another church and I'm just starting to notice it in my class now, but when the kids start out in the class, they're still babies. They might talk a little, but not much...and you don't really know how much they're understanding of what you're saying. But by the time they leave the class, they're mini-grown-ups...talking, singing, following directions, etc. It's fun to watch the transformation.

And although there is a little bit of tantrum throwing to deal with, it usually settles down pretty quickly after they realize it's not going to get them anywhere.

And there was that one time that I got peed on...but that's only one time out of all of these Sundays. :)

Anyway, they are great entertainment. There's one little boy in particular that's talking a lot now, and he says the funniest things.

One day he walked in and handed me 50 cents and said, "Dis is Gawd's money!"

Then there was the time he banged his sippy cup against another little boy's sippy cup and shouted, "Cheers!"

And just this Sunday, he crawled under the table with a couple of little girls in the class, lifted up his shirt, and proudly proclaimed, "I hab a belly but-ton!" The girls were delighted, but I had to put the nay no on it when they started pulling up their shirts to show him their belly button. I don't want the parents thinking I'm teaching their kids about Mardi Gras or anything.

He's also starting to repeat the prayers I say. That's pretty cool since the other kids pretty much stare at me like I'm a lunatic when I say, "Thank you, God, for the food." That's OK. They'll catch on one day. :)

*OK, so it's not entirely a myth, but I don't see much of it on Sunday mornings.


David said...

Wow. That makes the Noah's Ark room sound like the doldrums. We must be boring teachers. :-)

Jennifer said...

Thank you SO MUCH for everything you've done! You're right about 2-year-olds; I don't know where the "terrible twos" thing came from either because, in my experience, 2-year-olds are sweet, and it's the 3-year-olds that are ter.... um, I mean, starting to exert their independence. :)

I personally think if someone is going to volunteer, Sunday morning is one of the easiest times. You're at church anyway; you just stay a little longer. Seems much less inconvenient than taking up another weeknight or Saturday out of an already-busy schedule. I wish more of the body would see it that way!

Lisa said...

I was coming over to post that it's not two that sucks, it's three, but I see that Jennifer already told you this. Three is also cute, but SO MUCH HARDER.