I’ve been volunteering in the children’s ministry at our church for the last two years. Up until last weekend, I used to serve at the check-in counter which meant I would get the children registered before the service started and then I would go into the adult service myself. I loved working on the check-in counter, you become familiar with the parents and the kids and it’s good fun and it’s great to be involved in the church the size of ours because you get to know people.
A few weeks back I decided I wanted to become more involved. After meeting with the children’s church pastor, I signed up to volunteer in one of the classes. I decided on the baby class for a few reasons:
- I couldn’t be in either Liam or Hannah’s class because that would just be complicated.
- I didn’t want to work with the older children because I’m not ready for sass yet.
- I love little babies. I really do. I thought this would be great to spend time with the babas and then happily send them home with their parents. Get my little-baby hit, so to speak.
This Saturday I was in a classroom with 9 babies between the ages of 12 – 24 months, and then on Sunday in a classroom with 12 babies. And let me tell you, it was tough. It’s not a babysitting service, it is a full on church service with praise and worship, offering time, lesson time via a puppet show, snack time and free play. Some babies are so agreeable, they do just as they are told, they sing and dance along, they listen so attentively during the puppet show and they are just too precious. These are usually the children who have been attending for a while and are used to the routine. Some of them are brand new but are just children who adapt easily. Then there are other babies. OOH SHAME. These babies are hectic. They are not used to being away from their mommies and daddies. Some scream from beginning to end. Some scream for a little while, then get wrapped up in what’s going on around them and forget to scream. Then they remember and scream some more. And some more. Oh my bleeding ears! Then we get those who are not genuinely upset but just like the sound of their own voices. I would NEVER say that to dear Johnny’s parents, but I’ve had two kids, I can suss out the play-cry and the real-cry from a mile away. Besides THAT, each baby needs a diaper change at some point during the service and each baby gets a small container with dry Oatees and we all know the mess that even DRY FOODS create with small chlidren. Oi vey…
Can I just say that I changed about 10 nappies this weekend of children who do not even belong to me! Give me my noddy badge right now!!!
It was tiring, no it was EXHAUSTING running after them and making sure they were doing what they were supposed to be doing. It was extremely weird for me to love on someone else’s kid – a kid I’ve never met before and who I may never see again. BUT it was surprisingly a nice sort of weird. And when I managed to calm down the screamers, and they’d look up at me with that look that says “you aren’t too bad yourself” as only a little baby can, it was so very heartwarming. And so rewarding. My arm is aching as I write this from carrying a little boy called Landon who was so blinking HEAVY! A real big boy! And my back was sore from all the lifting of thrown toys and uppies of all the babies and sitting on the floor with them! And I know for next week that I must not wear any jewellery or leave my hair loose – things I’d forgotten about since my own baby days!
I don’t know how preschool teachers do it. Honestly. It is hard work guys, go and hug your children’s teachers when you pick your kids up this afternoon!
I am so glad I chose this class, I am so glad I get to spend just an hour and 15 minutes with these little people each week and that I am helping to plant that tiny seed that will hopefully lead to their salvation one day.
It feels good to be of service.