Monday, November 1, 2010

One-Eyed Googly Whales

I love children.

That’s why no one is more surprised and disappointed that I am to discover that I  might be getting too old to work in Children's Church.

I haven't done Children's Church in recent years. Our youth pastor and his wife usually do the honors. When they brought home a newborn bundle of their own a few weeks ago, however, they put out the call for some help. The husband and I signed up to take a turn.

And wouldn’t you know it, our assigned Sunday was the day the preschool choir was singing. I stood in the doorway and watched as preschoolers came out of the woodwork for the children’s sermon and sat at the youth pastor's feet.

 As he praised God for the high attendance,
I had only one thought.

Oh… dear…

It was too late to turn back so out the door we went…
power walkers in front,
 skippers in the middle,
lollygaggers bringing up the rear with Super Dad.

Down the stairs to children’s church...

We had the usual cast of characters.
The line leaders,
the helpers,
the story tellers,
And the Clingons who tabernacle in your arm pit making it difficult to maneuver around the table and help the others cut and paste wee little men to sycamore trees.

That’s  the girls

The boys just busy themselves choosing their weapons. I’m absolutely convinced that four year old boys can not sit beside each other in a craft filled room without becoming musketeers. Firm or floppy, it matters not. If it’s even remotely long and pointy, it becomes the sword of the spirit.

Yesterday, they used these little whale spouts.

Obviously, the story of the day was Jonah and the Whale. We were supposed to help them make a cute little stuffed blue whale that looked like this.

crafting gets complicated
 when you’re working with preschoolers.
Add to the mix the unexpectedly large group
and the need to share supplies,
and you find yourself awash  in a sea of
 one-eyed googly fish.

They say that patience is the first thing to go.

I almost lost mine when I turned to break up a duel and noticed that the third Musketeer was a 49 year old Super Dad who really ought to have known better. I gave him the "Can I have some help here?"  look, and he put down his weapon, picked up the glue stick, and began to butterfinger his way around the table helping to glue little fins to pre-painted blue bags.

It was then that he noticed the blue powdery substance covering the bags had traveled from fish to fingers to faces to fabric. Well, great. I surveyed the room full of Smurfs in their Sunday best and got a little sick to my stomach…

When I heard the organ in the sanctuary above us, I realized that the pastor was bringing it to a close. We brushed off hands and faces the best we could and did the mad scramble to match blue whales to their rightful owners. Then Super Dad cleaned debris while I comforted a Clingon Smurfette in my right armpit lamenting the loss of a googly eye.

It was the longest 45 minutes of my life.

In pondering the Great Googly Eye Adventure this morning, I have come to two conclusions:

Number one,
 I’m getting too old for this.
And number two,
I am almost positive that the day before
 that King James translator
chose the English wording for the verse

"Suffer the little children to come unto me..."

He had spent a day
 in Elizabethan Children's Church.


A very blessed lady! said...

Children can wear you out!I have children's church daily at my house LOL. and it is definetly true about the boys and the swords ;)

Jane said...

Cute story. Love the fish!


Sonja said...

oh this is priceless!! I have been there and done it too, and I think I am also too old for it!!

and of COURSE, the stuff had to be blue, clear would have been way to easy, and this blog wouldn't have been nearly as much fun!!! :)

gnee @ Singing With Birds said...

Hooray for those kiddos! I'm sure they loved having you and admit it, you are exhausted but had a whale of a good time!

Custom Comforts said...

I so understand. Children's church is not my thing either. It's the longest church service of the year and I dread it :( Not everyone was meant to or should be allowed to work with the little kids, especially if they're menopausal.

Sharon Kirby said...

Oh, my friend!!! I am laughing so hard. You paint the funniest scenes with your words. I was right there in the belly of the googly-eyed whales!

The Smurf comments were hysterical! Were you and your marauding husband ALSO covered in blue?!

Maybe next time you volunteer (throw yourself under the bus) for Children's Church, I'll fly out there and help you. We'll have a blast making RAINBOWS instead!!

(I have a little secret to share - I was a Clingon...very shy, very quiet, very "missing my mommy!" - "tabernacle in the arm pit" - priceless, simply priceless!)


Vanessa said...

OH DEBBIE! You seriously need to submit this to a magazine or something! I am totally emailing this to my mom and my aunts, all of whom served as Pastor's wives in tiny churches and basically ran the children's programs. This is absolutely hysterical! It sounds like something Garrison Keiller would write! You just have such an amazing gift, my friend, for capturing moments, for story-telling, for drawing word pictures. My sis and I were talking over the weekend about how much we like you and wish we could come hang out and swap stories!
Thanks for the chuckle today! :-)

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

Ahhh you have discovered the secret my Sweetie and I did when our GRANDson was two. A childs energy level will rise exponentially with each adult added to the mix. they can wear out one to a hundred adults. You are lucky you escaped fairly unscathed :))

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Well... you lived to yak about it! I'm sure you're glad you did it, and glad it's done-thanks for the laugh:@)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

LOL! Oh, Debbie... too funny about the armpit smurfette, and I like the one-eyed, googly-eyed whales. They are cute!

I am laughing and SOOOO identifying with this. Mr. Magpie and I spent a year teaching young ones in Sunday School, and the one Sunday I was gone, they put clothes pins all over him! Guess who the authority figure was??? LOL!


Sheila :-)

FrouFrouBritches said...

You are too funny! I am too old for it too. I have learned not to pray for patience, but for strength. I substituted 3rd grade today and I'm WORN OUT! I can't imagine how tired I would be if it had been preschoolers. UGH! Bless your heart! Sure makes for a good story though!

Denise said...

What a gift for words and story telling my dear sweet sister. I think the one eyed whales are just precious. You're such a trooper for volunteering in the first place. I didn't volunteer for that job. (too menopausal?) Filling food baskets is more my alley. Great post. I loved it.

Ms.Daisy said...

I am googly eyed with laughter over this story! Now, I KNOW I'm too old to even suggest that I take a turn in the children's nursery! You are too funny girl and I love the way you can make me laugh! I can just picture the blue dust all over everything! :0)


Sherry said...

Oh, this was funny! Loved this story. I have sub-taught pre-K and kindergarten and I know exactly what you mean. I heard a saying once that teaching kindergarten was a lot like herding cats! Some days it can be. LOL Such a fun post.

The Polka Dot Closet said...

Thanks for visiting....Here's my thought, maybe you aren't to old to run the youth group, maybe you just don't want to....You've been there and done that. It's not fun, it's not new, Leave it to the 49 year old super Dad (Maybe it will help him grow up) LOL!


marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh I have laughed so hard reading this, you just can't imagine. I work in the nursery at church. Infants to 2 yr olds. That's not a very good mix. The tiny ones need fed, changed and quiet and the 2 yr. olds don't want to share and they sure can't sit or be quiet. I so understood every word you were saying. Praise the Lord, they are special angels. Thanks for your sweet comment on my post and you also cracked me up with the remark about trying to copy my tables. I don't think I ever get it right, that's why I change it so often. lol God Bless. Hugs, Marty

Linda W said...

You've done it....given me the BIGGEST, most profound belly laugh I've had in a month! I'm still in hysterics about the little Smurfs heading back upstairs to church AND your 49 year old third swordsman. And, yes, I can picture the scene.

Oh, BTW,'re not too old for the preschool stuff. That's the stuff that keeps us young!

Still laughing....

Ann said...

Yes, I am rolling on the floor ........

I had the (mis)fortune of co-teaching a 4 year old vacation Bible School class many years ago. Two hours a day for two weeks.

You described my days to a "T"! But, we did not have "smurfs" ... we ended up with rainbows! LOL!

Thanks again, Debbie!

Lynn Richards said...

I laughed out loud through this whole post, my friend!!!! God Bless you a million times over for taking that class. The rest of us shudder at the possibility of what we would be like when the class was over. Of course, I have a husband just like yours that I have to break up the duels with. I remember a time we did David and Goliath. don't ask.....
Anne Lamott needs to read this!!

MDB said...

hahahaha this is hilarious. LOL. I just wish I would have been there to hear the story in person.

Angel said...

Debbie - I got tears in my eyes from laughing so hard! Really. You are a googly hoot!

Chatty Crone said...

Debbie - I got my laugh - you know why? I see myself in your shoes and I know EXACTLY what you are saying!

Exactly - teehee.


Dayle said...

Laughing out loud. In my early years, I was the nursery director at the church we attended, I also taught Sunday school, and loved every minute of it (well, almost). But, like you, I'm just too old to enjoy it anymore, although I did volunteer to help in our children's "Power Hour" on the third Sunday of the month. But ... already having second thoughts.

Kelli said...

I hope you write a book soon!! I will be first in line! I feel your "pain" in being with the littles for cc. It is CRAZY!! I try not to do it too often-lol! Hope you recover before you are on duty again!

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

I have tears in my eyes from laughing so hard! You are a riot! I'm always amazed when our preacher, during children's sermon, asks a question and gives a child the microphone (we are on the radio) to respond to the question. We have some children in our church who can go on for-ever about something unrelated to the sermon or the question. I bet they loved their blue whales (even if they were using the spout for a sword!). laurie

Amy Kinser said...

Your super husband sounds like my super husband. He always had the kids in the preschool riding on his back or doing something that was getting somebody in trouble. It was typically hubby getting into trouble!

laura :) said...

This sounds so familiar! I have missed helping with that, but I TOTALLY understand the "clingons!!" I wish I could have been there to see it!



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