Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Surviving the Toddler Room

After snack time of doling out handfulls of cheerios to fifteen or so 2 year olds, I spotted young Fifi draped over his Big Wheel.  It was only 9:45am Sunday morning, but he had already pooped out from taking his little vehicle for a few spins around the Toddler room. We had at least an hour left to go. His large brown eyes looked at me expectantly.  It was a little intimidating. When it comes to entertaining small children, I am a real amature.  I'm sure Fifi saw right through me. 

How I got into doing childcare during our church's early service, I don't know.  One year I was holding crying newborns in the nursery, the next I was chasing crawlers and now I had graduated to the Big Time--toddlers/preschool.  Which requires serious playing skills. Since I don't have kids of my own, I am a little out of my comfort zone.  But I wasn't ready to wimp out on Fifi. 

I asked Fifi to pick out a book for me to read to him and after careful consideration, he brought me a couple of  books, one by Dr. Seuss.  An obscure one I had never heard of, where there is a certain Mr. Brown who makes noises. Hmmm.  Which requires you to make noises as you read aloud.  Hmmm.

Fifi settled into my lap.  At certain points of the story, the reader coaxes the readee into making a few sounds of his own.  And Fifi obliged every time.  Even the "whisper, whisper" part.  I love Dr. Seuss.  When you read his books to a child, he makes it easy for you.  Your storytelling skills seem way and above what they really are. Shy Fifi just turned the book back to the first page and in his own nonverbal way, got me to read it again.  And again.  And again. And again.

And I really didn't mind at all.  It was good to be sitting on the class/playroom floor, totally engrossed in this remarkable book together with Fifi.  And before we both knew it, it was 10:45am and Fifi's parents were ready to take him home.  And I realized, Fifi was as perplexed as to why he was in the Toddler room as much as I was.  But we made the best of it.  I want to do this again.

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