Monday, September 28, 2009

Toddlers: Best Audience for a Smart Alec

This Sunday was my turn to work the nursery during services. It's always a whiff of burning sulfer, designed better than any sermon to keep you on the straight and narrow toward heaven, if you know what I mean.

My special challenge this week was Isaac, who is not yet two and going through his separation anxiety stage. Which is a fancy psychobabble meaning, "cries for his mommy until you do, too."

Now this is not the first crying toddler I've rocked, held and comforted by a long shot. So I know the drill. You try to talk to him, distract him with toys and Cheerios, and if that doesn't work, you simply spend your hour and a half carrying a sobbing child on your hip. A few pats on the back now and then and it's all good.

Except I couldn't just stop there. I gave in to the temptation to carry on an adult, smart-alec conversation with him that went something like this: "If you want to cry the entire time Isaac, that's what's going to happen here and I can't stop you. But I will insist that we walk over here to the Kleenex and wipe your snotty nose on a regular basis before I get that on my sleeve. It skeeves me out and I don't like to pay dry cleaning bills."

At this he took a shuddering breath, and said, 'O-tay" while nodding his head in agreement. Geez, since when did the diapered set start taking me so seriously?

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