I'm sure the elders knew there was something different about our family when they helped us unpack more weapons and Zombie Apocalypse gear than furniture out of our moving truck.
Then the Relief Society comes to visit and asks about what callings you've had in the past and what your talents are.
Its almost like a job interview.
For people like me and Leif, we very diverse and don't want to be stereotyped into a category or church calling.
Since I have experience with just about every auxiliary in the church, I told them I would be happy to serve anywhere - EXCEPT the nursery.
I explained that I am kind of a germaphobe and can't stand the sight of buggers, then gave them a list of reasons why I wouldn't be good in the Nursery.
My kids are born Celtic Spartans and progress really fast. Avalon was not a normal 9-month-old. She is super tall for her age and was already learning sword fighting and gymnastics.
She ran around the Relief Society room, doing somersaults, digging through sisters' purses to find their phones and look for apps, standing at the table and pretending to teach the class ..... etc... etc.... etc....
Leif and I switched off, but it became clear to us that she needed Nursery and there was no way I could do this for another 9 months, not even with quiet books, snacks, electronics and all the other tactics parents use to entertain their kids during three hours of church.
A friend saw me following Avalon through the halls during class. She was subbing in Nursery and said she could take Avalon in there to play. After asking her, "Are you sure?" a dozen times, I enjoyed class while Avalon enjoyed nursery.
Of course I did what all new nursery moms do and checked on her a billion times through the "parent peep hole." Each time she was interacting well with the other kids and having a good time.
I wanted her in nursery every Sunday.
I knew there was only one way I could get my 9-month-old into nursery. I found a member of the bishopric and told them I took back what I said about not wanting to have a calling in nursery.
In fact, I was begging and pushing for them to put in me in there and came up with a list of reasons why it would be a good calling for me right now.
Since I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy I know I'm probably not going to be in nursery much longer so I thought I would write up a "review" on my church calling so that others with a phobia of nursery will see its actually pretty good.
1. You get to be a teacher, but lesson preparation is easy and your students are all munching on snacks while you teach.
2. The kids spend the first half of the time playing and having fun while you get to visit with the other parents and teachers in the room about how cute your kids and grand-kids are, what you did that week, what diets are working for you, what books you are reading, dream vacations. Its pretty awesome.
3. The parents are so grateful to you and you get to see other members of the ward not as bishop, teacher, or chorister, but as mommy and daddy. They beam so proud when they pick up their kids and you tell them what a fun time they had and show them the picture they colored.
4. Fast progression. You know how kids are. They can completely change in a year so you can see the rewards of your work almost instantly.
5. Art. Seriously. There is so much good zen when you sit down and just color with crayons.
6. No diaper changing. Yep. All the perks of being a grandparent. You get to let them play with cool toys, feed them snacks and send them home. If they get fussy or need a diaper change you give them back to there parents.
7. Comfy rocking chair. The bishop doesn't even have as comfy of a chair. You can kick your feet up or sit on the floor in you prefer.
8. Most accepting ward members. My ward is awesome and very accepting of everyone, but the kids don't care of you did your makeup or not, if your dress has a hole in it, or if you shaved your legs. They just care that you are there.
9. Lots of help. Very rarely is there mass chaos. There is plenty of toys, play dough, books, puzzles etc. to keep the kids entertained. Most of the time they just play quietly. There are plenty of parents and other nursery and primary leaders backing you up so no one feels overwhelmed. They even have the primary chorister come in and help entertain the kiddos with songs and musical instruments.
10. Learn their tricks.Yep. You can see it.
Mom comes in and drops off little Johnny. The kid screams and cries and act like mom is leaving him forever. Mom is about to cry herself. The kid knows he's torturing her. You assure her everything will be fine, just go to class. Mom hesitantly leaves, but stand outside the door and listens to little Johnny screaming bloody murder. As long as mom stays strong and doesn't come back in, then a few minutes later little Johnny stops screaming, turns to his friends and is like, "Hey guys, what's up?" He joins in with his friends and has tons of fun while mom is worrying about if the kid is okay or not.
Yes, he's okay. If he freaks out or has bad behavior we will give him back to you.