Today was the start of MOPS. We had a good first meeting, I was just busy as usual. I really take on feelings of stress about how things are going with the kids because from the very start of last year God placed a special connection on my heart for that part of the ministry. Though I haven't felt a calling to work in Moppets, I have felt a burden was placed on my heart to be all the support that I can be for that side of things. Last year our Moppets leader, Miki, was new and we connected and it was always my desire to try to do all I could to make things run smoothly for her. This year we have a different leader, but I feel the same. Though I am in with the moms, my mind is always living halfway back in the rooms with those workers who are the reason that we have a MOPS group at all.
We will begin in the early morning when I rose at 6:30 with my hungry son and shortly after was joined by my daughter. She was a bit early, but because it was a MOPS morning we had to get up early anyway and all was well. Smiles was a bit fussy as we were getting ready, but after we got in the car he was lulled to sleep by the motion of the car. My sister was in the front seat, excited to help with another year of Moppets and my daughter in the backseat quite content to look out the window. It was a pretty good morning for how MOPS days can go. Often we are rushing out the door and I am worried that I forgot something- crazy. Today was smooth.
We arrived at MOPS and I was greeted in the parking lot by the ever beautiful Alicia (pictured on the left) telling me she had something for me. How sweet of her. She read my story about my breakfast sandwich dilemma and brought me a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit! What a wonderful addition to the morning. She had no curse! She was capable of acquiring something that I obviously couldn't. I just had to publicly thank her for doing that for me. If you didn't notice Alicia, all morning I clung to that bag. I left my purse, my diaper bag, and even my son in other locations (he WAS being held by people - no need to call CPS people), but that amazing gift of love stayed with me. I appreciate the effort you went to greatly! Joe M. actually told me that he almost brought me one as well. Everyone is in on the mission to unite me with my dream!
Things got a bit rushed from there, but still went fine. We were rushing to get the food ready in the kitchen and then I was off to check the kids in for Moppets. That is where things got crazy. There are just so many people checking in at one time and kids don't like to wait in line, so I was a little stressed there. I know that Christi, who is actually in charge of Moppets, was feeling that stress too. It's part of the first day of MOPS. It's just one of those things that you know will come- everyone has to get used to the routine. Thankfully my wonderful angel of the morning, Alicia, came to help at a good time. My daughter decided that today would be a great time to throw an all out fit for mom. I swiftly took her back to the room with the infants where my sister was helping. She calmed down and was fine once she arrived with a caregiver she knew. We finished our checking in and I knew there weren't enough helpers. It was crazy back there! They HAD to have more help. After talking with other leadership I was told that the plan was to use our mentor moms as back-up. Some of them went back and helped out with the crazy swarm of hysterical children. (The first day is often hard for those kids that are not used to leaving mommy or haven't been to MOPS before.) My mind still on the situation down the hall, I participated in the first meeting which was quite a fun introduction to MOPS.
Toward the end of the meeting my sister showed up at the end of the hall, our signal that she needed me to come help. I promptly went to the back room where the babies were and scooped up a crying baby. Mine I left in the hands of a capable mommy out in the other room. (They can be with the moms until they are 4 months old, then they become a distraction to the meeting and prevent the break from feeling like a break to the other moms.) Within a short time the baby that I had picked up was fast asleep. I placed him in his car seat and moved to the next baby. Both my sister and Laura, the other helper, had crying babies all over them. The mission: survival. My next battle was a young man that had been having a rough morning. Mom had been called back three times and he also was tired. He took about three minutes to fall asleep in my arms. Unfortunately for me, he was not so keen on leaving my arms, so I had to keep him in my arms. His little sniffle still going from the crying he had done off and on, he clung to my arms. Olivia then began to cry and since she knew me from the few times I have spent with her mommy (she is on the our craft team which is my job to head up) I bent down and added her to my increasingly buff arms. With a two year old to carry, it was no large feat for me and the other workers were reaching exhaustion quickly. They are blessings from above, those girls. I set Olivia down a short time later and she was okay. Mothers started to arrive and soon my little cuddler had a mommy to take him. He gripped my arm with all his might through his mostly sleeping hands, not knowing that I was trying to hand him off to mommy. Once he realized it was her, he loosened his clench and probably clung even tighter to her. What a morning, but now was only clean-up.
The sound of vacuums, children running, chairs clinking, bustling in every corner. It took a while, but the clean-up was done and packing up my carload commenced. My sister had taken all of my things out to the car and was waiting for me with Curly. As I was walking toward the car I suddenly heard some crying from my little drama queen of the day. It seems she was reaching for a scone and dropped a bunch of them on the ground. Fortunately we had some parents of boys that weren't afraid of a little parking lot, you know who you are, and the scones that I slaved over didn't go to waste. We calmed her down and she still got a scone. I was putting Smiles' car seat into the car when...wait for it...wait for it...MY BREAKFAST SANDWICH FELL TO THE GROUND!!! Fallen like a warrior in the siege of toddler was the gift that had brightened my morning from the start. Swiped again from my ever clenching grasp, was the one thing that I swear I am fated not to have! I screamed, "NOOOOOO!". Of course, it wasn't that surprising to me at this point that I would be separated from such joy, so my scream was partially to add to the drama for those present that had read the previous post and knew my anguish. Of course, my little Curly, who had reached her expiration date by this point and was in great need of a nap, does not know how to read. She did not know that Mommy was joking. She did not see the humor in the situation. She was scared at the blood curdling scream of the one who is her comforter. She thought that it was her fault, that she had caused some great trauma to her mother. To make it very clear, I am not even sure how the thing fell because it was in a wrapper inside a bag that was rolled up as tightly as possible from my constant toting around of the thing all morning. It was a bit hard to calm her down, but I bribed her with a "burger sandwich", her name for a cheese burger, and she turned instantly into a happy girl...who didn't take a nap this afternoon...who was then more cranky.
Anyway, what I want you to walk away with here is this:
1. I am not intended to have a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit.
2. If you are able, help your local MOPS group by volunteering to play with kids twice a month. All that was needed this morning were a couple of extra hands. Those extra hands would be enough to give quite a few mothers sanity for a few hours, that could possibly flow over to days or even the week. A few hours break makes all the difference in the world.
1 month ago