Bathroom Blues

Beeline To The Bathroom:

One day, in Children’s church, one of my younger helpers asked if she could take this three-year-old girl to the bathroom. I told her “yes.” However, before these two left the classroom, two other girls asked my helper if they could go too. The next thing I knew my helper, who was about ten-years-old, headed to the door with three young girls instead of the one I said she could take to the bathroom. Since I wasn’t sure if the ten-year-old could manage this many youngsters, I stopped the beeline to the bathroom. Then I had the helper and the three-year-old wait briefly so I could clear up the confusion.

I quickly finished the Bible story and explained that helpers could only take one child at a time to the bathroom. Meanwhile, the first three-year-old began throwing a terrific temper tantrum because I didn’t let her go to the bathroom right away. After explaining the rule, I let the helper take the three-year-old to the restroom.

As this three-year-old and the helper returned from the restroom, the three-year-old’s parents showed up and she immediately began to throw another tantrum. I explained what happened to the parents and they seemed to understand. (Thank you, Lord!)

This whole situation could have been avoided if I had made a set of rules for my helpers before class and gone over the rules with them. I regret this confusion, but I had to stop the beeline to the bathroom before someone got hurt.

Born to Run:

One day, while I was on nursery duty at a meeting of a local Christian women’s organization, a preschool-aged girl asked me if she could use the restroom.

Just moments before this girl’s asking, my only adult helper went on a short errand, leaving me alone with about eight small children. My helper said she would return quickly so I let the little preschooler go to the bathroom (about two doors down the hallway), while I watched and listened from the nursery door.

Suddenly, one of the small children began crying loudly and wouldn’t stop. I had to briefly check on the little one, but I immediately returned to the doorway to check on the little girl in the bathroom. After a few minutes my helper returned, but the little girl didn’t.

I quickly explained the dilemma to my helper, and she agreed to watch the room full of children while I went looking for the missing girl. As I headed down the hallway, one of the women came by and asked me if I knew why there was a little girl running loose in the church lobby. Instantly I knew where to find my escapee, so I went to bring her back.

As I approached the little girl, she made a game of running away from me. She would laugh at me and run the other direction. However, her game was short-lived when I trapped her in a corner of the lobby and took her back to the nursery. Needless to say, I had a serious chat with that young one about her behavior.

Scripture tells us, “Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts; ‘Consider your ways!'” (Haggai 1:5 NKJV) Next time I’m left by myself with a room full of children, I will not let a preschooler go to the bathroom on his or her own. They will wait until I can get help.

So don’t make the same mistake I did and let little ones leave the room to go to the restroom by themselves, even if the bathroom is only a couple of doorways down the hall. Believe me when I say, “Preschoolers were born to run!”

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