Let me set the stage... Sunday morning I woke up (much earlier than I usually would) and got myself to Linkhorn Park Elementary at 8:00am, service starts at 9:30. I walked into the cafeteria and went to put my bag down, thinking setting chairs was easy enough. At this point, I clearly had no idea that by filling in for Jake I could only come in and do the specific tasks Jake does, i.e. set up the kid's classrooms- a truly DAUNTING task. Imagine two huge wooden crates (at least 6 feet tall) on wheels filled with tupperwares, toys, organizational drawers, folding jungle gyms, bouncy seats, etc. In addition to this, there are baby gates (the kind that create playpens, not that guard doorways) and plastic outdoor things like a slide and rocking fish. Now think about all that stuff and then picture me... just me... responsible for setting it up. That's right folks, NO ONE else was there with classroom set-up duty. Our pastor Jason actually told me, someone should show up to help by 8:15 because it was definitely a two person job. He also noted that no one else setting up had any clue about what to do, so he really did hope someone showed up. EEK!!! I mean seriously, it went down like this, I couldn't make this sort of thing up if I wanted to.
So, I started unloading the items I could lift and delivered them into the appropriate rooms if they had a label, if not, I just guessed or left them on the cart. I kid you not, I was breaking a sweat 10 minutes in until I finished at 9:07. Thank goodness that Jarrod, the guy who sets up coffee, had a few minutes to help me lift two impossibly heavy and awkwardly shaped containers. Then it was finished. I complained a little to our friend Josh/recruited his help for tear down and went on to volunteer in the Starfish classroom. Yep, I actually had to go straight into playing with 2 year olds during the service... which of all weeks went 10 minutes longer. Are you starting to get a feel for what my Sunday looked like? I hope so.
Well, you didn't think that was the end of it did you??? Please. If I got off that easy I'd find something else to blog about. I told you, this duty required set-up and tear down! Finally, at 11:05 when the last two year old left my room, I had the pleasure of breaking my room and the remaining rooms down. I won't take all the credit though, the Starfish participated in their room's clean up & sang this cute little song while doing so, which for some reason wasn't so adorable this particular day. Regardless of whether they were sweet loading their blocks and cars into the tupperware, the task of loading everything back onto those wooden crates, which I spent an hour unloading, was at hand. Praise the Lord, Josh didn't try to escape helping- he actually found me and was eager to help! A few minutes in, we were both breaking a sweat. Josh is a nice guy, but his face let on that he was beyond frustrated. Bless his heart, but he must have unloaded and reloaded that wooden crate 5 or 6 times trying to get everything to fit. After giving him some words of encouragement and helping him get it to the point where it would close, I finished with my crate and wheeled it on over. Josh ended up moving things the extra distance to the truck and I finally got to leave.
The best part about this whole thing is that when Jake asked me to fill in, I specifically asked if there was someone else who had done it before who could do so. His response... and I quote:
"I didn't try to get someone else. You'll be fine. There will be people there to help you and tell you what to do. Its easy."Well, when he got back in town and I relived the above he had the following to add:
"You know they asked me if I minded setting the rooms up by myself on days they were short people and I said that I didn't. I guess the week they wanted to try that out was this past weekend, sorry. Oh, and I know what you mean with the crate and the drawers, once you've done it a million times they go in perfectly... it only takes me a few minutes to break down."I know you're thinking what I'm thinking right now, enough said.
This is the rocking fish I was talking about. I don't know this kid, but Google images does.
I also want to quickly point out that the toys and other kid-friendly items were completely overwhelming. Frankly, I find the above toy and the image of it being pushed over with a two year old in it by another two year old, terrifying (yes, that happened this week). Oh, and you should have seen me trying to make sure the bouncy seats were secure and put together correctly, quite scary. I was envisioning over and over that someone was going to come running from the Minnow's classroom screaming and crying that a baby seat felt out from under an infant and the child landed harshly on the concrete floor... knowing I would be responsible. Just awful.