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From the time she was a newborn until she was too big to cradle, my daughter Kate was serenaded every night by her dad (that’s me) singing “I Am a Child of God”. We sang this song so much that it became a part of my own nightly routine. If she ever fell asleep (on the couch, in a chair, at the table, et al) before we tackled the bedtime routine, I still sang that song to her to her while I carried her into her bed.
This was such a sweet tradition that I couldn’t imagine it backfiring on me…especially at church.
That’s right – primary song at home = bad day at church. Here’s how that worked out for us:
We were new parents and she was our only child at the time. When she got old enough to be mobile at church, she fussed enough for the entire three-hour Sunday block that inactivity started looking like a viable option (not really, so don’t get any ideas, young parents). When we knew nursery was approaching, we started acting like kids waiting for Christmas morning – we were counting down the weeks, then the days, and we were giddy the day we got to go to church and drop her off in that blessed and inspired place.
Of course, we were like every other parent dropping their kids off at nursery (peeking through the window every 7 seconds, wondering if she was going to be okay, worried she might not get along) – who am I kidding? We dropped her off and made a B-line for the Gospel Doctrine room, laughing maniacally and high-fiving each other the entire way.
Our feeling of freedom was tragically short-lived, however, due to that backfire I hinted at earlier. You see, one of the first things they did in nursery was sing primary songs. Can you guess the first one they sang? Yep – I Am a Child of God. While the other kids were listening to the hymn, my little girl was screaming that she didn’t want to go to bed.
Apparently the screaming was bad enough that a nursery leader was sent to find us and (rudely) interrupted our laughing and high-fiving each other to ask us to come to nursery. What? No! It can’t be! We were promised she would be okay! Noooooo!
And because of my good-intentioned hymnal backfire, I had the chance to see nursery first-hand while I sat with my 18-month-old and helped her understand that she wasn’t going to bed. It took four weeks of going to nursery with her and singing hymn #301 during the daytime at home before she understood it wasn’t just a bedtime song.
Lucky for us, we learned our lesson and now we sing only Van Halen songs to our kids during bedtime…
This is one of many funny nursery experiences I’ve heard about and read in the Latter-day Laughs archives. There’s this one from Jim Cue of Madison, Wisconsin (originally posted February 27, 2012):
After teaching a group of 3 year olds a nursery lesson about being children of God, I started asking questions to see how much they understood. I pointed to one girl and asked, “How about Ruth? Is she a child of God?” The most vocal girl in the class hollered YES immediately. “What about me?” I asked. “I’m a grandpa. Am I a child of God?” Most of the class answered yes that time. Then I pointed to Brother Dimond, who was accompanying his son on his first day in Nursery. “What about Brother Dimond? Is he a child of God?” With an obvious scorn for anyone who would ask such a dumb question, Miss Vocal answered: “He’s a grownup!”
And this delightful one from Kerrie Weitzel of Colorado Springs, Colorado (originally posted on May 15, 2011):
Once when I was helping out in nursery, the nursery leader was teaching a lesson about Heavenly Father. She was using the picture of The First Vision, which shows Heavenly Father and Jesus standing, with Joseph Smith kneeling and leaning away. One little girl correctly identified the two heavenly beings, but asked: “Why did Jesus push him down?”
Or this hilarious tale of a nursery-aged child that so many parents can relate to (Mary Garrison of Lindon, Utah originally submitted this back in May 2011):
After our young grandson’s first day in nursery at Primary, his father wanted to know what he had learned in class. “What did you talk about in nursery today?” he asked. Thomas’ honest reply was: “I didn’t stop talking.” Not satisfied, the father probed further: “No, Thomas. What did your teacher say in Primary?” Our grandson answered: “She said, ‘Thomas, stop talking.’”
Send your funny stories from nursery (or any other place at church) to: LatterDayLaughs@ldsmag.com.