Thursday, September 30, 2010

Understanding Thursdays

Occasionally I mask a complaint about Thursdays on Facebook by telling my Thursday to "bring it!" or that "you will not defeat me."  You see, Wednesday is my day off, and Thursday is Sara's day off.  Frankly nothing here is massively hard to do, but Thursday is when Sara and I are not partners; it's the day when I'm on my own.  I wouldn't mind it so much, except that it's like being thrown in the deep end.  Right after the day when I don't have to do anything, I'm prepping booked rooms & helping out with toddler club and Sara's not there.

I emphasize again, none of it's hard, it's simply the contrast.  There's also the issue that I'm not a morning person unless you're talking about the wee hours of the morning - when I still haven't gone to sleep yet...  And on Thursdays, there are typically bookings that need to be ready between 8-9:30 AM, so I have to get up early and trot around to get the rooms ready and then it's off to Toddler Club.

I look forward, in a way, to the solitary work; I just like it better in the afternoon.  Why do I look forward to it?  My iPod.  That's an odd answer, I know, but on my iPod are old and newly forming playlists as well as audiobooks and a bit of dramatized Narnia by C.S. Lewis.  Unless I'm extremely tired, I don't take audio content in well while I'm sitting still and doing nothing.  So while I'm retrieving, filling & plugging in semi-heavy water heaters, grabbing tea & coffee, sugar & milk & spoons for the rooms, setting up tables & chairs, (which is all mostly just motor activity vs. mental) I do a lot of important thinking & processing.  There's something about my hands and legs being so busy that it makes my brain really receptive to music & books...

Toddler Club is a festival of cuteness, but somehow it's honestly not really my thing.  Plus, I've been battling a cold this week and so it's not a great idea to be near the children anyhow - I head to the restroom every time I need to blow my nose and wash my hands immediately afterwards.  I love babies & toddlers, but I need a relationship with the baby to be happy to see him/her no matter what time of day, and so when it's a mass of cute toddlers I barely know, I'd be more likely to be social in the afternoon, but since that isn't the case (and I wouldn't trade with Sara; she has two Toddler Club shifts on Wednesday - I've only got one on Thursday - she loves it, btw) I classify it as character development and a patience laboratory.  I don't dislike it, it just doesn't really register anywhere, so I go and am as helpful as I can be, taking initiative whenever I can and I'm slowly getting to know the parents who come.

I don't think I've explained already that Toddler Club for me is 9:30-11:30 AM every Thursday.  Mainly mothers bring their children (I've never seen two parents of the same child come to Toddler Club...yet) and they play with the toys we set up, put on simple dress-up clothes while the mothers (and the occasional father) either play with their kids or sit & talk with each other.  At 10:30, sliced bananas & grapes are handed out as well as sippy cups half-filled with diluted juice.  There are also generic biscuits for the toddlers.  For the parents who come, tea, coffee & hot chocolate are available as well as fancier biscuits with chocolate & whatnot fillings.  We get the toddlers' fruit & sippy cups ready so they can just be passed out, and I'm on standby to make whatever hot drinks the parent wants.  At 11:15 is "tidy-up time" where the children and parents get the little toys into boxes and drag all the bigger items into one big pile/area.  At 11:30 the parents are leaving & we clean up.  We sort through the small toys (they go in specific bins) and put all the large play-house type things in the closet, clean the cups & spoons with our NIFTY 10 minute dishwasher (I seriously wish we had them in the states!!) and lock up by about noon.

Thursday afternoon holds a few free hours and then anywhere between 3:30-5pm, I'm returning to the booked rooms to clear or tidy them up.  To tidy means to leave tables & chairs and just take care of the hot drink table & water heater, whereas to clear means to make the whole entire room look like no one was ever there - the whole shebang.

Thursdays are something I pray about on Wednesday night because while they're well within my range of abilities, I don't want to work up any resentment over something that's technically trivial.  So I tell God I don't really like Thursdays and I feel intimidated, but I remember that Thursdays have always been rewarding - not something I've begun to resent and I leave it in His hands.  I genuinely feel like God helps me get up early with much more ease than on other days; Thursdays may feel harder because of the contrast with my lovely Wednesdays off, but they feel like a day in the week when God and I get closer.  So I have a funny conundrum: I dislike Thursdays in anticipation, but I'm grateful for them in the end.  Cheers.

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