A Different Lesson Than I Had Planned

I love working with the teenage girls in my congregation. This past Sunday, it was my turn to teach the lesson. I had everything totally prepared. It was going to be really great. But, things don’t always turn out the way you have planned.

First, my husband ended up with a migraine, so I was alone with the kiddos at church. Usually, that wouldn’t be a big deal, but it ended up less than stellar yesterday. I was just about to start the lesson when a friend brought me my three-year-old. My daughter is still not the best at potty training. She told me she had to go potty, so I ran her to the bathroom, hoping this would be a quick trip.

When I got there, I discovered that she had already gone. Number two. In her underwear. And on her dress. And down her leg. Did I have my diaper bag with me? No, I did not. I already had two bags to carry so I had left it in the van. I cleaned her up decently well with wet paper towels and threw the unders in the trash. (Sorry young men who emptied that trash yesterday!)

I rushed back to the classroom with three-year-old in tow. I still had her dress on her since it didn’t have too much “stuff” on it and I didn’t have another option besides her birthday suit. I decided to sit her down on a chair and get the girls going on the opening activity of the lesson.

After I had told my story and explained what I wanted them to do, I picked up three-year-old to haul her out to the van. And saw that she’d left a lovely streak on the (thankfully) plastic chair. I’m not sure if she made more or if I hadn’t gotten everything with the first wiping, but regardless, her calling card was sitting there for everyone to see. And see they did. Much giggling ensued.
So, what did I do? I hauled three-year-old and the chair out to the van. The entire walk out to the parking lot I was laughing, hysterically. With tears streaming out of my eyes. I half-way wanted to cry, but I made the conscious choice to laugh instead. I cleaned up the girl and put her in a t-shirt and pull-up. Then, I scrubbed and sanitized the chair. It was reminiscent of the slide experience, but much more manageable. (Thank heavens, since I was in a dress this time.)

I took my girl back to her class where she stuck out her bottom lip and didn’t want to return since she wasn’t in her favorite dress anymore.

Then, I went back to my young women and attempted to teach for the last ten minutes. I’m not sure any of them got a single thing from it. However, I did tell them they learned a different lesson that day, a lesson about motherhood and reality.

I may have just inadvertently doomed an entire generation. The teenage girls I teach may just decide to opt out of motherhood thanks to my unintended lesson. But I sure hope not. Where else could I get so much entertainment? And so much practice in humility and hygiene? Only in motherhood.


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