Sunday, September 17, 2006

Baby Dojo

Thursday morning I got to go to Friendship International to help with child care. Friendship International is a program several churches in our area set up to help welcome newcomers to America--in particular, female newcomers who would ordinarily be sitting in their houses all day with little to do and no one to talk to, since their husbands are at work and they haven't made any friends here yet. For the most part, the women appear to be young Japanese with small children in tow. This past Thursday, 8 of those children, all under the age of 1 year, ended up in the room I was supposedly staffing.

Thank goodness, there were two Japanese women there to work with me. Not only did they speak some English, they also had "worked" at Friendship before and knew the ropes. And they also spoke Japanese, which was helpful when the mothers were leaving the babies with these strangers. Of the 8 babies, only 2 had bottles, and neither were the least bit interested in taking those bottles. What they were most concerned about seemed to be, where has my mommy gone!

The 8 babies took turns crying for the 2 hours I was there. We would take them out of their carriers, then put them into either an exersaucer or a swing, or occasionally prop them on the mat to play with toys there--like they wanted to play! We usually ended up rocking them, one at a time, which took one helper out of commission until she had that child soothed. Some of them could then be put in a swing or saucer at that time. One little one could not be soothed, and she was returned to her mommy. (When mommy came to pick up the diaper bag, we told her to be sure to try again next week.) Another one was only satisfied as long as one of us was rocking her. Eventually she fell asleep in my arms, but she wouldn't let me put her in a crib. Another person took over, and the little lady was asleep in that woman's lap until Mama came.

All in all, it was a good morning. I will gladly show up again next Thursday to try it another time.

You may wonder where I got the title for this blog--I overheard one of the Japanese workers talking to a mother about the "dojo", and I thought baby dojo was a pretty descriptive term. Love to all, and God bless.

1 comment:

Jenn Hacker said...

I like reading your stories!

Love ya bunches!