We started our Friendship year off today. There were five of us who rode together to Lexington to take charge of the nursery. On our trip over, we speculated about the number of babies who would show up. Since most of our babies last year were about to start walking, we were pretty sure they would be "moving up" to the toddler nursery. As far as we knew, there was only one little baby who would be there--we had a three-week-old at our last session in May, so we figured he might be back.
I had hoped to take pictures of all the little ones as they got settled into their classes and to give those pictures to the parents at a later date. Our first little girl to show up was Yuna, who had been in our baby class last year. Yuna seemed a little shy, but I did manage to get a picture of her.
And then the bus from Shawneetown (UK student housing) showed up. Just like last year, all our Chinese moms came at once. And just like last year, all their babies started crying at the same time. Not just crying, screaming. It was bedlam in the toddler room. There was NO WAY to get pictures taken--we were too busy trying to get tags onto diaper bags, to convince mothers that their children would be okay, and to attempt to convince the babies that they would be okay. I think some of them bought into that, because a little later in the morning, there were actually times when you could hear some of the musical toys, or maybe even a word of conversation among the workers. Not often, mind you, but occasionally.
Across the hall in the baby room, nine babies showed up. As I remarked to one of the workers, I don't know where those babies came from! She was surprised that at my age, I still didn't know where babies come from and offered to explain the facts of life to me. Oh, the facts of life--I have those down pretty much pat, but the facts of life as related to babies at Friendship--I SWEAR, there was no more than one pregnant woman coming last year, and I believe she was the one who gave birth to the three-week-old who was at the last session! I don't remember one other bulging belly! Normal nine-month pregnancies I understand, but how the internationals can conceive and give birth over a three-month summer vacation is beyond me!
The new crop of babies are delightful. One little fellow spent his first hour in the nursery nursing. He finally decided to let mommy go to her class. After she left, a worker remarked that he seemed pretty happy. Another one said, of course he was--he had been eating for an hour! We call him Henry I Ate, sort of a take off on Henry the 8th--get it? Probably pretty weak joke, but I'm tired. It's been a long day.
I think all told, we had 22 babies and toddlers. They tell me at one time, they kept all the little ones in the same room. I know that would be absolutely impossible now, and I wouldn't even want to try. Oh, and lest you think the five of us handled all 22 children with no help, that wasn't the case. I'm not sure how many workers we had, but it was enough that each cryer had his/her own worker--it looked like there were almost as many workers as there were children.
I hope you had a good day, full of God's blessings, and that you're enjoying each and every one of them, even the ones that cry! Love to all, and God bless.