“Are you my mommy?” asked the little lost duck. 

“No” said the mare. “I’m not your mommy.”

“Are you my mommy?” the little duck asked the sheep.

“No, little duck, I’m not your mommy.”

Who in the world stashed this book into the nursery cupboard anyways? Someone with a sick sense of humor, that’s who.

At the beginning of the year we had a few darlings not quite sold on the idea leaving their M-O-M-M-Ys. I can usually win over small children with a good story time, so I thought I’d try that. (I like to do all the voices and if anything I error on the obnoxious side of being animated. But if I do say so myself, my Elmo impression is unmatched.) Anyways, on my first day in the ring, I naively picked up a stack of books from out of the cupboard, pulled the one off the top and began to read:

“Are you my mommy?” in a weak, nasally voice becoming that of a lonely little duck…Wait. Did I just say “mommy?”

“WHAAAAAAAAA!!!!” Think: Domino effect.

Well, I haven’t made that mistake twice. M-O-M-M-Y is one of the trigger words we try to avoid in the nursery. It’s all about distraction in there. Toys, snacks, bubbles! The M-O-M word is the last thing you want to say, seeing as it tends to send our little band of barely stable 18 month olds into a cacophony of tears.

So, no more melancholy ducks searching for their parents. Now our Nursery story time consists of books about butterflies and zoos and cats who wear hats. You know, much less emotionally charged topics. Now we point to pictures of the Savior and watch the kids light up when they try to enunciate the name of Jesus. (It melts me every time.)

But it’s taken our young brood (it’s a very young nursery–all under 24 months old) quite a few Sundays to come to grips with this no M-O-M business. In the beginning there was lots of sobbing, sniffling, even dry heaving once, but a few weeks ago…no one cried. No one cried! It was such a breakthrough Sunday for us, I nearly cried! Now the fun can begin, I thought!

Now in addition to our regular play time/snack time/lesson time regime, we’ve added music time, play dough time, parachute time, bubble time! I’m telling ya, Nursery is THE place to be on Sundays. We are having a ball in there. (Well, actually we have lots of balls in there to avoid squabbles.) But the point is, no one is frowning. (Except when we sing “If By Chance You Meet a Frown.”)

And now that everyone is not frowning and feeling safe in the routine, basking in the bubbles, I’m leaving. Yes, we’re moving. New ward and all. I’m absolutely devastated to have to leave my young charges.

It’s not going to be the same when a sister in the new Relief Society displays a picture of Christ and no one excitedly shouts out His name, mispronouncing their S’s. What will I do when my blood sugar feels low and there are no fishy crackers to nibble on? What will Sundays be like when I’m no longer surrounded by the very people the Savior told us to emulate?

I know that nursery isn’t exactly a popular calling, what with all the initial crying. But someone once told me that if the Savior were to come to your ward, the Nursery would be His first stop. That mindset has made all the difference. And now that I’m leaving, I’m the one who doing the crying. 

I want my M-O-M-M-Y.

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