Sunday we braved a bone-fide pre-blizzard (the official warning started at 2pm) to head to church. Given that we both work at the church, going wasn’t much of a question. But it still feels kind of tough and rugged to say we slogged through the very poorly plowed roads in the snow to get there.
Riley moved from the Toddler’s to the Two-Year-Old class about two months ago. To both help him transition and help him not get bored as a two-a-day kid, we started by having him join the Two’s at first service but stay with his normal Toddler class at the second service. After doing that for a month, he went full time to Two’s.
He loves the Two’s, which is where our Large Group Bible story time begins, as well as Small Group games about the story. There’s still lots of large motor free play, but the chunk of lesson time has been great for him, and my heart flutters every time he repeats something I know he learned at church.
After first service, I checked him out and took him to the room where Curtis works to get some more to eat, like usual. As I offered him an orange, I asked if he wanted to go back to his class or go see Frank and Craig for the next service.
Frank and Craig lead Riley’s Toddler classroom. Both of the mid-aged men have served there forever; Craig’s own kids are in college now. They are faithful and fun and Riley adores them. And I knew they were there, pre-blizzard be darned.
I interpreted Riley’s nonsense answer as a sign that I had asked too complicated a question, so I dropped it. He finished his snacks and played some basketball in the Big Kid class. Basketball is his favorite. When we play, I hoist him to the hoop edge so he can dunk a small basketball through the 5 1/2′ hoop. It’s good exercise, but I’m getting tired of him pushing his boot off of my belly. I called last shot and to my surprise, he readily complied, saying, “Creekey?”
I repeated the sound back to him–“Creekey?”–mainly to confirm I heard him correctly. I was scanning the recesses of my brain for a clue about the meaning of this word. He’d never said it before. But it was the word he meant, he was happy to hear me parrot it, and off we went to his class. Where he promptly melted down.
This is highly unusual for him. He usually trots right into class, finds a truck and settles in. I get a goodbye kiss if I’m quick on the draw. But not this time. He was clingly, half-crying, refusing every attempt to be put-down. Assuming this was about wanting to return to basketball, I found the small hoop and ball and tried to lure him to it.
No dice. Also, he’s now said Creekey, or it’s variation, Craikee, 40 times. I was still no closer to knowing what this word meant.
When even bubbles failed, I gave up, checked him out, and took him back to the Big Kid room where Curtis works. Craikee count- 55. Curtis and I tried together to decipher the meaning of the meltdown. Then we tried more basketball, more snack, and having Curtis coming back to class with us.
Craikee count- 63.
Near the door of the Two’s (meltdown resuming) the idea came to me to re-offer his Toddler class. “Do you want to see Frank and Craig?” I asked, somewhat desperately.
“KEEEEE!!!!!” (This is is yes, please! word.) Oh, good.
“Frank and Craig?”
Mystery solved, we head to the Purple Room, where I tell Craig they were requested by their celebrity-couple-mash-up name. Riley smiled huge when he saw them, headed straight into the room and played happily.
Frank and Craig, you saints who braved a pre-blizzard to play with Toddlers, you make my son light up at his church, and my gratitude is beyond even made up words.