Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Local Mom at Loose End After Family Booted from VBS

A local mom is scratching her head after her family was asked to leave the local Vacation Bible School. "I had cleared my calendar for this," Bubandpie explains. "I'm not sure how to put the week in now."

Sources at the church confirm that there has been a parting of ways. "After yesterday, all parties have agreed that Avalanche Ranch will run more smoothly without the involvement of the Bubandpie family," the camp director told local media.

This decision means that the camp must scramble to find a new Crafts and Missions director. Ms. Bubandpie had been slated to run the crafts table, while supervising her two-year-old daughter. "The little girl would not behave," reported an eye-witness. "During the Chester Chipmunk skit, she repeatedly interrupted by shouting, 'Where'd the squirrel go?'"

Of greater concern, however, was the behaviour of Bub, a three-year-old boy. According to observers, Bub could not seem to understand that he was meant to stay with the Green Papaya group. He cried, clung to his mother, refused to give his name when asked, and disrupted the class by playing with contraband hula hoops instead of sitting quietly at a table with the other children.

Camp participants were dismayed when Bubandpie left the scene in tears. "I hope she gets some counselling," one concerned churchgoer commented. "This is just embarrassing to watch."

At press time, it remains unclear whether the Bubandpie family will return to Avalanche Ranch. "They're welcome to sit in on the Campfire Singsong," the director told reporters. The teacher in the 3-5 year room wasn't so sure. "It's important for the children to follow the structure of the program," she explained. "We need them to sit still so they can be told about the love of God."

70 comments:

Mary-LUE said...

Oh dear!

Omaha Mama said...

Your children are filled with the love of God, just not the love of structure (exactly the same situation as my two are in). This is why we opted out of VBS this year. I thought it sounded like more of a four-year old activity to me, so we'll give it a go next year.

Some things are more fun in our minds, huh?

mcewen said...

Well you know what Groucho Marx said about clubs!
Cheers

Jenifer said...

As a Mom of those "other children" I have always felt such sympathy for the children just not able to cope with the structure of these types of classes.

At swimming lessons last week a little boy was so distraught he cried until he vomited all over the pool deck. This boy had never been in a swimming pool before and his mother didn't speak much English so I am not sure she understood what they were trying to tell her, but it was clear he was terrified. He has been moved into the Parent & Tot class.

Bottom line some kids are just not ready to follow such rigid structures. My Godson was the same way, he would never follow the group in our Little Gym class and was always doing his own thing. As long as you left him alone he was quiet, but if you tried to make him do what the group was doing he would completely meltdown.

I used to think it was a lack of discipline on his parents behalf - and they are much more lenient than us, but it wasn't even that. He just shut-down in those situations. He is five now and completely over it, but his Mom shed many a tear over it. It just took a bit of time.

Hugs!!

metro mama said...

Well, good riddance. You'll have more fun at the beach anyway.

Ally said...

On day two of VBS (today), BubandPie friend, Ally, states that she is crossing her fingers that her children aren't ejected as well. "I could use the rest for a few hours," Ally states, "so please, for the love of God (literally), show my children some grace."

Oh, The Joys said...

Oh, no.

and btw - where DID the squirrel go?

Veronica Mitchell said...

Yes, it is a little known conclusion of the Third Ecumenical Council that the love of God cannot be conveyed to moving children. Something about wind resistance and the Holy Spirit.

nomotherearth said...

The Boy never does what the group is doing, so I rarely sign him up for anything. Which is a problem, too. We just can't win, can we?

I don't think that children are meant to sit quietly for very long anyways..

Jenn said...

"We need them to sit still so they can be told about the love of God."

Humphf.

God also created legs to run with and lungs to yell with.

Yeah for God!

NotSoSage said...

You've got to be kidding me.

Swistle said...

That is an amazing piece of writing. It made me cringe, and it made me outraged, and it was exactly like a real news article, AND it was TOTALLY HILARIOUS. That is not an easy combination.

kittenpie said...

I hope god loved irony, too, because somehow that last line seems rich with it. How ridiculous.

Perhaps what they need are some activities to take part in to celebrate the love, instead. How about singing about it, raising their voices in joyful song? Jumping around and feeling the strength in their limbs? Twirling with grass underfoot and trees overhead and glorying in creation? You know, I'm not religious, but it seems to me that any of those sorts of activities is a teaching moment about the love god has shown us and how we should love it in return.

cinnamon gurl said...

Oh, B&P! The absurdity... their expectations seem unreasonable to me. Hugs!

ewe are here said...

Oh no!

I would like to think that the Gods would have get more joy out of watching young children run about having some good, healthy fun. Because I was one of those, and I suspect my boys will be, too.

I'm sorry the camp wasn't a good fit, but I suspect you'll have fun elsewhere with your wee ones.

MOM-NOS said...

Sigh.

I pulled Bud out of Sunday school when the Sunday school teacher told me she wasn't sure what to do when Bud started "spazzing out".

JMA said...

Ummm, didn't Jesus have non-conformist tendencies? Whose son was he again?

I hope you're enjoying some ice cream, this afternoon.

Kyla said...

Oh my!! Seriously?!? The quote is for real? Ugh ugh ugh.


So sorry, B&P. This is why we haven't been to church in a very long time. Well, sort of. We were never asked to leave, but KayTar vomiting on the nursery worker every week because she was so upset and us being paged from service 10 minutes in, each and every time made us reevaluate. Maybe when she's older. Who knows.

But this was expertly written, B&P. :)

flutter said...

You cannot be serious.

bren j. said...

At first I thought you were joking because that's ridiculous! What do they expect from toddlers?!?! Unless they've got a collection of straight jackets and gags....

Emmie (Better Make It A Double) said...

Oh, how awful for you – to feel so unsupported when your kids were being challenging. In church of all places – a place where tolerance and supporting families ought to be a big priority. We have a couple of kids in our church whose behavior is extremely challenging at times, but we’ve always found some way to help them participate and even get some respite for the parents. At one point, they had their own 1:1 ratio Sunday school class, and sometimes the kids have a “buddy” every Sunday morning so their parents can focus on worship. I’m sure it took us a while to get to that place, though, and that we made mistakes as a church community. Is there anyone in leadership who you could connect with on this? I’m impressed by your ability to see the humor in it, but I wish I could give you a big hug. I’m going to pray that the teachers of that VBS program see the big picture. Grace and mercy, people. Read the book.

Mimi said...

Sit down and feel the love, dammit!

Oh dear. This seems very un-Christian. Your children are enthused, in the classical sense, is all. Ice cream all round, I say.

Kelli said...

Not a good first day, eh?

Maybe I missed something in Bible college, but I could have sworn Jesus said somthing about 'siffer the little children to come to me' ...

not "I suffer when the little children come to me".

Somebody needs a time out.

And some lessons in why we are all here.

Jenifer said...

Wait a minute...are the quotes real? I just thought it was your usual wit and humour about the whole situation and you decided to leave. I thought you were joking about it!

They really kicked you out? Holy, that is not very Christian at all. That is disgraceful actually. They are children for goodness sakes. Both of mine have talked through many story-telling or puppet shows, in fact at my library the entertainers usually say that when the kids are talking they know they are having fun.

So sorry these people are so insensitive. You deserved better at camp.

Kit said...

Who are those children who are sitting still at that age? I know mine wouldn't. I love Veronica's comment!

Aliki2006 said...

Oh goodness--I can't believe this. I say good riddance too.

Lawyer Mama said...

Wow. If anyone knows a 3 and 2 year old that will sit still and listen, please let me know. Mine sure as hell won't. Do the people in your church have only Stepford children?

I love Mimi's comment!

kristi said...

I get the comments and looks too! I have not gone to church in over a month. It is too hard.

Bon said...

right...i forgot that parable where Jesus went out of his way to minister to the conformist mainstream...

great post, crap situation. i sorry.

:)

Carrien said...

Snort*

Yes, sitting still is most essential to a true understanding of the love of God.

*snort giggle*

Sorry it was so stressful.

bubandpie said...

No, no, no, not a real quote. More a distillation of what I felt was behind all those averted gazes and whispered discussions. And no boots were used - it was more like, "Bub seems really stressed and you seem really stressed, so you should just call it a day." But when I hesitated, she added, "We're using too many staff members to deal with this."

And I did get two supportive phone calls last night, which helped. But I was shocked at how little sympathy there was - we were just a problem they couldn't wait to get rid of.

thirtysomething said...

Are you freakin' kidding me? What do they expect of toddlers? I would be outraged if I were you, and I would so give them a piece of my mind. That is truly unforgivable.

Major Bedhead said...

I still can't believe they kicked you out of Bible School. That really makes my stomach turn.

Anonymous said...

My heart breaks for you. I have run many a kid-related thing in my time and never would I lose the arts and crafts person for any reason (smile). Your post is sad on so many levels, mostly the "love of God" crap. Oh, and I attend church every Sunday and taught my share of Sunday school and chaperoned many a youth group activity, and the hyprocrisy of it all is stunning. Shake it off if you can and put this behind you. Oh, and PS, maybe this is the sign you were seeking to inform you about home-based day care versus facility based. Flexibility is the key to working with children!!!

Alpha DogMa said...

Nice. Really nice.

I'm so sorry, B&P.

That's even worse than the time we were leaving a parent-tot play group at the Baptist church, and the wind blew the heavy oak door shut, and my 2 year old said, "God Damnit! Jesus, that wind is strong!" in front of the Minister. Who was equally unamused by my response: hearty laughter.

Anonymous said...

PS Anonymous here again with one more PS: I would not darken the door of that camp again not with that lack of understanding and worse, the judgemental attitude from the church ladies...so-called.

Aimee said...

Filled with the love of God indeed!

Don't feel badly - Older Girl was kicked out of VBS a few years ago for repeatedly standing by the door and crying when she was supposed to be IN A LINE! SINGING! For God's sake!! Precisely - for God's sake.

She made it through, I made it through and she still loves God and goes to church - despite the fact that her father called her a "my little heathen" for a few weeks.

bubandpie said...

Anonymous - Yeah. The woman who was running the VBS was wonderful - when I was apologizing for backing out of the crafts, she said, "I don't care about the crafts - I care about you and your family." But the woman who was actually teaching the 3-5 year age group (the one to whom I attributed that final "quote") - she's another kettle of fish. I will not leave my son in that woman's care.

And when I got home and pulled myself together, I spent the rest of the morning on the phone looking for alternatives to JK - and I think I may have found one: a preschool in my neighbourhood (we go to visit on Thursday) and a home-care just down the street (we visit her next week). Keeping my fingers crossed...

Joy, of course said...

Okay, this is ridiculous. I have worked in every age imaginable at my church and have never heard of such a thing. One year when I was teaching kindergarten Sunday School I had to ask for an extra body to be a one-on-one assistant for a very ADHD boy. It never occured to me to ask him mother not to bring him back. No wonder you are "sitting in a corner with your head in your hands."

I do have to say though, that this was just about the funniest post ever. Even in your distress you are eloquent.

kgirl said...

Really? Avalanche Ranch sounds pretty lame. You guys will have more fun at the park, and no doubt you can teach them all about the love of God while pushing a swing ;)

but I'm sorry that you ended up in tears.

Magpie said...

Darn. Some people just shouldn't be in charge of kids.

Beck said...

Geeeeez. Your VBS SUCKS!
You should come to ours. Okay, it's a bit of a commute and it's not at our actual church, but it's sweet and low-key and loud kids are very welcome, as I know from personal experience.
Also, if a certain separation-adverse young man who I will not name, except to say that I gave birth to him, decides to spend the WHOLE TIME crying quietly, the extremely sweet leaders will take turns sitting him on their knees and hugging him inbetween running VBS.

Lisse said...

We have a few of those rigid people who teach our Sunday School as well. I just don't get it.

But then again, I was the kid who use to see those Vacation Bible School signs outside of churches and think "That's not a vacation!"

Mardougrrl said...

Oh, boy. I feel you. I always thought I would be asked to leave our toddler class too-your description of Bub's behavior is basically Madam at toddler class.

*sigh* Sorry.

Miscellaneous-Mum said...

Unbelievable! What....echh...don't get me started...

Luisa Perkins said...

Oh, Bubandpie. How awful. It could have been me so easily. You are hilarious even in your darkest hour.

Will it cheer you up at all to know that I gave you an award today? If not (or even if so), opt for the Skor ice cream.

Antique Mommy said...

Oh Goodnight. Isn't that what kids do? Squirm and fuss and blurt whatever they're thinking? Oh wait a minute. That's whas I do.

Blog Antagonist said...

Those heartless bastards.

Okay that was harsh, but really, does nobody understand age appropriate behavior?

Been there, done that. Got the emotional scars to prove it. Diminutive One has been asked to leave more places than I care to remember. I feel for you.

Mouse said...

Earlier this month, we ended up pulling Scooter out of a half-day sports camp after two days. He claimed to like it, but he was crying one of the times we picked him up and both times couldn't handle getting back into the rest of the day's routine. We really wanted it to work, but had to acknowledge he just wasn't quite ready. It's not easy.

I hope the preschool lead pans out.

Terri said...

Oh. My. Word. They expect the three to five year olds to sit still? My eight year old doesn't even do that well. I've done VBS and daycare, and I've found when working with this age group you absolutely have to keep them moving most of the time. Sorry about your experience, but I loved the post.

PeanutButtersMum said...

Horrifying. Truly. I can only imagine how hurt and frustrated you felt.

Too bad you missed our VBS. It was awesome, and we have a toddler/preschooler program geared to that age group...

I admire your decency in writing about it with so little obvious anger. Good on you!

Christine said...

screw avalanche ranch!

they need to DANCE to know God.

Seriously--here has got to be another VBS you can go to, no? Is the one at your regular church or another?

sorry they drove you to tears. not cool.

Julie Pippert said...

NO SIR!

They did NOT!

Because...because a two year old acted like a two year old...and a three year old had to be reminded to stay with his group?

Oh just saw your comment...they made YOU quit??

Sorry...that does not sound cool.

Anyway, Avalanche Ranch was not too great. Game Day is much better!

Seriously...my two year old galloped and clapped during the singing in the sanctuary and people laughed and enjoyed her enthusiasm.

The *five year olds* were climbing over the pews and under them and knocking over the prayer benches!

And everybody seemed to expect this!

The more I think the more offended I am on your behalf. Sorry. Will can it now.

Karianna said...

Sorry to say I've been in your shoes more than once. Our school district says there is a special file for those "expelled twice."

Thank goodness actions at church don't go on that particular "permanent record." I think God's is more lenient.

Mrs. Chicken said...

So much for God loving everyone. I'm so sorry this happened to you, Bub.

Jill said...

Who wants to be a stinkin' green papaya anyway. Enjoy your new found free time.

slouching mom said...

That is SO VERY, VERY WRONG.

Angela said...

What does sit still mean?

melody is slurping life said...

Might I take a moment to totally identify with this scenario. As a mom who paid quite a few bucks to take her kids to the exclusive neighborhood pool...I don't care what the snotty teen lifeguard or the neighborhood pool treasurer says...we'll be splashing tomorrow.

Sometimes the "normal" people...and I use that term loosely being one of them...need to suck it up and relax. Did Jesus turn away children who didn't sit perfectly still? I think not.

Yeah, what someone else said...more fun at the beach. :)

Katrina said...

Oh, I'm so sorry about this... I do appreciate how our church handles the younger kids for VBS -- plenty of time to run and play and yell. Expecting 2 and 3 year olds to sit still for hours is insane and unrealistic, to say the least.

The Small Scribbler said...

If I was the kind of person that could come up with a quick comeback I would deliver something along the lines of Veronica's comment. But alas, I'm not so I must resort to, "Yeah! What she said!"

And because I am more of an earnest soul...I'm sorry that VBS wasn't what you had hoped for. I don't like mean people either and it's too bad that we can't escape them in church.

Kate

Karen said...

what the hell kind of an avalanche are they running over there?
And poor Pie, no group for her or no nursery room for little ones to play in while helpful crafty mommies are busy? And how are three years old supposed to assimilate their Papaya identity in such a short time.

For Bub and Pie and you: head to the beach, the river, the great outdoors of loud noises to shout, as the good book says: Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls, all your waves and breakers have swept over me.

PS Sent Thinker to Avalance Ranch at local church, not so impressives as Lava Lava Island and the other one....hoping for good news for preschool later this week for Bub!

LIB said...

I am SO SORRY that happened!

My experience with volunteer teachers (I'm thinking of Bab's teacher here) is they have very little knowledge of children who don't fit into a very narrow mold. Too bad they couldn't hve recognized Bub's needs and put him in a group with an experienced teacher.

These people have a VERY narrow idea of "God's love".

Laural Dawn said...

I really don't know what to say.
As a VBS veteran (I can still sing the songs) I can tell you that it's not fair you were kicked out.
But, I have to admit that I really hated it until I was about 7.
I, personally, was kicked out of my youth group when I was 17. (long story - I didn't rebel - the church split up)
If it's any comfort, I've learned that you need to separate the people at the church from God. People can be very hurtful.

Crow said...

I am appalled at what some people consider to be "Christian" behavior! While I know that many VBS are desperate for volunteers you wish they would screen them better to make sure they enjoy working with ALL children...not just the good ones who "sit still so they can be told about the love of God." I hope you find a place where you are all welcomed with open arms!

Emily said...

Are you kidding me?! Seriously?! Too many staff members? That's what the staff members are for, for goodness sake. That is the most absurd thing I have heard all week (and I live with a three year old, so that is saying something.)

V-Grrrl said...

VBS programs have evolved into such extravaganzas that even the adults involved have difficulty handling all the structure.

When I was one of the planners of our churche's VBS, we eschewed all the stupid curriculums, sat down one afternoon and planned what we'd do, limited it to three days, held our "classes" outside, and did it all by the seat of our pants. A good time was had by all.

mamatulip said...

Wow. I'm really sorry that happened, but I gotta say, I love the way you set this post up.

DaniGirl said...

Okay, so I didn't have time to read all the comments, but the ones i did read made me laugh out loud, after I finished cringing on your behalf.

Um, hello? He's THREE, for goodness sake. I see the same thing in Simon over and over again - they just don't get "group" activities at three. Some do, sure, but to have such stringent expectations? Bah. I think you're better off without.

(Lovely post, btw. Must have been awful to go through, but I did love the retelling.)

Gunfighter said...

Our Church did Avalanche Ranch this year, too!

Too bad you don't live here... we keep it a little on the loose side with the kids... after all, the little ones are... well... little!

Sorry it didn't go well for you.