I spent two hours on Sunday in the church's nursery, helping to tend 14 children between the ages of 1½ and 3½. It was a holiday weekend, and the regular nursery leaders were all gone, so when I went to drop off my youngest boy, there was no adult supervision in the room. I couldn't just leave my boy there in that situation, so I stayed to help. So did three other parents. (It's always great when people step up to help.)
We weren't too far into the first hour when one of the other dads who was helping said, "Phew, somebody pooped." Well, this happens all of the time. The solution is usually simple: take the smelly kid out and track down a parent to change their diaper. (My boy likes to save up his poops for nursery time so that the nursery leaders have to track me down frequently.) There's only one problem with that approach--first you have to identify which child has pooped.
|Stink, stank, stunk!|
14 kids is a lot of kids. The four adults in the room began sniffing randomly. "I think it's coming from that side of the room." "No, I think it's over there." "It's probably one of these boys." We couldn't come to a consensus on who had pooped. I asked the kids. I didn't really expect an answer. Most of these kids aren't potty trained, so they might not even know if they've pooped or if they haven't. (Some of them don't even know their name yet!)
I checked my boy in the usual way, pulling his pants out and looking down into his diaper. It wasn't him. (For once.) The other parents checked their own kids, too. But, we all felt a little uncomfortable checking kids that weren't our own. It doesn't feel quite right grabbing someone else's child and looking down their pants for poop. So, we kept sniffing, trying to narrow down the culprit, but to no avail.
After a while, the Primary President (the church leader over the nursery and all of the little kids) came in to check on how things were going. We drafted her into our sniffing hunt patrol, but she couldn't pinpoint the stink, either. It was like we were playing a game of "Where's Waldo?" but with our noses instead of our eyes.
We thought we had it narrowed down to one of three boys on a couple of different occasions, but we were wrong. Eventually, one of the adults caught an extra strong whiff and determined that it must be coming from one of the two girls in the corner. Sure enough, when one of them stood we could not only smell the poop, but it was also visually apparent. We had been so quick to blame one of the boys that we kept overlooking the girls. (I thought girls always smelled like lilacs and daffodils!)
It took us almost an hour and a half to track down the poop. That was far too long. (I never was very good at "Where's Waldo?" anyway.)