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Our Son, the Zoo Exhibit

We went for our first ever family church camp last week, and even though I spent most of my time trying to entertain/feed Noah, I was able to participate in most of the worship sessions. C would also tell me about the sessions I missed, and I am glad that he enjoyed them. As Noah can get a little noisy and squirmy, I would bring him to the back of the hall so that he could sit on the carpet and crawl around with the other kids there. I was very amused by the way our friends’ children interacted with Noah, as it reminded me of people checking out a zoo exhibit.

Little E adores Noah, and often looks for him on Sundays in church. C told me that when E first saw him in the hotel lobby, he ran excitedly to him, thinking Noah was with him, and was rather disappointed to learn that Noah was in the room with me instead. Here he is, playing Peekaboo with Noah, during one of the breaks.

Church Kids 1

This little boy really amused us when he was having a verbal ‘war’ with one of our church friends, W. This was how part of their conversation went.

W: I attack you with erm, fire!

E: SHIELD! No effect. *smug look*

W: Poison!

E: *singsong manner* Shield! No effect. *pause* I attack you with very strong poison! Lava! Lightning! *mimes throwing stuff at him*

W: Ahhhhh… *mimes dying*

Okay I realise that it might not sound very funny now. Guess you had to be there. 😛

More than happy to pose for a picture together 

Church Kids 2

Because baby T and Noah were both too young to join the Kids’ Programme, they spent a lot of time hanging out (and snacking) at the back of the hall together. I was amazed at how quickly T could finish all the puffs in his container! He’s a smart little guy, who knew I had a stash of puffs in my bag, so he would sidle up to me, and look pointedly at my bag. I tried to get him to pose for this photo with Noah by telling him that I’d give him more puffs, and when the promised puffs took too long to emerge, he pointed to my bag and exclaimed, “There!”. Noah was only interested in the lid of T’s puff container. Sigh.

Can you see a puff in T’s mouth? 

Church Kids 3

I didn’t manage to get a photo of IL and his friends with Noah, but this group of three boys were really fascinated by Noah. Each time they saw us, they would come running up, and ask, “Can we touch him?” before proceeding to touch whichever parts of him they could lay their hands on, as he was in the Manduca, strapped to me. They would pat his head, ruffle whatever little hair he has, and squeeze his arms, thighs, and pudgy feet. It was really quite funny, especially since Noah seemed perplexed by all the attention, and would stare at them with a puzzled expression. They did it so much that IL’s mum had to tell them, “Okay, enough already. Stop touching him. Stop. Stop. Stop!”

On the last day, when the older kids joined us for the closing session, our friends’ girls, aged between three and eight, decided to play with Noah at the back of the hall. They asked all sorts of questions about him. “When is his birthday?” “What does he eat?” “Does he have teeth?” “Do you give him breast milk?” “Can I touch him?” “How heavy is he? I’m 15kg, you know. Can I carry him?” “How old is he? I’m five years old.” And my personal favourite, “Is he a boy?”

I was actually carrying Noah in my arms as they asked all these questions, and he started squirming around after a while. The second youngest of the group, AD, watched him for a while, then told me, “I think he’s not happy. He wants to come down.” Ah, such wisdom! After I allowed Noah to sit on the floor with them, he just sat there, looking at the four older girls. AD told me proudly, “See? He’s happy now.” She then pulled Noah onto her lap, in an attempt to ‘carry’ him. After some time, she asked if she could feed him his puffs, so I gave her one. She held it gingerly, tried to get his attention, and watched as I put a puff into Noah’s mouth. “I don’t want to feed him already. I’m scared he will bite me.” Sure sounds like Noah was a zoo exhibit, and a popular one at that! 😉

Stunned by the amount of attention he was getting from the girls 

Church Kids 4

All in all, I think it was nice attending the church camp as a family, though Noah has been unwell since we got back. We had a good time catching up with our church friends, who also very kindly helped to entertain Noah during some of the sessions and meals. However, I think we might wait a few more years before attending another one of these camps, as it might be better if Noah could attend the Kids’ Programme on his own.

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