Today sitting in the folding chair section of church—behind the rows of pews, I watched a father—single for the day—tending to his toddler daughter two rows in front of us. She sat on the metal chair beside him with her “sippy” cup for awhile. Maybe a full minute. Then she squirmed off and somehow got the lid off her cup. (I suppose she had reached her limit with that “stupid lid designed by an adult–jeepers.”)
Her father was looking elsewhere, as was I, when she tipped the full, now topless cup toward the seat of the chair. But it caught both our attentions in time for him to prevent her from pouring all the water out. Still a substantial puddle filled the chair and trickled off the back to form a second puddle on the floor. I’ve seen intentional water features that didn’t flow so well.
Before the father could snatch up his child, my DH had stepped out the door that was just to our right. While he was gone the father rummaged through the bag at his feet and produced a soft, stuffed toy. With that he sopped up much of the water on the chair.
My DH returned with paper towels from the kitchen. He quietly squatted behind the chair and sopped up most of the floor puddle, then stepped back out to throw them away. The father never even saw him.
The father had been preoccupied with his daughter, who he sat then back down on the damp chair. She absorbed the rest of the water rather well. I half expected him to move her around to get the edges.
But I learned a couple of things.
First, when someone needs help, don’t stop to think about it—whether it’s the right time to help, whether you are able to help, or even whether you will be recognized for your help—just act. My DH’s quick response was wonderful.
I also learned that a child in a dress and tights absorbs more water than a stuffed toy.
When my DH returned the second time, he whispered to me, “I miss our granddaughter. She loves church.”