Vicki’s Verbage – The Coughing Lady and a sharp toddler


By Vicki Scott

With all the medical troubles my husband Alan is currently experiencing, we missed keeping our grandchildren a few days for Vacation Bible School. As it turned out, I did not do anything for a whole week and I’m still exhausted.

This past Sunday morning, it dawned on me that I might have nursery duty. As we arrived at the church, I told Alan I would go check, and if I had duty, he would not see me until after church. As I looked at the sheet, my name was filled in for this Sunday.

Our church had the Vacation Bible School finale during the regular services. The nursery was empty until the children’s singing was finished, then the room was filled with babies and toddlers galore. The children kept coming, so thank goodness I had some help. People trusting me with their babies brought a new light to hanging onto a wing and a prayer. Some babies cried because they did not want to stay, while some cried because they did not want to leave. Some were hungry and some came in with food. At one time, both me and my helper were holding two babies at a time in an attempt to settle things down.

The church women’s bathroom is located next to the nursery. During our baby/toddler adventure, we heard a lady go in the bathroom coughing uncontrollably. It sounded awful! My partner checked on the lady, and when she came back, I asked her to get the lady some water. While we were trying to calm the chaos amongst the babies, the lady poked her head in the door and asked if we had a mint, or something.

While looking in my purse for a mint or something, I was sidetracked when one of the toddlers poured snacks all over the floor. As I ran to clean up that mess so that the little ones would not be eating off the floor, a little boy around two years old heard me say that I needed to get some baby wipes. As he promptly got the wipes for me. I looked at him in awe. It amazes me how smart some children are!

I later remembered the Coughing Lady and asked my helper if the lady was okay. She told me she took some water to the lady but that was it. When church was over, I saw the now former Coughing Lady in line to get something to eat. I praised God that she was okay after I was sidetracked. Parents eventually started coming in to get their pride and joys while at the same time I was trying to keep the other children from leaving before their parents arrived (note: on a previous Sunday when I was working the nursey, I was unaware that a toddler had left the room.   Someone soon brought her back, and I freaked out while her parents laughed at me. And they trust me with their children? Mercy! Our church is one big family and we look after each other, but still. That same child was with us this past Sunday, and come to think of it, her father was the first one out of the church service to get her.

When the last parent came in to retrieve his child, the little toddler remarked to his dad that he “had poopy.” The father looked at me and I told him we had some diapers. He waited a while as I told my helper goodbye and thanked her for another nursery duty success. I eventually looked back at toddler dad and asked if he wanted me to change his son’s diaper. You know what his answer was. I did not mind, however.

As I later explained to Alan later why I was holding a bag from the nursery, our son Joseph said that he would have wanted me to change the diaper as well.

File it as a humorous ending to an unexpected adventure. Needless to say, I took a long nap when we got home.

Vicki Scott may be contacted at

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