Saturday, January 30, 2010

#63 Polarized Nursery Philosophies: New School

There are two distinctly different philosophies in white Christian church nurseries around the world. Stuff White Christians Like continues this in-depth, two-week study of these differences, their positives and negatives.

Week 2: The New School

Safe, learning-oriented, and eco-friendly toys were purchased, not donated (anything donated is promptly forwarded to the homeless). More laboratory than nursery, the new school represents an intentional 180 degree pendulum swing away from the old school. In a video-monitored environment that can best be described as sterile, the new school is full of padded floors, rounded corners, and pristine cleanliness. These "nurseries" are literally just a fume hood and a an eye bath away from qualifying for full-fledged laboratory status.

For germs, if ignorance is bliss in the old school model, the new school intentionally seeks and destroys all known germs. At the end of each nursery session, all toys that have come into contact with homo sapiens are isolated and hermetically sealed. Nursery staff then takes all tainted items to the church's toy autoclave for complete antibacterial cleansing.

Due to potential choking hazards, the new school philosophy frowns on any food within a 10 foot radius of children. There are some acceptable snack options, but these are limited to bite-size, dissolvable, gluten-free, allergy-aware, soy-based quasi-food.

The new school separates age groups into distinct sections: infants and toddlers. Each unique age group has a specified nursery ecosystem that is developmentally appropriate for all physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. This is in stark contrast to the old school where there is simply "the nursery," and children ranging from infants through third grade are cattle-prodded into their one-size-fits-all cell for an hour-long term.

Furthermore, all children are tracked with the meticulous precision of a FedEx package (perhaps the reason that many white Christians refer to babies as "bundles of joy"). Children are literally given stick-on name-tag labels with barcodes. On the plus side, the barcodes ensure that white Christian parents won't accidentally bring home the wrong child. On the other hand, barcodes inch the nursery experience dangerously close to 1984.

New School Positives:
Churches have removed any potential legal liability inherent in child care, and parents can rest assured that their child will live through the nursery experience- though the restaurant-like buzzer system will likely call them out of worship the nanosecond that their child emits the slightest whimper.

New School Negatives:
We're relatively confident that our society is raising a nation of wimps.

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