The game was to spin a spinner and then hang the required number of little plastic monkeys from the plastic tree canopy. The loser was the one who brought the tree crashing down (there were also magnets and crocodiles involved – but they were peripheral).
I was invited to play the game with grandson number two as bath-time kicked-off.
Grandson number two was more impressed with the spinner than the hanging. I could flick the spinner with ease – it took ages to stop on a number. But grandson number two has yet to achieve the dexterity to make that happen. So the monkeys were left hanging and making the spinner spin became the game.
Then number three took over while number two was in the bath. Spinners hold no fascination for number three. Hanging monkeys from the tree does. So the spinner was left unspun. The game was the hanging (without the dexterity yet to hang). So together we nipped the monkey’s head, hooked the curly tail over the tree, and – gently – let go.
Number one has no interest in such things. He likes singing. Spinners and hanging plastic monkeys on plastic trees has no interest for him. Try and encourage an interest in playing by the rules and all the plastic bits go flying. So “the game” with number one is tidying-up his mess (which is why we sing).
But what is mess (other than not playing by the rules) – because number two and three didn’t play by the rules either – but they didn’t “make a mess”?
Just like what is “being saved”? And are these three wee ones saved? And if so why? What have they done to be saved? And if they are saved already why do we call bigger versions of these three … “sinners” … “unsaved” … “unchurched”?
What happens between now and then to make them sinners?
What do we do to make that happen?
Way after bedtime I was called back by mum to the two younger ones (who share a bedroom): number three wanted granddad. They were both wide-awake – on the floor – with their pillows and covers.
“This is just like being on holiday, isn’t it?” I said as we snuggled on the floor together.
“Yes!” They giggled as they snuggled closer.
So this morning I wonder …
Why must these three wee ones be saved – again?