Sunday Roundup

A’ight, y’all – we’ve got some great advice happenin’ in the comments section and a grand total of, like, 3 votes in my totally unscientific polls. You guys!!! This is a serious plea for help! :-S Help a sistah out, get your little tuchus to the comments, and drop some wisdom on me. ….seriously…. help….

I did my first Blogger poll off to the right (for Kari, that’d be your other left….) and it looks like at least a few of you would like to hear from Chris once in awhile. I’ll see what I can do to get him blogging for a little of the male and/or medical perspective. The rest of you seem pretty happy with the status quo – more pictures! more writing! more pictures with writing! No problem. I have you covered.

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I am so incredibly frustrated. I didn’t get Jonas in for his 15-month Well Child Checkup before we left Nashville, thinking that I’d just get him in a little early for his 18-month WCC and it would even out. When we got here, I found a D.O. in Family Practice that’s pretty near to our house and called to see if she is accepting new patients. She is – but she won’t make your first appointment until she has all your medical records. So her receptionist or office manager or whoever sent me those HIPPAA forms to fill out and mail to our old doctors. I got the one for Jonas’ pediatrician in the mail asap…. and yesterday it was returned as “undeliverable as addressed”. Well, for Pete’s sake, I sent it to the address on their website! Monday morning I’ll call them and find out the proper address. Or maybe I can fax this to them, which would speed the process a bit. At any rate, I’m starting to worry that Jonas won’t get that 18 month WCC until he turns 2!

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New Poll starts today, and I’ll leave it up for a couple of weeks. Actually, there will be two versions: one for parents and one for non-parents. My current quandry and heartache has to do with Church Nursery. Most of you know that we didn’t take Jonas to the nursery when he was little. It was easy to wear him in a sling or carrier, let him nurse and snooze during our Sunday School and worship service, and that was that. Plus, my ideals for Attachment Parenting included not handing him off to strangers during his first year of life. Fast forward – when Jonas was about 14 months old, we started taking him to the nursery at Bellevue United Methodist in Nashville. While we were there, Chris and I never got involved in an adult Sunday School class. (I know, I know… terrible.) Anyway, so Jonas only had about 50 minutes in the nursery without us each week, and every single week it was like I was torturing him. He would burst into tears as soon as we turned down the hallway where the nursery was located. When we got to the door, he’d be clutching at my neck and screaming bloody murder.

I tried to arrive early, giving him time to get interested in the toys and other kids before I snuck away. Didn’t work. I tried to arrive exactly on time, put him in Miss Kate’s arms, and get away quickly. Didn’t work. Most Sundays, they told me that he did stop crying and get involved with a toy or a nursery helper. (He was a big fan of Blake, a 10th grade guy who volunteered in the nursery…. I suspect Blake’s motivation was being around Emma, Miss Kate’s 10th grade daughter!…. but Blake was great with Jonas, let him play with the buttons on his cell phone, you know: guy stuff. I came back to pick Jonas up at least twice and found him asleep on Blake’s lap.)

Church happens at the perfect time for Jonas’ nap schedule (he is usually up for the morning around 8:00 and ready to nap between noon and 1:00) so I don’t think it’s an issue of being overtired/ready for a nap when we drop him off.

Since we have moved, we haven’t joined a church yet. We visited at Erlanger UMC for a few weeks, and the nursery was the same story. The first week, Jonas was cool until we got into the room. It was like he saw the toys, saw the ladies, and realized it was all too familiar. Every week they assured me that he didn’t cry for very long – but when I’d pick him up he’d be exhausted and usually pink-cheeked, like he’d been crying hard. Chris and I visited the adult Sunday School and then went to the worship service, so it was also a longer stay in the Nursery – about 2.5 hours. Last week, we visted at Immanuel UMC. It’s a very big church, which is exciting for us because of all the great classes, programs, service opportunities they offer. When we took Jonas to the Nursery, we had to fill out a sticker for his back and his diaper bag, and then take a pager (like when you eat at Applebee’s). It was the same story. It was a new place, so he didn’t melt down in the hallway – but as soon as we hit the door, he lost it.

I don’t know if I can even describe what it does to me to hear him crying, see his face crumple, feel his hands gripping at my neck and shoulders. And now, he can say “Mama! Mama!” and that it like a dagger in my heart. How can I leave my precious little guy!? He has no frame of reference for this – he has no sense of time, so he really does not understand that I will be back to get him in a couple of hours. To him, it really seems like I am going to disappear through that door and never come back. I am struggling with what I should do.

Part of me thinks I should keep taking him, every week, and he will learn that it’s a safe place – a fun place. He will start to recognize the Nursery workers and the other kids, and he will learn some cute Bible songs or at the very least, he will learn that these people at Church are trustworthy.

The other part of me thinks that if he isn’t developmentally ready to be left while I walk away, then it’s senseless to push it on him. It’s like teaching him the alphabet – I could start teaching him today! But since he’s not ready for it, all my efforts will fall on deaf ears (and possibly sour him on the idea of learning it ever, if he makes a negative association with it) until he’s older and ready for the concept of letters having sounds and shapes. Similarly, maybe it would be easier to take a break from the Nursery for a few months, and try again when he is older.

I know parents who say, “My little Johnny screamed every week for six months and then he finally got over it! He’ll be fine!” but I wonder if Johnny “got over it” or if Johnny simply grew up and grew able to understand that Mommy would come back. Maybe he would have “switched on” to that concept at that age, no matter what. And if that’s the case, why torture little Johnny for six months? Why not just wait?

So, that was longwinded and if you’re still with me, then thank you. Here’s the poll. If you’re a been-there-done-that parent, what would you advise I do? (And if you choose “other” please leave me a comment with your sage advice!) If you’re not a parent yet, what do you think I should do? (Please understand that I’m separating this poll not because I value your opinion any less… but I will take it with a grain of the salt of inexperience. 😉 Heehee!)

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A thought from the Upper Room, ’cause, yeah… I’m home by myself. Chris is on rounds. The thought of getting myself and Jonas dressed and out the door, and then enduring Nursery Meltdown 2007 by myself was just too much this morning.

In his psalms, David wrote about similar situations of being frightened and then
being delivered when God set him free from his enemies. Sometimes problems
terrify and worry us, just as conditions cause turbulence for the {airplane}
flight. In those times we may ask, “Why is this happening to me?” But as we call
upon God and trust God with our problems, we begin to understand what
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, that God “has made everything beautiful in its time.”
Beyond our clouds, God has something beautiful for us – something as beautiful
as that vivid blue sky beyond the clouds.

******

Happy Sunday. Only three weeks until Chris’ next vacation… {SIGH}

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MICHELLE NEBEL

I write uplifting women’s fiction woven with threads of faith, grace, and Southern hospitality. My blog is where I share a glimpse of my life, and I hope you’ll find the thoughts here encouraging!

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5 thoughts on “Sunday Roundup”

  1. Dr. records are a pain in the butt to get from one place to another. I wouldn’t worry too bad unless there’s something urgent Jonas needs to see the doctor about.

    How I would personally handle the nursery, since I’ve got a pretty shy child, is to wait to take him to the nursery until you guys have found a church you’re comfortable sticking with. Once you’ve decided to move your membership to that church, that would be a good time to start getting Jonas used to the nursery. That way he’s not coming into a new and terribly unfamiliar place every couple of weeks.

    Maybe once you’ve decided to join a church, if they have a nursery during choir practice or missions study during the week, you could go in there and sit with him for a few weeks to get him use to the room. Then every week spend a little less time with him in there.

    Maybe move back from 1 hour to 45 minutes. You don’t have to go off to bible study, just step outside of the room, out of sight. If all seems okay let the nursery staff know you’re going to choir or wherever and you’ll be back in 15 minutes when it’s over.

    Since you’ve been AP with him for so long, he’s bound to have tons of separation anxiety. Just wait for cues from him that let you know he’s ready for it. He let you know when he was ready to wean, I’m sure he’ll let you know when he’s ready for nursery time.=)

  2. Hi Michelle – it’s Lee & Lynn Green! I have to admit that we’ve been lurking for a few months, checking in occasionally on your family, and you’ve inspired us to start our own blog to keep our families informed on our pregnancy. Unfortunately, we’ve gotten a slower start than we’d hoped, but we’re up and running now, and I’m hoping to stick with it! Tell Chris we say “hi” and we’ll have to do a better job keeping in touch!

  3. Having no children, my opinion isn’t the sme as hearing it from another Mom. However, I did teach mother and baby well-being classes for a year and toted around a 6-month old every day for about six months so I should have some street cred. 🙂

    In Senegal the community raises the child. They spend the first year pretty much tied to the mother’s back, but as soon as they start to walk they are watched over, disciplined, and loved on by the whole village. As a result of being so physically close to their mom for that year, the bond is there. But they also learn to interact and trust others in that close circle of family and friends.

    I don’t think you should rush anything, however…my dad was so dependent on his mom that she literally attended first grade with him. Every single day, all day, sittting in the back of the room. I don’t think you want to be that mom 😉

  4. Sharon and I were talking on the phone last night, and this was her idea.

    She basically said what she does with Dylan is not to physically carry him in to the nursery. She’ll either push him in his stroller or have him walk down the hall. That way he’s not holding on to her and is much less likely to cling to her and cry out “Mommy!”

    She’ll fill out the form that they have to fill out and have him slide it under the door and knock on it to let them know he’s there, kind of letting him be a big boy.

    I know Dylan is a little older than Jonas, but that seems to work pretty well from what I’ve observed.

  5. Hey up there in KY! Guess who from Plantation! I am so blog-illiterate that it took me like 20 minutes to figure out how to leave a comment! You know how it was not happening with Liam and the nursery here at PUMC. And you know how it is when I am doing Catholic duty- all babies all the time.

    Seems to me that you have your answer just from reading your post. You are one of the most confident first time moms I’ve ever known, even from the beginning you weren’t one to second guess your instincts. You will know when he is ready to do nursery and it isn’t worth the stress on your Sunday. Your mind won’t be on worship if you are worrying about Jonas. Not that a toddler in church isn’t a fabulous distraction for the mother….but at least it’s guilt-free. Is he yanking your mommy chains? Probably. But, in the whole scheme of things, it’s not a big deal and his fear IS real to him. (Just wait for the chains a 9 year old boy child will yank. Their ears seem to stop working around age 9.)

    This phase too shall pass. It did for me, about the time Liam became a verbal human being, rather than a crying/tantruming human being. Then you can explain coming and going to him and he can actually grasp the concept. You can also show him the number on the clock when you will be back, or write it on a paper for him to match with the clock in the room. That worked well for Liam’s first year of preschool. Going to preschool was not a big deal for him and I am not sitting in the back of the kindergarten class. If you have to wait on a Sunday School class for a while, so be it. Pack a bag of quietish toys, block out a pew and go to worship. I kept a bag of toys that only came out during mass. Cheerios are good too. Maybe as you get into the community you will find someone you all trust who would babysit for you so you can get thyself to a small group (ala WOW) or you will find some UMW chicks like us who say bring Jonas along and join the fun.

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“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

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