Thank you to EVERYONE who voted and commented. You guys have some excellent advice. It’s a little funny to me that those without kids ALL said “just drop him off every week!” and those with their own kids mostly said “drop him off” but a few of you had other ideas. Everything is more black-and-white, sure and certain, before you have your own kids. (I know. I swore up and down that I would do things that now I’ll never do…. and that I’d never do things I now do, or at least am considering. Ha, ha!)
So here we go. Sarah (for my dear readers, she is a friend from my hometown who was in the same grade as my brother) had a great idea to not try to leave him for that full hour block of time right away. Brilliant! I guess I was so locked in to the idea of “either leave him in the nursery or take him into the service with me” that it never occurred to me. Your idea about doing a Bible study or ladies’ group or choir that meets during the week is a great idea too – for one thing, I think all mamas need some “me” time that is spiritually and emotionally refreshing – and for another thing, it would give us another way to introduce Jonas to the physical space of the nursery and the nursery workers themselves. I wish I could jump through this screen and give you a hug.
Kari (dear readers, one of my college roommates; she now lives in France with her osteopath-student hubby; their blog is in my sidebar!), you make a great point about community child raising. I think that’s the downfall of attachment parenting – we strive for this holistic, attached, nurturing way of interacting with our children, in an emulation of so many societies around the world that do this naturally. But in the US, we don’t always have that community of family and neighbors who help us in the journey. And you CAN’T be attached to your babe 24/7 without a break, without help. So there is a very real need for those grandmother figures, the aunt figures, the cousin figures, who are capable and loving and who step in to bounce a baby on their knee, make silly faces at a toddler, and sympathize with a worn-out mama.
…oh, and about being the mom in the back of the classroom? No worries. I don’t plan to send Jonas into a first-grade classroom at all. ;-P
Cronomorph (d.r., my brother Jason), I remember Sharon mentioning that when y’all were here. Our nursery doesn’t do quite that procedure with the note and knocking on the door, so I’d have to tweak it a bit. Last time we went to the nursery, Jonas was walking beside us and holding Chris’ hand. However, he’s an AWESOME passive resistance protestor – as soon as he realized we were approaching the nursery, he sat down and went limp. (:-S) So we ended up scooping him up and carrying him in after all.
Pam (d.r., a good friend from my wild & wacky group of ladies at Plantation United Methodist in So. Fla – and mom of two), I really appreciate what you wrote. Thanks for the boost for my “mother’s intuition” or whatever. I have a little problem sometimes with that – even though I believe that I should trust my instincts, and usually do, there are some things (in retrospect, it seems to be “cultural expectations” kind of things – like, a toddler ought to be able to go to the nursery during church! – that make me waver and start some self-doubt). And thank you, thank you, thank you for the reminder that things changed when Liam became more verbal. I think I very easily fall into the trap of comparing Jonas to other kids his age – and even more dangerous, other kids his size (because he’s about the size of the 2.5 year olds in our various groups) – and for one thing, I ought to remember that he is an individual. And for another, I need to remember that although his language skills are starting to catch up, he is still not able to communicate major sentences and/or major emotions to me with words. And I don’t know how much he understands when I’m telling him he’ll be fine, he’ll have fun, etc.
So. I don’t know if tomorrow will go any smoother, but at least I feel boosted and supported and loved. My little plan is to go to worship with Jonas in tow, and try several weeks that way. Then, I was thinking we could start out in the worship service together, with either Chris or I taking Jonas to the nursery right before the sermon. (So it would only be the last 20-25 minutes of church that he’d be in there.) If that starts to work, then I could gradually take him down there at earlier parts of the service until eventually he’s there for the whole time. Conversely, I’m considering keeping Jonas with us for the whole service, but taking him to the nursery for the Sunday School hour. Like I said – don’t know if it will work, but I feel re-energized to TRY. Hopefully, no more Sundays sitting in our PJs and feeling depressed!