Our mackerdoodle was ten months old before she ever stayed in a church nursery, not because of a conviction on our part, but because the group of believers with which we fellowshipped at the time didn’t have one. One of the things that drew us to our church was the simple nursery set up and the openness they had to let me stay in the nursery with our daughter for the first few weeks to help her adjust to this new experience, and within a month she was happily going to nursery. In contrast, a sister church in the area has a very institutional nursery set up with clipboards and I think pagers (although I’ve never been given one) and just a “leave them at the door” approach to childcare. I know that works for a lot of families, but it doesn’t make me feel comfortable as a mama.
This particular church congregation hosts a MOPS program in which our church participates, so two weeks ago I packed up my kids and headed out to my first MOPS meeting. I quickly realized that I was not prepared for their nursery set up. I have one diaper bag, but my kids were going to be in rooms quite a distance apart. In the end, I left the mackerdoodle and the diaper bag with the very efficient, no nonsense worker in the 2 year old room. I notified the worker of the mackerdoodle’s allergy, showed her the mackerdoodle’s snack and walked away with the cheesedoodle in the wrap. It didn’t really cause anything more than a sense of embarrassment on my part, and a mental note to handle it differently the next time.
This morning I packed up the kids in monsoon like rain for our second MOPS meeting. The mackerdoodle was SO excited that she had her own little backpack with her just-in-case clothes, her snack and her drink that she could carry. She kept saying “we go mops. yay!” and I felt that despite the weather I was a little more prepared for today’s events.
Then we pulled into the parking lot.
The mackerdoodle began to cry the same way she cries when there’s a thunder storm. It’s a quiet, terrified cry accompanied with a slight rocking and hiding her face. She said to me, “Oh no. I no yike dis house. No dis house. I no yike dis house.” I asked her what happened to “we go mops. yay!” She looked at me confused and then began alternately making sweeping motions with her arms and pointing out of the parking lot, saying “we go mops now mahmee?” She was under the impression that we were going to mop something. (in a side note: could this really be a biological child of mine that is excited about the idea of mopping something?) The idea of going into that 2 year old nursery scared her.
So what would you do? How would you handle a situation like this?
I ended up coming home. What about you?