What Would You Do?

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?


6 thoughts on “What Would You Do?

  1. i would have too Cor…Lucas doesn’t want to go to the toddler nursery..at all….it’s one thing if it’s true attitude and manipulation it’s another if the tears are very real from a very real fear….I would have gone home…as much as it’s nice for the moms to get out and socialize…the kids are only two and this is something that can be dealt with at 3 if needed or even later….it’s not a sign of lifelong rebellion or lifelong hermit type attitude..she is scared of something…pray with her talk to her, console her but in the end listen to her….I am saying “her” but I am thinking of Lucas in our church right now…
    love ya

  2. You already know this – but I would have gone home, right away, no doubt. Some kids love this kind of thing, some don’t. I happen to have four who didn’t. But you know, now at eight, seven and four they very happily run off to new places with new people when they know we trust the situation ( the three year old is still working on it). Maybe that’s the key. They have learned that we care when they are scared, so now they know that we aren’t going to send them somewhere bad. And we’ll be there, not too far away even then. Not bad lessons for kids to learn, and be secure in.

  3. I agree with the other comments…why put her through an experience that gives her obvious fear. She is only 2 years old and will be able to voice her concerns better as she matures….her aunt had a similar reaction to junior church if you remember…never did attend. A program like M.O.P.S is excellent, but non essential if the pre-schooler is not comfortable. Mackerdoodle is not usually a fearful child either…quite a little extrovert. Another reason not to doubt yor decision

  4. I totally DID do just that…and at that particular “house”. Lillian didn’t like that house either at first and while I tried for two weeks, I could hear her crying from the meeting and I couldn’t go through that. The second “season” was better. The bummer was that Ankica LOVED that “house” and so one was crying to go in and the other was crying to go out 🙂

    You did the right thing. I am not surprised she didn’t like it there (I wouldn’t either…)

  5. I would have walked her in and seen what happened. If possible, i would have stayed in the room with my little one so she could get more comfortable witht he situation. But, if it was leaving her crying with someone I didn’t know or going home, I would have gone home.

    AJU5 has mixed feelings about Sunday School. So, I normally leave when she is distracted but stay near by to check for screams unless the adult to kid ratio is small (i.e. they can come get me if she cries and can’t be calmed down easily). I am somewhat surprised they don’t let the parents stay for the first few weeks because I think it is very common for kids to be scared and nervous!

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