The Final Countdown

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P is heading into the homerun stretch of her first year and a half on this earth and while I can NOT get enough of her sweet little kisses (so cute) I am looking forward to sending her off into the land of nursery.*

I’m excited for that date.  For those of you unfamiliar with 17 month olds, sitting still and staring at a speaker just isn’t their idea of a good time.  I come prepared.  We have a special church bag with a carnival of books, snacks and toys to entertain her in those long-enduring hours.

I tend to really keep a mind for quiet toys in Sacrament meeting, it is our most holy meeting and I want to maintain a quiet spirit in there.  I also want her to understand the great respect I have for that meeting and how important it is.  We don’t eat messy foods (we try not to eat food at all, but lately it’s the only thing that placates the little dear), we talk in quiet whispers we try to fold our ams, and hopefully just quietly look at books.  I try to keep expectations pretty high for this meeting.

Now, for the last couple of hours you’ll see a lot of moms/dads just out in the hallways with their wee ones.  I differ on this.  I strongly believe that if the church wants you to bring them, they want you in those classrooms.  So, to the classroom we go.  Again, with the carnival on my back full of toys, books, snacks, etc.  And honestly, the girl does really good.  Probably better than the boys.  Sure, we have to go take a lap every now and then and get our wiggles out and I am thankful for the enduring love of sweet people around me who help out or make her cows moo, or read her a book.  They’re so nice.

But I get the feeling that many people believe I should be out in the hallway.  I’m not going to pretend the girl’s silent in Church.  She’s not.  I try to use quiet toys, but any toy can be loud when you’re in a quiet classroom.  I try to keep the noise to a minimum (and of course take her out if she’s crying or being naughty)… but I still feel like I need to get something out of church… no matter how small.

It seemed like when we were little, moms brought their kids to class and they learned to sit quietly and play.  I, by no means, expect her to sit and listen like myself but I do expect quiet play.  And now, I guess roaming the halls is the norm.  So, what do you do, or what would you do?  Of course, I only have 2 more weeks to ponder this, and I will be teaching during the third hour anyway… but it’s an interesting question….

*Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have a 3 hour church block, the first hour is our “sacrament meeting” where we sit together as families.  The last 2 hours the children go to primary (ages 3 and up), and younger children go to “nursery” (18 months an up).  Prior to 18 months it’s all 3 hours, just you and them.  It’s big fun.  FYI, for the final two hours, we have one for Sunday school (scripture study) and one where we split men and women and we talk about our different roles in society, family, etc.  It’s pretty fantastic.

Please take the time to take on my “we are people too” challenge one entry below.  I loved reading Maryanne’s, it’s so interesting to see how small decisions make our lives up.

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  1. says

    I tended toward the “roam the hall” approach with my own kids, but that’s because I was usually feeling lazy and not wanting to fight the fight in class. (Or because I was in a presidency and had to prep during the 2nd hour.) And I went through, oh, 18 months of feeling like I was getting very little out of church. So it’s not a technique I recommend.

    But that’s pre-nursery. If they have a problem after that and have to come sit with me, they have to sit with me in class. No running around.

    I definitely don’t mind when parents have their kids in class, kids are kids, noise is noise, it’s all good. Unless the kid is absolutely going crazy and the parent isn’t doing anything about it. Cuz that’s just awkward.

    I think it’s a great chance for the kids to learn some skills, for the parents to learn some reasonable expectations and the ability to not take offense (because every mom KNOWS every other mom is judging her, whether they are or not), and for the other people there without kids, or without their kids, to learn not to be judgy pants.

    And for the record (seeing as this comment is already epic), I think P was just fine on Sunday. I think people were turning around just because that toy makes a weird sound. But once we all knew what it was, it was no big deal.

    You’re awesome, and a great example on Sundays. (And the rest of the time too.) :)

  2. says

    I honestly don’t think P bothers anyone in the class. I think it’s more one of those things that when you hear a noise, you instinctively turn. And that’s about it. I only get annoyed with what Maryanne said above, when a child is obviously being out of control and the parent just ignores or pretends to be oblivious to it. Then, it’s just disruptive. That takes a lot of squaking though. P is a little angel :)

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