Oh man, yesterday was HARD. In case you didn't guess from the title of this post, we put Elias in the church nursery for the first time yesterday. Neither of us really wanted to, but we had no reason NOT to, and we figured that no matter how long we wait it's not going to get any easier. So we arrived early and I went in with him for about 10 minutes. I was comforted by the security system they have in place to make sure nobody walks away with my child, and they in fact gave me a beeper to wear so they can buzz me if I'm needed. Awesome. That kept me from going back every 10 minutes to check and make sure he was ok. Something I'd never seen before that I really liked about this nursery is that they make anybody who goes into the baby rooms take their shoes off in an effort to keep the floors clean. I thought that was great and support it wholeheartedly. So I sat in there for a few minutes and there were plenty of workers in there and they were all kind and understanding of me being a nervous first-time mom. I have no idea how, but I managed to actually walk out of the room and leave him in the nursery while we went to Sunday School. I wasn't able to concentrate very well because I was worried about him, but I still think I concentrated better than I can when I have him with me...
Then between Sunday School and church I stopped by the nursery just to check and see if he was ok. Of course he was. He was in fact just finishing up his bottle, so he was happy as a clam. So we went to church and I was definitely able to focus on worship more than I ever have since he's been born. After the service I snuck out while they were introducing the new members because I couldn't wait to go pick him up! He did fine, and even managed to take a short nap, so all was well. Phew! Nursery success! It can only get better from here.
And now for... the rest of the story.
He was a DISASTER for the rest of the day! I attribute this to two things. First, I'm pretty sure the nice nursery workers held him the entire 2 hours he was in there. So when we got him home and put him in his crib to finish his nap, meltdown. WHY IS NOBODY HOLDING ME!?!?!?! Second, he was seriously sleep deprived. We woke him up from his nap in order to take him to church, and he didn't go back to sleep the way he needed to. Then, after his bottle at the church, he only napped for a half hour when he usually naps for two hours. He's on a pretty predictable routine that we just can't stick to on Sunday mornings. So he usually naps for a total of 4 hours between 7am and 1pm - yesterday, it was only 1 1/2. So that makes one tired baby boy. Too tired, in fact, to be able to go to sleep once we got home. He would nod off and then snap awake screaming. Didn't want to be held, didn't want to lay in his crib, didn't want to sit in his swing - very unusual for my easygoing baby. So it was a rough afternoon, but we did manage to get back on schedule for his normal naps in the afternoon and evening, then he slept great last night. So hopefully we'll get it figured out how to keep Sundays from being a disaster!
I do want to say, though, that I have a newfound appreciation for nursery workers. Having worked in a daycare, I already knew how much work it was to watch a whole roomful of small ones. But now I've experienced it from the parent's side too, and it was SO NICE to be able to leave my child in a safe place with trustworthy people so I could have the freedom to worship and study unhindered. Wow. I need to make sure to express that appreciation OFTEN to those who take care of Elias. For those of you who do volunteer in a church nursery - BRAVO!!!