Monday, March 19, 2007
Going Through a Phase
If there is one thing I have learned as a mother, it's that your child's life is full of phases.
One day they love a certain food. The next day they hate it.
One day they giggle when they see the neighbor next door. The next day they are scared to death of him.
One day they love Barney. The next day they are completely bored by the big purple dinosaur and want to watch Elmo instead.
It's all about phases. And we are going through one.
Ann Catherine has decided she hates going to the nursery at church.
The workers are wonderful. The room is full of great toys. They even keep a TV in there that plays videos.
We're great the whole way to church. But the minute we step into the room, she starts screaming.
Now keep in mind, my child goes to daycare. So it's not like she isn't used to being dropped off somewhere and playing with other children.
I think it's all about continuity. She goes to daycare everyday so she's familiar with her teachers and friends.
But we only go to church once a week. And when you consider all that happens to a 21 month old in a week's time, there's no way their little brain can remember 'oh, I'm at church. I'm supposed to play and have fun.'
Now - in the full interest of disclosure - we took a break from church when Lily was born. For one, she was born in November in the middle of winter and I didn't want her to catch something from another child (or adult) at church. Plus, as the mother of a preemie, I know how important it is for your baby to stay healthy. So, we stayed home until just a few weeks ago. That means Ann Catherine had to learn about the church nursery all over again.
The first Sunday back, they came and got me out of church. The nursery coordinator said, 'Ann Catherine won't stop crying.' I went back there and she was bawling her eyes out. I picked her up and loved her, but I didn't take her out. (It was almost the end of the service anyway). A friend at church told me I did the right thing. She said that told Ann Catherine that mommy would come get her if she needed me, but that she also needed to learn to stay in the nursery.
The next Sunday was a little better. The nursery workers put her in a stroller and basically strolled her around the room for an hour (God bless them!)
So this past Sunday I thought maybe she would do better if Chris took her to the nursery instead of me. She's going through a major "mommy phase" and doesn't do as well when I leave her.
No such luck. She cried again. But this Sunday they took her to the "play pit" (our church's indoor playground) and they said once she started playing, she was fine.
I realize this is just a phase. And I realize we'll get to a point when she doesn't cry when we drop her off at the church nursery.
And when this phase ends, we'll move onto the next one.
I hope it's soon. But probably not as much as the nursery workers :)