Let the record show, I really love keeping the church nursery. Scott and I were recruited to fill in for the month of January. Well, by the 4th week (yesterday) we’re finally feeling comfortably in the groove with the age-group and with this bunch of children. So we’re going to continue to keep it for February. (Scott’s a good sport–it’s not quite the “thing” for him as it is for me, but I think we make a good team and he’s really very willing to blow bubbles for an hour and is totally unselfconscious about animating a stuffed animal in a way that helps a shy child warm up.)
We have such a great bunch of toddlers in there right now, plus our fabulous 12 year old helper who is really good with all the kids, especially her 1 year old grand-niece, E, who appreciates the one-on-one care. When we go home, for the rest of the day, a part of me is happily reflecting on the unique personality of each one and the ways its expressed.
Yesterday the girls that are a little older (pushing 3) really got into decorating paper with stickers, and later one of them came back and made a very elaborate drawing. The two little boys were really enjoying music. There’s a CD player in the room that they know how to operate. E & M were really, really into the bubbles. And then we had a 4 or 5 year old (?) who decided she wanted to be in the nursery that day, which was fine. She was our little mother hen/CEO.
I think the nursery/Sunday school situation in our church is about perfect. I really like it that parents of non-separating toddlers feel free to stay with them in the nursery until they’re secure and comfortable. I know larger churches that make a rule against this, and I understand how the logistics could make it difficult to support. I like it that parents who don’t want to use the nursery or Sunday school are free not to. I have heard of churches where parents are aggressively pressured to use the nursery/Sunday school. I like it that our church is small enough to work things out individually.