I was at church by myself today - well, I mean, Gianna was in nursery but Beej went to meet a friend today and didn't go to service with me. So I was in service by myself. I sat in our usual spot (yes, I'm one of those that has a "usual" spot at church!) and there were some people to my left and I had a couple of seats on my right towards the end of the row that were empty. Around half way through praise & worship and woman with a little boy asked if she could sit in the empty seats next me, I said sure! Her son was probably just about a year old, barely walking and saying a few baby words.
And like any baby he didn't want to be held and kept saying "down, down". And his mother would loudly Shhhh him. But it kept building.....he was throwing her keys around, yelling various words in his little vocabulary "mon-tee, tat, Pa-pa, Ninnee, etc" Again, the mother would be twice as loud telling him to be quiet. After about 30 minutes of him being totally disruptive and the people to my left giving him the evil eye (lol!) our nursery director came over and asked if she'd like for her to take him to the nursery. The lady said No way! He will not stay in the nursery. So the director brought him a sippy of juice and some goldfish. Did I mention he kept yelling "Ba-ba. Hun-gwee" and his mom kept saying "We have food at home...." He's a baby, you bring food with you, woman! So he happily drank juice and crackers for about 10 minutes. Then the juice ran out and he threw the goldfish everywhere.
At this point I have NO idea what the pastor is saying even though I'm desperately trying to listen. The couple beside me gave the mom and kid one last glare and left! Lol! The mother said in a super fierce loud whisper "Noah, you stop it right now!" But she continued to sit right there and let him flip out. He's crying and screaming to "GOOOOO!" and she's just pretending it isn't happening. (At this point I gave up on listening and checked my Twitter feed! Haha!)
She finally left about 10 minutes before service ended, smashing gooey goldfish all into the carpet as she went.
Here's my point. Children are not meant to sit quietly through an hour and a half service. Especially when they have nothing to help entertain them - no snacks, nothing to drink, nothing to play with. I kept Gianna in church until she was about a year old. Mainly because when she was really little the church we were at the nursery was run by an inept teenager and there was no way I was going to turn my baby over to her. But we always sat towards the back where I could easily slip out if she got fussy without getting the attention of everyone in service. I packed bottles, sippy cups, snackies, toys, etc. in her bag to help keep her entertained. Once she was a year old we were at a church with a much more organized nursery system and she went to nursery. Yeah, she cried for almost the first year every time we dropped her off. But I knew she would be fine and by the end of service she didn't want to leave. And it helped break that separation anxiety between me and her.
I do not understand people who expect their babies and toddlers to sit through a full length service and not disrupt it for everyone around them. Parents either ignore it or they get up and down, up and down and that's just as disruptive. Once they are 6 or 7 and you want them to learn to participate in church that's fine but even then I don't think that 6 & 7 year old's learn at the same depth that adults do. That's why they have Kid's church - Bible lessons that apply to kids their age in a way they understand.
Nursery is a blessing, people! It allows you time to listen and learn from your pastor while your child is having a good time learning on their level with other kids their age. To me it was important for Gianna to have this time to learn to sit in a sorta classroom setting, to have to listen to someone other then me or her daddy, to learn to interact with other children especially since right now she's an only child. It doesn't make you a bad mom if your baby/child doesn't want to sit quietly for 2 hours!
I'm pr0-nursery, people. And if you insist on keeping your child in service and having them be rude and disruptive don't get mad at people giving you the evil eye! Lol!