We took Baby Boy to church for the first time last Sunday. We know, we know…he’s almost 2, but here’s why:
Shortly after we moved to eastern Washington, we found a church we liked quite a lot. We even scoped out the nursery, and felt comfortable putting Baby Boy in the nursery. Then after Baby Boy was born, well, things didn’t go quite right. Then winter happened with a little snow, some ice, and lots of freezing fog, and we didn’t want to take a new baby out in that. Then came the whooping cough epidemic. (Washington has very lax vaccination laws.) Then we headed to Texas. Two weeks after leaving Texas we moved to Seattle.
We started looking for a church in Seattle. We even found a few we were interested in, but I couldn’t take the idea of leaving my sweet baby with complete strangers. Of course I came up with all kinds of reasons not to go like cold and flu season, Seattle has a high anti-vaccination population, but it pretty much came down to not trusting anyone else with the care of our child. The only babysitters he has ever had have been my parents, my brother, John’s mom, and his sister. Even then I tried to schedule it around his nap times, so he wasn’t aware we were gone.
When we were in Texas for the holidays, one of John’s professors asked if we had found a church in Seattle. We said we hadn’t, and he told us about a church he was familiar with. He described it, and it sounded like a good fit. It helped having a better idea of what we would be walking into. We aren’t in the Bible Belt any more, so finding a good fit was a little more of a challenge.
We liked it well enough that we’ll most likely continue to attend at this church during the remainder of our time in Seattle. We liked the pastor and the service, and it’s conveniently located for where we live. We also really appreciated how secure the kid’s area is. We had to register Baby Boy in their computer system using John’s driver’s license as a unique bar code for identification. It then printed a sticker for Baby Boy’s back with all his information, allergies included. We were given a pager just in case we needed to be called during the service. There were dad “security guards” at the 2 entrances/exits that checked to make sure no adults entered the kid’s area without a child or a pager. We felt the little guy was safe. Also, the baby gate in his room’s doorway didn’t look sturdy enough to keep Baby Boy in, so just in case he made an escape, there was back-up.
We could have put Baby Boy in either the 1 year old or the 2 year old room. We opted for the 2 year old room since the 1 year olds looked like they were all young 1s and not walking well. As soon as our little guy saw all the fun toys in his classroom, he wanted down, and he didn’t look back to say goodbye. We didn’t get paged during the service, and when we picked him up, we had to call his name several times to get his attention. He was having so much fun.
He did however, have a large brown stain on the front of his shirt. In my head I was quickly thinking, “It’s too light to be blood, it’s doesn’t look like apple juice though. It looks like coffee stains…surely it’s juice…they wouldn’t give a toddler coffee? What in the world could it be?” As I was strapping him into his carseat, I sniffed his shirt, and it was COFFEE. How in the world did he get coffee on his shirt? Of course when we arrived home, we checked his skin for burns, and he was fine. We think either his teachers underestimated his climbing skills and didn’t put their coffee high enough, or more likely he found it in the trash and tried to drink the dregs of his teacher’s drink. Then there’s always the possibility that his teacher was drinking it in front of him, and he insisted she share. In case you’re curious, the stains smelled like a Starbucks caramel macchiato. Baby Boy took a nice long nap, so he must not have ingested much if any of the coffee.
We’ll see how next week goes.