Monday, September 22, 2014

Nursery No Go

 Houston, we have a PROBLEM.
Olive is NOT a fan of the whole dropping her off in the nursery scenario.

To be fair, it's a room full of strangers (kids and adults) or people she's only met a handful of times.  I talk to her ahead of time to try to convince her that she's going to have so much fun, but it never seems to work out that way.

Yesterday's Nursery Play by Play:
Kevin and I walk her back to children's church and she clings to me like a baby monkey.  We fill out her name tag, grab a pager and psych ourselves up for the drop off.  She usually waits to start crying until we hand her off to her teachers, but this week she started crying as we turned the corner to her classroom.  We thought we'd stay for a minute to show her the fun toys this time.  She liked the toys so long as she could continue to have a death grip on me and my necklace.

We handed her off and she started thrashing around and was crying.  No better feeling than leaving your obviously angry baby with someone else...  Heck, I don't like it when she cries and I love her to pieces.  So these nursery ladies must have some saint like qualities to volunteer for this.  The majority of the other kids were pleased as punch to be there with the exception of one or two.  I can only assume that they've grown up together and have become nursery BFFs. 

We take our pager, hear Olive screaming and head into church.  They assure us that they won't let her cry for long and will page us if she doesn't settle down.  We find a seat and I hold the pager in my hand like a ticking time bomb.  I have worked up a sweat by this point and am fanning myself with my bulletin.  Kevin and I keep making faces wondering when (not if) the pager will go off.  

It never does so we timidly walk back to the nursery.  We walk into the children's church area and there is our little pumpkin being pushed around in a stroller.  She's been removed from her classroom {again} and is requiring a one to one adult/child ratio.  She's happy as a clam being pushed around and the lady assured us it was her pleasure to spend the time with Olive.  She reaches for me to get her and we profusely thank the ladies who've gone above and beyond to make sure we could go to church.  We walk to get Olive's kitty backpack and as we near her classroom she starts getting all puffy lipped and sobby.  I assure her that we are staying together and we head out.

We've started getting donuts after church because it's something fun to do together and I feel like we all need a little stress reliever from the who nursery experience.  

Things we've tried:
*being consistent
(same drop off, same room, and mostly same teachers)
*make sure she's well fed, changed and in comfy clothes
*send her with a paci clipped to her
*always send diapers, sippy cup and her favorite trail mix
*make sure she's one of the first to get picked up

I've thought about:
*sending her favorite stuffed animal with her
*going to visit the nursery during the week and just playing in there with her so she can see that it's possible to have fun in the nursery. 
*becoming hermits so we never have to deal with the nursery again (haha)

So if you are still with me, we need YOUR HELP!!

Do you have any secret parent tips for helping your child to enjoy the nursery experience?  I'd LOVE to hear what works for you and your little one(s).

I know that this isn't the biggest deal in the world, but sometimes it feels like it.  Olive is pretty well behaved at home and is really cute and sweet.  She's been pretty clingy for the last several months and is definitely a mama's girl so I'm not surprised by the separation anxiety.  She's got a funny little personality, love toys, books and enjoys routines.  I'd love for her teachers to see that side of her instead of the terrible toddler tantrums they've been witnessing.  I feel terrible when I know she's unhappy, but I've really enjoyed the time to go to Bible Study, church and MOPS to get to know other moms.
We've only been to this church 4 times and the other kids have probably gone a hundred times.  I'm trying to delete the day from my memory when the ladies made me feel like Olive was an anomaly and didn't really seem to fit in with the group.  And focus my attention on many of the church moms who have assured me that their kids cried when they were new and they don't cry now.  Most of her teachers have been really sweet and encouraging assuring me that she'll warm up.

I think our new church will eventually become routine for her and I'll look back on this post and chuckle (let's sure hope so!!).


  1. Okay, I am coming out of lurker-dom to comment on this one because you are doing everything right and it is just going to take some time. You have only been there 4 times, and for a child who is usually home with their mom and not used to childcare, it is going to take a little while for her to get used to it. You are doing a great job to just take her and leave her and trust her to the ladies. She probably doesn't cry for the whole time, probably for a little while after you leave, but not that long, and even if they have to resort to stroller pushing to help her calm down, it is just a phase. Before long, they will probably be able to distract her with toys and other kids after you leave. It is important for you to find a church home and have time to worship as an adult, and she will be fine if she cries for a little bit, because eventually she will learn that it is okay and fun even! Letting her take her favorite toy might help. Also you could get Kevin to do the drop off if it is really hard for you to leave her.
    My son T cries at drop off right now and even cries when he sees me upon return. Its like seeing me at pick up reminds him that I could be so cruel as to have left him in the first place! But Mommy needs worship time and bible study and fellowship with other believers so we will just perservere and eventually he won't cry because he will realize that it is actually fun and Mommy will come back. Your child is safe, even if unhappy, and that is okay. My now-4-year-old went through crying at drop off times and now she goes joyfully because she loves playing with her friends. And having a church family is SO IMPORTANT for each member of the family that it is worth it!
    Keep on Momma! Its hard but you are doing great!

  2. That is such a shame to hear :( Unfortunately, I don't have any good advice, but I do know that most toddlers go through a very clingy phase at a certain point, so maybe that's what is happening with Olive and it will end soon. It's wonderful to hear that the nursery is willing to spend one-on-one time with her, especially if that helps! maybe that is just what she needs for a little bit. good luck! <3

  3. I worked in my church's nursery all through high school. The routine thing is important, but it'll still take some time for her to get used to going. As long as they don't call you, it's good for her to stay the whole time.

  4. Oh sister I wish I could help with this! E is too little to know what is going on, so he doesn't experience the separation anxiety. The ideas that you've thought about sound like a good idea! Praying for you and that sweet Olive starts to like the nursery more!

  5. You're doing a great job mama!! And so is she!! THe only other thing I can offer is to be sure she doesn't sense sadness on your side--- oh and rip the band aid off quickly. Drop her and go-- that's what worked for both my kids.... no prolonged goodbyes :-)

  6. I think it'll just take her some more time to warm up - four times isn't a lot for a little one to feel comfortable! And all kids are niece (3) would have been fine, she's super outgoing, where my daughter (2.5) would have freaked out. One thing I've noticed with my girl is that she will totally play off how we are acting...if I'm anxious, she is too. So don't worry too much (easier said than done I know!). I'd try taking her more during the week and that'll probably help too!
    Hope it starts going better for you! :)
    Katie @ Sweet Little Ones

  7. Aww, I'm so sorry things aren't going well! Her little face in that first picture breaks my heart! I have no advice but I'll say a little prayer for all of you :)

  8. I think it's the age. Kane loves daycare but had stayed crying at drop-off lately. In one of the age update emails I get, I read that it's common for children around their age. I know that really doesn't help, but I'm going Kane will quickly grow out of it.


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