One of the great debates that you are completely unaware of until you or your close friends have kids is about when it is appropriate to leave your child with someone else. A grandparent, a babysitter, the nursery at church, etc., all are viable drop-off options depending on the parents of the child. Some parents are willing to relinquish their child for a few hours almost immediately, some hold on until the child is 2, or 10, or 25. Someday I'll write a big post on this but for now, suffice it to say we are definitely in the former camp rather than the later. We will basically pawn our kid off on anyone up to and including drifters who roll through town looking for work. (For the record, no drifter has ever rolled through our town.) Up to this point, we've always left Cooper with a grandparent but thanks to the set of shots he received at Baby Gitmo last week, our little guy can finally be left at the nursery at church. Score! We arrived at church on Saturday night on time (which is becoming less and less frequent given that it now takes approximately 37 times longer to get out the door than it did in our pre-baby days) and planned to drop him off and head into our assembly for the first time in a while. But before we could get to the nursery, we were waylaid by Patty Weaver, my boss, friend, mentor, and frequent tormentor. As I work in children's ministry, I am often required to do silly things and make a complete fool of myself in order to placate the young masses. Patty enjoys this sort of thing while I will only undergo this treatment under certain conditions and even still with much weeping and gnashing of teeth. No sooner had we set foot in the door than we were ambushed by Patty who immediately threw a captain's hat on Cooper in order to let him aid in the recruitment of new volunteers. (I thought about elaborating on this setup but honestly if you don't know Patty then there's really no way to explain this.) It looked something like this:
Notice the look of sheer confusion mixed with a bit of humiliation and just a pinch of, "What did I do in a past life to bring this upon myself?" I feel ya, kid.
Finally I pried Cooper away from his post and we headed into the nursery. Everyone around us knew that this was our first nursery drop-off and each looked at us as if we might break down at any moment. Instead, we willingly handed over the King of the Grumbles with great enthusiasm because as much as I love this kid, an hour of being responsible for only my own cries and whimpers is like a gift from the heavens. In exchange for our child, the nice nursery worker gave me a beeper, which I thought was probably an unfair trade but she threw in a future first round pick to top it off so I figured that was as good as it was going to get. (Sports humor!) Plus, I never got to have a beeper when I was a kid so this was like all of my 12 year old dreams coming true.
Seriously, remember beepers? What were we thinking? I feel like if you transported someone from 1995 to 2013 and showed him even the most rudimentary smart phone, he would laugh hysterically and immediately light the beeper on fire. Such a weird stop-gap in technological history.
I digress. After dropping him off, we (somewhat ashamedly) didn't even go into service because there were people to talk to and not having to shift a helpless little bag of bones around 100 times while conversing with someone makes conversation so much better. We talked, we laughed, no one spit up...it was a gas. As service ended, we headed back to the nursery (literally a 15 foot journey) and this was the only point that brought me any stress. What if he cried the whole time? What if he cried so much that the nursery workers put his picture on the wall under a banner that says "Do not serve?" What if he kickpunched another baby? He has been kicking a lot lately! But no, there was no reason to fear because, of course, he slept the entire time. Never even stirred. We picked him up and he could not care less that we'd been gone for an hour. In the end, it was probably the most anti-climactic "first" that we've experienced to date and as you can tell, he didn't even care to pose for the picture:
Are beepers still a thing? Brian