Sunday was Charlie's first trip to the church nursery. Since it was New Year's Eve, all the kids were staying together in one big room instead of being separated by ages like they are normally. Ryan carried Charlie in and handed him to one of the workers and then calmly turned around to leave as I frantically called out instructions to anyone who would listen: "He's just been changed and fed, so he should be good for you! If not try the pacifier! It's attached to his shirt! This is his diaper bag! There are two diapers-- that should be enough! There are also flares and a snakebite kit if you should need those. Does this room have smoke detectors? What you mean you don't know?! What about one for carbon monoxide? How old are you anyway?" I walked towards the sanctuary proud of my cool confidence in the nursery staff. Then I heard Charlie cry and thought "What are those *explitive* doing to my son?!"
It was the looooonnnnnggggeest church service I have ever participated in. We had left our cell phone number on the sign in sheet at the nursery. The number for the phone that ran out of batteries and died sometime between the processional and the Gloria Patri. Ryan tried to revive it but it was not to be. So I spent the rest of the service with my eyes fixed on the door to the hallway that led to the nursery expecting to see one of the nursery workers come bursting through it at any moment holding Charlie out at arms length, naked and screaming, saying "I don't know what happened, some of the older kids wanted to play with him. I thought it would be ok." During the sermon I demonstrated my maturity and patience by tapping my foot incessantly and rolling my eyes at Ryan who was fidgeting with a pen and writing smart-ass comments in the margins of the church bulletin. The last hymn was "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" which is, you may not have realized, the LONGEST Christmas song ever invented. Ever. I changed the words: "Hark the herald angels sing, give me back my freakin' son. if you don't, I swear I'll hurt you, gauge your eyes out with a spoon. This damn song is too damn long, let me leave before I die..." you get the idea. Ryan shot out of the pew before the second syllable of "amen" after the benediction.
When we arrived, Charlie was sleeping peacefully in the arms of one of the nursery workers wearing only his Gerber Onzies "Tall as a Giraffe" undershirt and a pair of socks (we had dropped him off dressed smartly in a navy blue rugby themed romper and a red zippered hoodie). Forgetting that there were other adults in the room (or in the same zip code) I happily exclaimed "Ooh, look at you big boy you lost your clothes!!" in a chirpy sing-songy voice as I ran over and picked him up. One of the workers told me he had gotten so sweaty that his hair was matted to the back of his head. They told me that he was a good baby and stayed calm as long as he had his pacifier. He was the only baby in the room and they all fussed over him and told him how cute he was and it was just wonderful.I am dreading Wednesday when I drop Charlie off at childcare and will then have to LEAVE THE BUILDING for approximately six hours of unmitigated terror (on my part. Charlie will have a blast no doubt). F***ing graduate school.