Olivia went to nursery for the first time on Sunday! For those of you not familiar with our church, when child reaches 18 months old they are old enough to go to their first church class, known as nursery. It allows the kids to learn things like sitting still, helps them be social, and helps introduce Primary songs and hymns, and basic lessons and scriptural stories. Also, it gives their parents a chance to attend their own meetings instead of chasing their rambunctious toddler around in the hallways.
I was more worried about how I would handle nursery than how she would. Olivia is incredibly social and loves new settings and new toys. I filled out a little paper that the nursery president had dropped off, writing her name, pasting a small photo of her on, and listing her favorite songs, games, toys, which classes Jack and I would be in during nursery, and any special instructions. I couldn't believe we were already at this point. The tiny girl who used to depend on me for everything now plays with other children and actually has a favorite song (Popcorn Popping, and Twinkle Little Star) and toy (dollies and balls).
I hadn't been to church at all the past few weeks because Olivia had such a hard time sitting through any of the meetings and chasing her through the halls for three hours while pregnant and nauseous was not a tea party. This week I had been feeling a bit better and I really wanted her to be able to get out of the house and meet the kids, and then I could actually sit still and listen in Relief Society!! I got both of us ready for church and then walked her to her class. Her name was posted at the top of the list on the door :) I took her inside, was happy to see that a good friend of mine was subbing for the day, and let go of her hand. She spotted the bin of toys that the other kids were digging into and walked right over and started pulling things out. She could care less at that point whether I even existed. I gave her paper to one of the the teachers and walked out. Alone. Happy and sad.
Jack teaches the 7-8 year-olds and I sat in on his lesson since his co-teacher was absent. After about thirty minutes, Olivia's teacher peeked in and asked for me. Olivia was standing in the hall with a dolly in her arms and a dirty diaper :) I quickly changed her in the bathroom and took her back to nursery. When we got to her room the kids were all sitting in a circle in small chairs. Olivia immediately walked over to the toy bin, but the teacher explained to her that it was now time to sit still in her chair and hear a short lesson. I put her in her chair, and stepped back. Olivia immediately tried to slide out of her chair. The teacher asked her to sit down in her chair. She froze and looked around at the other toddlers in their chairs, confused by this new game. I held my breath. She got back in her chair and sat down. I left.
Right before church ended, Jack and I went to her class to peek through the little peephole in the door. The kids were working on a coloring project. Some of them were throwing tantrums or trying to get the toys, but Olivia was sitting in her place at the table and working on her paper. When I went in to get her, she didn't want to leave. She cried and tried to hold onto the door frame when I tried to haul her out. Then showed me her picture of a family in the car and chattered baby-talk the whole way home. I imagine she was telling me all about nursery and how much she enjoyed it. It helped assuage my anxiety a little about when thinking about preschool. What a wonderful milestone.
ps. ceramic braces look so weird in photos. Like I have lumpy teeth.