With all the wisdom of my new marital bliss and twenty-one years I would whisper to myself, "My children will never act like that!"
In 1997 my husband and I welcomed our first son into the world. My husband and I attended church every week, convinced that our perfect parenting skills were indeed paying off, as our little bundle slept quietly though meetings (his naptime was, after all, scheduled directly during church).
All was well until Andrew turned nine months old. He now became mobile and, heaven forbid, independent. Suddenly I was looking helplessly at this child and thinking to myself, "Wait a minute! My child is not supposed to act like that!"
Andrew's church attendance became a thing of nightmares. He was legendary for running to the front of the chapel when we turned our backs, throwing Cheerios into the perfectly-sprayed coif of the sister in front of us, banging on the piano in a particularly somber moment in Sunday School, and yes, screaming at the top of his lungs as my husband or I took him from sacrament meeting, "No outside! No spank!" Truly, we had met our match with this child.
Finally, the blessed day arrived. Andrew was eighteen months. Jon and I shared silent glances of victory as we knew that after this initial hour Andrew would enter the nursery abyss and we would have two hours of freedom.
We entered the nursery to be welcomed by an adorable teacher to whom Andrew responded, "NO!! GO NOW, GO NOW!" So, begrudgingly, there we sat in chairs meant for people that are three feet tall, while Andrew clung to our legs in terror. Where was Mr. Independent now?
Together with the other mothers and fathers sharing our same fate, we sang, we snacked, we played, and we refereed inevitable nursery disputes. Finally, after four months of coaxing him into independence, Andrew led his father and me into the hallway.
He was ready to be alone in his new nursery environment. Surprisingly, we weren't! We stood by the cracked door for the next twenty minutes, convinced Andrew would still need us, but alas, we never heard a whimper.
Finally, church was over and we both found ourselves in a delusional fervor of happiness as we held our son close and watched him proudly display his picture of the Savior colored in every shade of the rainbow. Andrew was in good hands here.
Trying to get through those first two years not only taught us patience, but we also learned an undeniable lesson in the importance of our little one being introduced to gospel truth through his nursery experiences.
So, for those newlyweds convinced their child "won't ever act like that," and for those parents who are anxiously counting down the eighteen months, please keep in mind that the Lord has a sense of humor.
Enjoy your children while you can...one day they will go to nursery.