Why get a flu shot when there’s the church nursery?

Maybe it was our trip to Wal-Mart. On second thought, I’m pretty sure it was the church nursery. Yep, the church nursery gave my child the stomach flu. 😦

It seems like literally every time we drop him off at the nursery during the winter months he comes back with a sniffle or a cough that occasionally turns into an ear infection. This was the first stomach bug to come home with him. I’m not necessarily blaming the people who run the place. Maybe it’s the parents who bring their kids to share their germs. Or maybe it’s bad luck.

But whatever the cause, I’m in a bit of a conundrum. Does this mean I need to bring Jacob to the nursery more often so his immune system will become stronger? Or shall I behave like I normally do and stay away for a few weeks afraid of what germ might be lurking on some plastic toy that Jacob will stick in his mouth?

For the brief time we were in Pittsburgh we attended a small church that we really enjoyed. They had just built a brand new nursery. They made kids take their shoes off and whenever an adult entered the room he or she had to do the same or wear those blue booties over their shoes. Amazing. They had a huge window through which you could see your children play as you came to pick them up or drop them off. Jacob never came back sick from church while we were there. Could it be because we were there in October and November, not the prime flu season? Or was that nursery cleaner? Or was it because there were fewer children?

How many children are in the nursery at our church? Does our nursery make our children take off their shoes? I have no idea because I’ve never seen the place. It’s kinda strange but at our church, after waiting in a roped off line with half a dozen other parents, you exchange your child for a beeper over a counter. You never get to see the room. I guess that’s life at a big church.

The first time I dropped Jacob off as a six month old, I asked to see the room where he would be. It was a quiet room filled with rocking chairs and middle aged women waiting to hold babies. How sweet. They did just that. They held him and loved him and he didn’t get sick. But Jacob has long since outgrown that room and now I have no idea of the mass chaos that surrounds the “walkers” room where I can only imagine a dozen snotty nosed criers. That may sound rude, but quite frequently when I pick him up that’s what I see–snotty nosed criers.

I guess it’s unavoidable. It’s winter time and kids are going to get sick. I don’t mean to harp so much on the church nursery. I have a friend that works there and I’m sure they do a good job. Still, it doesn’t make me all that enthused about getting up and going to church in the morning. And now there’s Landon to think about.

Jacob getting in on home church.

So, if I tell you that this past Sunday was our first day back at church since we’ve been back, you’d understand right? Good. Because this past Sunday was our first day back at church since coming home from Pittsburgh.

Shameful, I know. Thankfully, we don’t get into heaven based on church attendance. For the record, I do think going to church is important for fellowship and teaching, but lately when we go there is little, if any, fellowshipping involved. Some of it’s us, some of it’s the church. It’s a big church and it’s hard to feel involved if you are not really plugged in. We’ve tried, not the old college try, but we have tried. Anyway, this is a topic for another post. But some church shopping may be in our future.

And just so you don’t think we are complete heathens, we’ve listened to some online sermons and had “home church” with my family the Sunday after Christmas. Home church is code for stay home and drink coffee in your pajamas on the couch. My family’s been having home church for years. And yes, it’s more that drinking coffee. And yes, my parents do go to church. But every now and then when we’re feeling lazy (or running so far behind that even we would be embarrassed walking in that late) we have home church, and it is always a great time.

Home church starts off with hymns, usually. With my mom at the piano we gather ’round and sing hymns like “How Firm A Foundation” or “Fairest Lord Jesus” or as in our case last month, Christmas carols. Since we are an unrehearsed “worship team,” my mom occasionally stumbles her way through a song while my dad keeps on singing in his beautiful clear tenor voice. My mom adds in her lovely soprano or perhaps if she knows it, sings the harmony. I never know the harmony, although I sometimes try, so I usually end up singing the melody, voice cracking on the high notes and all. Darrell stands next to me quietly singing the words in his deep voice. He’s off key for almost the entire song, save a few notes here and there. Then there’s my brother, whose recently taken to singing the songs with us. I mean really singing the songs. These days that’s about it. My other two sisters and their husbands are sometimes there, particularly around the holidays. This past home church experience, even Jacob got in on the action.

After singing several hymns until our voices are sore and mom’s run out of songs she knows, we sit down and share about what we’ve been learning. It may be a verse God has shown us, a lesson He is teaching us, something our eyes have been opened to, or a difficulty we’ve encountered. My dad will usually read a passage relating to something he is learning and then we take prayer requests and pray. All the while sipping coffee in our pjs and taking bathroom breaks. It’s pretty awesome.

But as amazing as home church is, going to real church is important too. So, a few weeks from now, when Jacob is finally better and we are ready to handle another illness, we’ll be back. Until then, I’ll be on the couch sipping coffee in my pajamas listening to sermons online.

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6 thoughts on “Why get a flu shot when there’s the church nursery?

  1. Jill says:

    I share many of your feelings about the church nursery. S hasn’t had the flu yet, but has had a couple colds. I blame them all on the nursery. We are normally regular attenders at FBC, though I haven’t been there in weeks either because of the holidays and now teaching. I also share your concerns about the lack of fellowshipping, even in spite of trying. We’re definitely sticking with FBC. In many ways, I like that it is a big church because there are so many resources and opportunities. The teaching is also excellent, which is the main reason. I grew up in a *very* small church, so I know I want the benefits of a big church. However, I totally don’t blame you for wanting to church shop. A small church may be a good option for your family. Have you tried Eagle Heights (it’s a PCA church)? We went there a couple of times, and I liked it.

    • Butterfingers for Breakfast says:

      My parents just went there the other Sunday and my sister and her husband went there this summer. We may try it. I like FBC for the teaching and for the opportunities it has, but lately we don’t really have the time or babysitters or whatever to take advantage of said opportunities. The sermons are great, but I guess I would like more of a “homey” feeling when going to church. We’ll see. Maybe he won’t get sick at their nursery? haha 🙂

  2. Jarah says:

    Its good to hear this feedback about nurseries. I understand the concern being a mom of a nursery goer. But the past year or so I have been leading the nursery at our church and I could think of better ways to keep the nursery clean. Any place your child is in an environment with multiple kids (daycare, preschool, nursery, play group) they will have more contact with others germs. Parents keep bringing there children regardless of there health because they are involved in church activities they can’t miss. So we will have running noses through the winter months usually. My daughter is in there all the time. She has had one bad cold and yesterday had a fever and stomach ache (threw up once). I think the fever might have been past from my husband. It really is hard to see your children sick and feel you can’t make them better. But I do have the mom’s that refuse to bring there children in the nursery and that is fine. But I could not enjoy service as much if I had to hold on to my squirming 2 yr old so no wonder they miss church so much. Fact: There are over 200 different viruses. Fact: Viruses can live in hard surfaces for over 2 weeks (including money), Viruses can live on soft surfaces for 20 mins. So your kid can touch anything that has someones saliva or mucous on it and then stick his fingers in his mouth and he/she has contracted a virus. Washing hands often is a big plus.

    • Butterfingers for Breakfast says:

      Wow. That’s actually some helpful info. Makes me feel better about my carpet, even though I’ve washed, lysoled, etc. So germs can’t survive as long on soft stuff eh? THanks for sharing Jarah. It certainly doesn’t help that Jacob sucks his thumb. I always think of that. Whatever he touches basically gets transferred to his mouth. Yuck!

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