03 January 2012

The Dreaded Hour

Our ward meets at 1 o'clock this year.* Oh boy. We had been meeting at 11, and that was fine. Really, I think when your kid is still taking two naps per day (the first at about 9ish, and the second about 1ish) there really isn't a perfect time for church. The kid is just going to be a fussy grump for some portion (or all) of the meeting. Ike would actually fall asleep in our arms until about two months ago, so it hasn't been bad for us, all in all.

But some time pretty soon he's going to be transitioning out of two naps a day and into just that one afternoon nap. I think church this year is going to be a beast. I know a million people before have survived the 1 o'clock start time with a toddler, and I've watched a oodles of people struggle through it. I am not looking forward to it. On Sunday our ward only held the first hour of church, and we were woefully unprepared. Some time after church Eric and I were discussing the fact that we will need to bring an arsenal of toys and snacks with us if we ever expect to get anything out of our meetings.

The good news is that we will only have to do this for about six months. Then Ike will go to nursery during the second two hours of church and we can pawn him off on somebody else, assuming he's willing to be pawned off. And, this month I'll be helping in the nursery, and of course I'll take Ike along, so hopefully these few weeks will be manageable.

Any tips or tricks to surviving this year of 1 o'clock church are welcome.

*In the LDS church usually 2-3 congregations meet in the same building. The start-time for their meetings are staggered to accommodate multiple congregations using the building at the same time. In buildings that hold 3 wards, usually the start times are 9, 11, and 1. Usually at the new year each congregation rotates.


Jenn said...

Since having a baby, I really super wish that church was only 2 hours long.

We are somehow really fortunate that handling Libby hasn't been too bad for us lately. It must be a blessing from above. Jared and I both teach 3rd hour, we have no nursery, and no lobby to take a screaming child (we meet in an old dentist office, so it's not your normal building). Our solution is to have plenty of her favorite snacks and just hope that people are understanding (which they truly are in our branch). We also get really lucky sometimes when she falls asleep on the way to church and we just leave her in the car seat in one of the classrooms.

Good luck!

heidikins said...

After 10 years of 1:00 church (practically a requirement for a YSA ward) I have finally graduated to 10:00 church with screaming babies. I'll take the screaming kids every single week if it means I can also get in an afternoon nap.


Jess said...

Well let me tell you of my expertize on parenthood...ahem...
But actually I've heard of something that may work in the future (your baby may be too small for this right now). This woman said she has a "quiet time" for an hour everyday with her kids. They can read or pay with a quiet book etc.. That way when they have to be quiet for an hour during sacrament, they already know how to be quiet. You're quite inventive; I'm sure you'll come up with something that will work for your little one.

Erin Gong said...

We have permanent 1:00 church in the singles ward, and I have been quite lucky that it hasn't been much of a problem. When Genghis took 2 naps a day, we'd do nap #1 a little later in the morning, and then he'd sometimes take a quick afternoon nap on the car ride home. Now that he's down to 1 nap a day, we just have him take that nap before church. Turns out he's really flexible about doing this. He normally naps around 1pm but on Sundays he goes down around 10:45. It does make getting lunch and getting out the door tricky b/c church is 25 min away, but it works. Sometimes he eats PB&J during sacrament meeting.

I've found that in the last few months, it's less about him being cranky during church b/c of a different nap schedule and more about him just being very active during church. We only make a feeble attempt to stay in the 2nd and 3rd hour meetings. He mostly plays in the gym and runs around the halls for 2 hours.

I'm going to write a blog post on this soon, but my favorite Sunday innovation has been to create 3 different church bags for Genghis. Each bag has several different quite toys and activities in it. We bring 1 bag with us each week, so the toys always feel new and different to him. Plus i don't have to run around Sunday right before we leave trying to stuff a bag with appropriate toys - it's all ready to go.

Okay - way overboard on the advice. sorry...

Lanette said...

I am so glad you posted this, because we are making the switch to 1 pm church this year too, and are absolutely dreading it. Any advise is so needed. Iris's 2 hour nap is usually from 1-3, so we're currently planning on trying to get her to sleep an extra hour Sunday mornings and only trying to get in 1 hour at church, but we'll see....Nursery will be a welcome help =)

Science Teacher Mommy said...

Darling girl. You are right. It will be a nightmare. One year. One year of your life. I promise, church will one day be normal again. Normalish anyway.

Mariah said...

In our family Nat always looked after the pre-nursery toddlers at church, so I didn't have to deal with it too much! Sunday school and Priesthood meet in the chapel in our building so he would just let them explore/wander around the chapel the whole time I think. He also had a knack for getting the kids to sleep in his arms, it was kind of special.

But there was also a phase of doing the early Sunday nap that some others have described, and I know plenty of people who bring a pram to church and walk the baby to sleep at the appropriate time, so that naps are pretty similar to any other day.

As far as toys during church, we grab whatever is small, quiet and keeps little hands busy. After 4 years of doing this, every week we have paper/colouring books and pencils and sometimes a few extras. I just remembered also that during sacrament meeting when we were meeting at 1pm the kids always went out in to the foyer with Nat to eat their lunch straight after the sacrament had been passed, and that would use up a good portion of the meeting.

Good luck!