Sunday, December 6, 2009

An Interesting Sunday

I am only posting this for helpful feedback, not in an effort to throw my ward member under the bus :)

So I don't usually leave church on Sunday feeling bad about myself, but today was an odd day. There was a situation with a ward member that caused me to shed a few shameful tears during 3rd hour, and Im am contemplating what I should do....

So Brigitte is nearing 18 months old - which means the blessed event of attending Nursery is upon us. I was told a few weeks ago that I could start bringing her in and staying with her to ease her transition in with the other kids. So after an atrocious Sacrament Meeting, I joyfully walked Brigitte over to nursery.

She went running right in and started playing with all the toys and pretty much never looked back. I thought - WONDERFUL! She couldnt care less if I left her here! (Brigitte is NOT the shy type so I wasnt nervous about leaving her). I asked the teacher if I needed to stay, and she said, I dont think so - It looks like she's great. So I walked out and watched from the window in the door. Sure enough, Brigitte didnt even look up from her legos.

I was chatting with a few of my friends in the hall, and before heading to Gabes Sunday School class he teaches I walked back over to nursery to check in. Brigitte was playing and doing fine and the teacher gave me a big ok sign and shoo'd me away with a smile on her face. So I went to class.

And then 10 minutes later a ward member opened the door to the class and stood there and very angrily told me that Brigitte was crying and that I needed to remove her IMMEDIATELY, as she was NOT ALLOWED to be unattended in Nursery before she was 18 months old, and that I was not a special exception to this rule. This person was FUMING with anger towards me. The sunday school class had about ten 17 & 18 year olds in it, half of whom were my Laurels. They all sat there completely shocked at what they were seeing and hearing.

I quickly got up and walked out of the room being escorted by this person back to the nursery, the whole way being loudly told THE RULE and that Brigitte was very upset that I had left her. I kept saying how sorry I was, I understand, I was told I could leave her, I didnt know it was a RULE, I thought I needed to stay only if she was struggling, etc. On we walked and on she kept repeating her angry words. I was SO HUMILIATED and embarrassed!!!! She would not even acknowledge my attempted apologies.

I opened the door to nursery and the teachers both looked at me apologetically. Brigitte was not crying, but had a goose egg on her cheek/eye from a rogue lego bucket that she had fallen on. One of the teachers was apologizing to me and saying she was sorry Brigitte had gotten hurt, but that she had been having lots of fun and it hadnt even phased her that I had left her there - when the ward member who had retrieved me loudy said, WEll she was crying when I was here last, and then she went and sat in the corner of the room.

I was apologizing profusely and the ward member sat there fuming in the corner. Anyway, long story short I had to go to Young Womens so I picked up Brigitte and left. When I walked back in to our Sunday School class to pass Brig off to Gabe everyone was talking about how rude that person had been, and how mad they were at them for yelling at me. I was so awkward because I myself was really upset at how it was handled but I was trying to be a good nice person and say well I didnt know I wasnt allowed to leave her, and It was my fault, etc. But it was a very awkward and inappropriate situation for them all to witness.

I went on to Young Womens and a found out the same exact thing had happened to my friend who had also dropped her daughter off and been yelled at in the hallway. We are both non-confrontational people and so we were sort of shocked at this persons behavior - and were trying to process how we should have reacted. We both wanted to apologize to smooth it over, but frankly, I was scared of the person and didnt want to go have another angry conversation. So I went in to YW. ( I found out later today that my friend did in fact go to apologize, but that it was NOT received well and the person continued to repeat why she was so upset by what had happened.)

As I sat there,  of course I started to feel like a terrible mother and person and so I started to get emotional over how frustrated I was (...and even shed a few embarrassing tears. Im not usually a crier over such stupid things, but I really felt humiliated! And Im pregnant, so there is my excuse.) I left church and ran to the car as quickly as I could feeling silly for being upset, but angry too at having been treated so rudely by a ward member.

What gets me, is that this person would NEVER have spoken to any other moms the way we were spoken to. We were treated like misbehaving children who had been caught doing something unforgivable. There was NO respect for our feelings or even an awareness about how inappropriately they were blowing up the situation. We got yelled at, and because we are young moms, apparently this person felt OK inflicting their wrath on us. My friend made the comment that its a good thing we arent new ward members or that could have ended our church attendance!

So I came home and went to bed. Woke up - STILL Frustrated! I wanted to confront this person and explain how their behavior had humiliated me and how inappropriate it was for anyone to speak to anyone that way in church of all places, and that it was a ridiculous thing to be THAT angry over in the first place... but instead I am blogging about it.

Because Brigitte will have to go in to nursery in a few weeks. And I will continue to have this persons daughter with me in Young Womens. And to thicken the plot Gabe might even be their home teacher....So the LAST thing I want to do is have a confrontation with them. Plus you know how it is in church. Ill probably be called to serve with them in some capacity in the future, and how awkward would that memory be?

So my question is this: What do I do?
Ignore it and let it be their anger problem? Act like it never happened? Call them on the phone? What should I have done? Im sure there was a better way to handle it in the moment, so I want to be sure I handle it right after the fact. I dont want bad feelings at church, and right now there is some definite anger there. So tell me....what do I do?

And how was all of your Sundays?!  On a very happy giddy positive note...we will get our GENDER ENVELOPE tomorrow morning at our big ultrasound!! I am so excited to get to see the baby - when it actually LOOKS like a baby! Christmas Morning I will post what we are having after we open the surprise! Id love a boy...but Im thinking PINK! I cant believe it is here already!


Anonymous said...

I would say the most kind way possible of course. Stuff like that just stays under my skin if I don't at least try to say something.

Anna Beal said...

I have heard of this happening before. 1st off there is no RULE...find it! Both my girls started nursery early. 2nd, you have such a way with writing your feelings. I think you should put all those worries of Gabe being their home teacher, your young women, etc...(she obviously could care less!), and write her a LETTER! Explain your feelings completely, just the way you did in the blog. You will leave the ball in her court! Hopefully get it off your chest, and realize this lady has some serious issues and could probably use some therapy!

Jessie and Taylor Miller said...

Do you want me to give this PSYCHO a piece of my mind???
I am in the primary presidency and over nursery and my ward STRONGLY ENCOURAGES that children start attending nursery a few weeks before they officially enter. We have even had the current nursery children who are entering sunbeams in January.
YOU did NOTHING wrong and I actually feel bad for that UGLY lunatic lady. She obviously has issues and is taking them out on the pretty and righteous ladies.
If only next week was testimony meeting and you could stand up and say that you have been struggling with your testimony and had a horrible interaction with a church member you had formerly respected last week and then throw in something about how a different experience later in the week brought you back to the Gospel despite being almost inactive due to this encounter.
But seriously, I'll pray for you and the crazy, she obviously needs some blessings.
Is she a larger lady? Perhaps going without food today made her grumpy?
Okay. I'm being a jerk. But that made me mad.
I will write her a letter from "the first presidency" if you would like me to?

Jessie and Taylor Miller said...

Um, apparently in my rage I forgot to finish the thought that our future sunbeams have been coming to primary during singing time.
Also- the church DOESN'T have a rule, but Heavenly Father does... it's LOVE one another... and be nice...(which I guess I wasn't in these two vengeful comments...)

Nichole said...

Wow, that lady is nuts. It is totally up to the discretion of the nursery leaders if you leave a child so this lady needs to lay off. I agree with writing her a letter. She was very inappropriate and that is not okay. I agree that she was cranky due to it being fast Sunday... At least, let's hope that is the reason, or else she is just nuts. You are awesome and I am so blessed to call you my friend. Sucks for her that she can't say that!

Anonymous said...

don't write a letter--that is weak sauce. i would just try to blow it off...when it comes down to it--it's her problem. you tried to apologize, she chose to disregard she can go to heck for all you care, right?

Amber said...

Yikes Christy! What a snatch! Honestly, it doesn't sound like she is mature enough to have an adult conversation about what happened. It will probably just tick you off more if you talk to her because she will spaz out. Anyway, just know that you did nothing wrong and that it's her issue and whenever you see her you can just have a laugh in your head knowing that she's crazy and you're awesome. the end. :)

Brooke said...

This woman sounds miserable and cranky. Maybe find out why she is miserable and cranky and be understanding toward her. I suspect she'll soften and and understand that her actions are not acceptable. I'm sorry that happened to you. (I'm Gabe's cousin if you're wondering who I am :) )

Jana said...

So, here's my take as a former nursery leader and 1st Counselor in the primary pres: if the nursery teachers said it was fine, then it was fine. When I was in nursery, the only thing that drove us crazy was the guys who would bring in their cranky 13-month-olds so they could all sit together in the corner and talk and not watch their children . . . If this woman is a primary worker, talk to someone in the primary presidency and let them know about your experience (and your friend's). Considering how many people witnessed this woman's behavior, they've probably already heard about it and don't have to say it came from you. That way they can let her know that she what she did was completely inappropriate and you can avoid any kind of confrontation. Then, be extra nice to her daughter, give the woman lots of big smiles in the hallway and if she has any shred of decency she'll feel guilty for being so horrible!

Sherry Bobbins said...

Having been a Nursery leader several times over the years I can say that it is totally up to the Nursery leaders if they can handle another child in their nursery class under the age of 18 months. If they said it was okay then it was. That sister should NOT be in the Nursery! I would talk to the Bishop or Primary President and have them talk to her.
I share your frustration!

Alisa said...

Ew. Just hope that she gets released come the new year. (I really wanted to swear, but refrained worried I might offend someone).

jayna said...

Bobbins is right, I'd at least relate all to the Primary PRes. But really, just be grateful that you have better people skills than that poor angry woman. Maybe she's having a nightmare of a life at just never know. You are a loved wife, sister, daughter, friend, mother...just surround yourself with those warm titles and ignore her nastiness.

The Cannons said...

So maybe I need to read it again but who is this lady? Is she a nursery teacher? Why is she hanging out in the nursery anyway? I'm a little confused about that. It sounds like maybe she's in the primary presidency and she's over the nursery or something. Anyway obviously I'm just working through my own thing here.

Moving on, okay I totally agree with Amber. Just let it go. This is easier said than done but some people are not very rational and if you try to work it out with them it just gets worse. I've encountered some pretty horrible parents back in my teaching days and I found it was best to just let them use me as a "punching bag" to work out their own issues and not argue with them. I would just nod my head and listen and let them get over their craziness.

I honestly don't think a confrontation, phone call, or letter will do you any good. I agree you should just smile the next time you see her and just know she obviously has issues. You were not in the wrong and just have confidence in that. Also keep in mind that if some people say the sky is green the sky is GREEN!

Soledad said...

You are too nice!
I took my daughter and son to nursery early, their leaders were amazing, so loving and welcoming.
This woman is obviously demented, something horrible must be going on in her miserable life that she sees the need to release her wrath on good people like you and your friend. You are not throwing her under the bus, you are expressing your feelings, which by the way, you've done beautifully (you could be a professional writer).
I suggest that you pray hard so that you will feel complete peace, hopefully she will be released from this calling. Little kids dont need a witchy woman looking after them. So ask for peace.You are so cool, dont let someone else's misery stain your happiness.

Anonymous said...

Is this womans name Rachael Parry? You must be in the same ward as me, i had this same experience my 2nd wk of moving to a new state and a new ward. This was last September and i STILL get teary when i have to go to church, she has caused me so much grief! I'm so thankful i came across your blog randomly, you are adorable by the way...these womens responses to you have helped me feel better, and i hope you do too!