FWIW, I'm the one who started the big discussion of babies and small children at church. I started it with a comment that essentially said that infants and toddlers in church should be discouraged.
Honestly, I still think that's true. Lizard Eater made the point that mothers of infants don't like to leave their kid in nursuries. If so, there's a lot of places the mother shouldn't go.
It is ultimately the mother's choice?
But a lot of mothers make poor choices. CC and theCSO very much enjoy going to midnight openings of brand new movies, and almost every time there's a baby or a young child there who really ought to be at home in bed, even when the movie is obviously inappropriate. As I've written before, I am constantly tempted to print up some paper signs and put them in every stall of the ladies room: "If the midnight showing of King Kong is constantly interrupted by the cries of your traumatized three-year-old, you are a bad mother."
This next opinion is absolutely going to get me in trouble, but I am a skeptic on the argument "My baby would rather be in a noisy confusing environment that has no toys and where she must be quiet with me, than a crib in the nursury where she can move around and play without me. I know, because I'm the mother."
We have four cats in our house. Three of them, Boris, Cool Disco Dan and Esperanto, belong to theCSO and me. One of them, Ursus, belongs to the housemates. Tina's position is that Boris, Cool Disco Dan and Esperanto should be kept away from her baby whenever possible. Ursus can get in the baby's face all Ursus wants.
"Because Victoria WOVES her wittle Ursus-kitty!"
Can't argue with that, I suppose. But I honestly don't think Victoria can tell the difference between the cats at all. I think it is very easy for mothers to assume their babies agree with them in the abscence of evidence. Most kids are going to fuss when the mother leaves them with someone else, but my observation is that five minutes later, the kid is over it and paying attention to something else.
Maybe I'm wrong about your specific kid, but my experience of church nursuries is that I'm not wrong about most kids.
I've been pretty open about the fact that my opinons on this come from the fact that my parents assumed that since I was smart, I would get something out of church. I was forced to attend church as a small child and I despised it. Sunday was my least favorite day of the week. I hate sitting still, I hated being quiet, I really hated getting punished when I failed to meet my parents' standards for both. I lobbied to be allowed to take books into church. When I won that one, the situation improved somewhat, but I was still pretty unhappy. Finally, when I was seven years old, I started sneaking notes into the collection plate that read "The Sermon was too long."
At that point, somebody talked to my parents and I was finally allowed to hang out on the playground on Sunday mornings instead.
My position is absolutely not that kids who make noise in church and distract other people are bad, it is that they are uncomfortable. My church follows the "Kids are in the service for the first fifteen minutes, and for that fifteen minutes, the content is geared toward them" model. That's just fine with me.
I get that lots of parents put their kid's comfort over their own interest in the sermon and take noisy kids out. I appreciate that. To be honest, I often hang out just outside the church where one can hear what is going on but doesn't have to remain still myself.