When we arrived at church yesterday morning, there was no one signed up to run the nursery. This happens fairly frequently (although it has been better as of late) and what usually ends up happening is that my wife stays downstairs in the nursery with Edward, and I take Ruby up to church. But yesterday was Palm Sunday, and we all really wanted to be upstairs. So we decided, even though we knew what was going to happen, to take Edward upstairs with us.
Now Edward is not a fussy baby. He is a very happy baby (can I still call him a baby now that he is 2?). I was not at all worried about him crying during the service. But the thing is, he does like to express his happiness in a loud sort of way. We distracted him with crackers for a while, but they only lasted so long, and before we knew it he was ready to make his presence known in an ebulliently noisy way.
Edward was very interested in church. He really seemed to be getting into the architecture of the sanctuary. He loved the music for sure. Every thing he saw or heard would elicit an "Ohhh!" or a "Yeah!" What seemed to get him the most excited were the silences. He really loved still, quiet moments, because those would be the times that he would definitely exclaim the loudest. The hymnals were thrilling, the bulletin a source or constant wonder. Eventually we couldn't take it anymore.
My wife brought him downstairs, where she met three or four other parents who were down there with their kids. They said they would watch Edward for her, so she got to come back up after all. The rest of the service was pretty quiet, as far as our pew was concerned anyway, and we felt better about being there and not disturbing anyone else. Several people told us it was fine for Edward to be there, and they didn't mind his cooing and squeaking, but I personally feel that it is not respectful to the other congregants, or the pastor, to have a squawking child all throughout worship. Maybe it's just me, but I find it distracting, even if it is a joyful noise.