We made it to church!!
Honestly, it’s been a while. I was sick and pregnant, and then Elliot’s naps weren’t lining up, and then we had a newborn. I know a lot of people who tell me to skip or mess with the naps in order to get to church, but you’re talking to someone who ranks the importance of sleep over food, so you know how that went. Maybe if I was a stay at home parent and could assure that the rest of the week he took really good and uninterrupted naps I’d be more willing, but the weekend is usually when he makes up on sleep he didn’t get during the week.
So it had been far too long, and we started making plans for going. We almost made it last week, but then everyone woke up sick. Nope, wasn’t doing that. Getting through the day is hard enough when you have two sick children, you’re sick too, and no one slept.
But then, we remembered daylight savings! That would for once line up perfectly for us, since the tiny humans wouldn’t know what time the clock said, but instead would be perfectly awake and not over tired from missing a nap! Win!
Of course right as we were getting ready to leave it started snowing hard and heavy, but I didn’t care. Everything else lined up, so we were going! Of course that meant that we got there and no one else was there, but whatever. We made it. Everyone who stayed home missed out on the baby, and those who made it were rewarded with extra cuteness that morning.
Not to say everything was easy. It’s not easy to keep two small creatures quiet for an entire hour. Especially since as you all know, Tom and I have never been ones to do something just because everyone else does. So despite the many not so gentle nudges that we should maybe send E away during church to the daycare program, we’re not really interested. We have many reasons, which we both agree on, so for now he stays with us.
Yes I don’t get to listen to as much as the service as I would if he weren’t there, and yes it’s certainly more distracting and tiring, but I want to teach E how to sit through church. I want him to interact with all different types and ages of people. And he already spends too much of his life in daycare away from us. On the weekends I want my smoosh with me. It would also cause me to miss out on all the fun that happened with him during the service. Moments like:
The choir sang to start the service, and when they were finished, E turned to me and asked “Mo? Mo??” I had to assure him that yes, there would be more music coming soon. Every time after that, he would clap and say “YAY!” when they finished a song.
I made the mistake early on pointing out a picture of a school bus hanging in the sanctuary. So randomly throughout the hour he would point frantically and say “Bus! BUS!” and turn and look at me and try to show me the bus. Yes, mama sees the bus too.
One trick I had to keeping him quiet was to feed him snacks. Lots and lots of snacks. We had puffs and cherrios and goldfish. You may not be aware, but I HATE goldfish. They’re super disgusting and leave a bad taste in my mouth. Recently E has found it hilarious to feed me food. You see where this is going. He offered me a goldfish and I said, oh no, Mama doesn’t like them. He popped one in my mouth anyway. Tom started laughing, and E lit up. He tried to force another one in. I was desperately trying to keep my mouth shut while Tom and I were crying tears trying to stay quiet and not laugh during a peaceful moment in the service. He managed to feed me two of those nasty things before I somehow got him to remember he wanted to eat them.
At one point E got bored, so I turned him around so he noticed all the people sitting behind us. At one point I turned around to find no less than 3 people playing peek a boo with him from different pews. The person sitting next to us was great too. She kept playing with him and retrieved his car when it ended up in the pew behind us.
I was pretty sure we were in the clear and things were going great. We’d made it through the hard parts, I’d checked the bulletin and there was no communion or extra things that would make church last longer.. and then it happened. They announced it, and I searched the bulletin for what I’d overlooked. “Guided Meditation.” As in silent, peaceful and relaxing meditation? Oh boy. I frantically looked through the diaper bag for whatever I could find, and pulled out some books. Tom laughed later that instead of people repeating “breathe in….breathe out…” they were probably saying “Duck….spider….” because that’s what they were hearing from us as we read the book. We made it to the end, and then I took the book back from him to discover he’d eaten part of the front cover. Um what? So much for board books being sturdy enough for toddlers! Either way, I’ll take that as a win. The price of quiet meditation is one book cover.
G of course slept quietly on Tom’s lap for the whole service. Go figure.