Tuesday, October 30, 2012

And the Toddlers Shall Inherit the Earth

Morning Readers,

I'm probably the holiest person I know. And by that I mean my jeggings are splitting and there are giant holes in every bra I own. Saintly? Dear me, no. The only way I'm getting into heaven is if God gets busy settling in everyone else I know, and I slip St. Peter a fifty.

And St. Peter will say, "Just try not to call attention to yourself."

And I'll smile, duck in, and call over my shoulder. "You won't even notice me. I'm just gonna try and finish writing some blog posts that've taken me an eternity to write anyway."

And we'll both laugh at the clever implication of "eternity" in two different contexts, and pretend not to notice each other in heaven's giant lunch room.

No, I'm not holy, but I do go to church and make the whole family follow behind. As I've mentioned before, this worked out great when I had no kids, and could shout at other people,

"Please make your kid be quiet. Some people have to save their souls. And I don't think I saw you at the bar last night."

.. or when the twins were brand new and didn't move. But, seasons change along with a mother's medication, and now it takes everything we have to ignore the fact we're shaking uncontrollably and make the long walk from the van to the back pew.

"Why the back pew?", you say.

"Why Alcatraz?", says I.

Because there's something about church which brings out the worst in toddlers. I don't care if you go to Mass, Temple, or any other service which requires a two year old to be still, they only have one mission, and that's to make sure you look like a mental institution worker struggling with an inmate.

The old and the wise think it's cute.

The hip singles (I miss that club) are wondering how long it'll be before your baby, who's been trying her hardest, will finally punch you in the face.

And the token pious lady in the back is sure you're going to hell for interrupting her prayers for the rest of humanity ... and also that her famous Ragin' Cajun Chicken Chili recipe will take first at the cook off. Amen.

Meanwhile, you and your husband take turns playing, "You take him, he just head butted me," with intermittent breaks of, "Grab her before she tunnels under that pew and steals that person's iPhone and collection plate money, even though it would help us pay off the van a little faster."

And all the while you wonder, "Jesus, I know you're seeing this. Is there any way you could grant us a heavenly dome of silence to wrap around our offspring? Please pardon my gin and tonic for lunch."

There go the covers off all the hymnals.

Find all the shoes that just got launched like shot puts.

Ignore the fact your daughter is shouting at the top of her lungs, "Jesu-th ith watchin' me!" because you told her that so she'd keep quiet. Parenting fail.

And so it comes to an end. You pack everyone up, apologize to the Holy Spirit, and head to the liquor store to buy seven days worth of beer...

...because you only have a week to prepare to do it all over again.

Until Next Time, Readers!






47 comments:

  1. Growing up in American churches, I have seen, heard, and hid from these situations! Our church over here was a bit of a shock and has taken time to get used to though. There is typically a small gang of 2-4 year olds that run laps back and forth in front of the stage and then a mix of all ages patrol/run through the isles and walkways like a pack of giggling hyenas. Sometimes the pastor has to shush the children when he gives the announcements but the leadership wants the church to be a place where kids feel like they can have fun and that it's their church too...they have definitely accomplished this! Thankfully they have a children's church during the actual service but when the kids are released to go to it, the earth shakes more than a buffalo stampede on the plains!

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    1. Ha! It's a tough line to walk. Kids want to be involved but they also want to punch you in the face and run screaming around the room. I shall pray for you and the herd of buffalo ...LOL

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  2. "...shoes that got launched like shot puts"

    Hahahahahahahahahahaha! Yes. Super yes.

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    1. It's amazing we have a matching pair of shoes to our name.

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  3. I wish I could tell you it gets easier when your kids get older, but nope. Mine are 12, 10, and 5, but do you think Sundays are easier now? Heck no. (See how I said Heck instead of the usual Hell? That's cuz we're talking about the Lord's Day. I'm sensitive like that.) Anyway, yes, Sundays are the worst. I WANT to love them, think of them as refreshing for my soul, and maybe even, oh, I don't know, NOT accompany everyone to the bathroom eleven times, spill communion, stifle the five year old's farts, and take notes on the sermon instead of notes to my preteen to stop yawning immediately or she's grounded. Maybe in Heaven our church services will be better. Until then, I think church only exists to keep us humble.

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    1. I know God appreciates the effort, but man, I feel like I've just completed the Iron Man by the time I head to the car. And you say it doesn't get any easier? I may just invest in that Liquor Of The Day Club I've heard so much about...

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  4. All this talk about church and twins got me thinking. What if Mary had had twins? Let's say Jesus and a brother named Carl. Things might be a lot different nowadays if she had.

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    1. Especially because one would have been the savior of the world and the other would have been like...the lesser-known loser twin, always living in his brother's shadow.

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    2. Agree with Kate, I think it would've complicated things immensely ...;)

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  5. I echo Melyssa. Although I would say that it does get better. Because you're not wrangling anyone who punches and throws things!! But I'm still stage whispering to my 14-year old that his 7-year old brother is not a toy for his amusement to combat boredom at Mass. And to sit up straight, kneel, stop yawning, etc. The 16-year old seems to finally have it down. Thankfully. So I guess it does, ultimately, get better. And then they are gone.

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    1. 16? Ok, only fourteen more years until some peace. Yes!

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  6. Slightly off point, but, hey, YOU reminded me! Our family is Jewish, but my cousin sent her son to Catholic school. Once she asked him what he learned in school that day & he told her they taught him a song about cheese. She was surprised & asked him the name. He said, "Four Cheeses Loves Me"!!

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    1. Hahaha ...I could definitely see where some confusion could set in. I know Jesus loves me, but I also know that cheese loves my hips.

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  7. I am so impressed you take your kids to church. Mine are 17 and 12 and I have only been that brave (heavily medicated) about 4 or 5 times in my life.

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    1. Trust me, it's a long, shaky walk up to the door ...LOL

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  8. I wanna go to your church... you know, so we won't look bad. :)

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    1. Love it! We really need a decoy as well. If you move here, let me know and we'll work something out.

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  9. The trick is to sit near a family with even louder kids than yours and then shoot them dirty looks when your kids are misbehaving.

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    1. That's why I'm on board with Juli's plan. Until then, I'll be scouting for a decoy family this Sunday.

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  10. This made my day so I posted it on facebook, then it made lots of other people's day. Always awesome Paige.

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  11. You paint such a vivid picture! When mine were little (heck now when they're 14 and 7), I keep a small notebook for them to doodle in. Maybe those no-mess coloring books where the color is only on the paper for the twins... :-)

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    1. I'm sold on the Color Wonder paper. Getting them some of it, stat.

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  12. Love the token pious lady. Need the heavenly dome of silence. Already have a baby who likes to sucker punch me. My husband laughs, but then I let her wear her shoes to sleep in bed with us and she roundhouse kicks him in the spleen all night.

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    1. Ha! I wouldn't have thought of shoes ...that's why I bow to your genius.

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  13. This is so me every Sunday for the past eight years. I drag us all there, yet I haven't heard a word of mass in a long time. I, too, am just trying to slip past St. Peter. I usually emerge from mass an angry, frustrated mess with wrinkled clothes, disheveled hair, and broken jewelry (why I try to wear necklaces with a toddler is beyond me). Thank you for making me feel a little more sane.

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    1. Ahh, broken jewelry. I think I have one necklace in tact, three broken, and one that could be used against me as a weapon that I just avoid. Keep fighting the good fight, Kathy!

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  14. And this is why I'm a heathen. When you DO go to church and find a few uninterrupted minutes to get a prayer in, please pray for my wicked soul.

    Thanks!
    Teri

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    1. I can definitely fit it in between dodging the flying shoes and avoiding having my foot crushed with the kneeler ...done and done. ...:)

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  15. I'm a newer parent... have one and expecting another soon. But I also work for a church and witness this every week. Things that other shared with me that have helped as I became a mom:
    1. Sit closer to the front to help little ones feel more involved in the service.
    2. Children are a sound of worship. Jesus wanted them there with him- so they should also be in church learning from you how to worship.
    3. Color Wonder products by Crayola are wonderful.
    4. Make friends with the people who sit around you- they will sometimes help to take care of your little ones- even if for a part of the service.

    And from a church worker... thank you for taking your children to church. It's hard... I know- but your children need it and benifit more than you will ever know.

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    1. Another vote for Color Wonder paper. I'm sold!

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  16. Bless you, bless you, bless you for taking your kids into church with you. All I can say is praise God for kid's Sunday school because after the 2.6 times we've taken them in, they're never coming in again.

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    1. Thanks, Kate! It takes nerves of steel and liquor of vodka.

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  17. I remember having to take my little brother to church and pretty much hanging onto him to stop him charging up and down the aisle.

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    1. Yep yep. If we let them, they'd march right up there and begin The Kellermam Follies of 2012. Complete with seven different renditions of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

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  18. Just became a reader because I need more smiles and laughter in my days! I'm home with a sick baby, sick and potty training 3 year old, and praying my 5 year old doesn't get sick too, ah the joys of motherhood!

    Jessica

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    1. We just finished being sick here and I'm terrified of starting potty training. I commend you and a huge thanks for following!

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  19. Awesome! We fight the good fight and TRY to go, I resolved to go for one full month - I did but just about died. I always said - before I had kids - that once I had kids, they would definitely be in a church. Shoulda thought that through more. Then once they were born I didn't want to leave them with strangers as a little baby (cause we didnt have a church), now they are freaking HARD! And I am having a hard time finding a church that I like, cause I dont like dragging everyone out to one each week. I know I need to....
    This was awesome and it makes me thank God that he did not give me twins. :) Devan

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    1. I feel your pain, Devan. It's so hard but you're obviously a tough momma who's trying. God sees that and that's why he created beer. Now then, what can we do about arranging for my twins to come visit you guys for a few weeks? ...;)

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  20. And to think that the liquor stores are CLOSED in some states on Sundays.

    These are the people I pray for.

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    1. I've always thought that when the Bible talks about "the poor in spirit", it means those who can't get a nice glass of Chardonnay after church. I will continue to pray for them.

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  21. I also say those kind of prayers.

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  22. You are brave! We now go to a huge non-denominational church that we LOVE, but only started going because there is free childcare for every age. There is an entire row of classrooms and the kids go into a Sunday school class for their age group (fun classroom, too. With full-sized sliding boards and stuff!) then when they are old enough there is a separate youth building where the teenagers have their own service. Our service is just adults. It really is a little slice of heaven. They also give everyone free coffee and cookies. We are never leaving.

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    1. Our church actually has a children's ministry. We have curriculum and we teach the kids about Jesus and God at their level. We start at 2. The basic elements they learn are: God made me, God loves me, and Jesus wants to be my friend forever. We do not discuss sin or the cross until the kids get into the elementary class. I teach 2-3 year olds, across the hall is the Pre-K kids (4-5) and down the hall the elementary kids have a huge open worship space with their own worship band, fun teachers and presentations. Finally, they break into small groups with kids their own age to talk about what they learned with their teachers moderating. I love going to church without my kid. The few times I have had to bring her into the sanctuary, I prayed for Jesus to protect her from my homicidal hands.

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  23. Paige, can't believe I'm saying this b/c all of your posts leave me in open-mouth gaping-awe (In the this-girl-has-got-amazing-writing-chops way), but this may be my favorite post?? I can just so see myself there so exactly, trying to embrace the "seasons changing along with a mother's medication", but really dodging my daughter's headbutts (what is the deal with that?)and hating on the cute young couple in front of me basking in the glow of their immobile 3-week old while shooting daggers at my toddler. Pass the liquor indeed.

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