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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Church Edification

It's...interesting...taking my four young children to church.  I always notice these families with perfectly behaved kids.  They are mysterious to me.  We are not one of those families.

And now, a glimpse at this past Sunday's experience:

Part 1: The Escape Artists
We were running late and lost out on our cushy benches.  Drat!  My one-year-old (Dax) was elated--there was so much more aisle space between the folding chairs!  He set his sights on an aisle breakout. I attempted to sidetrack him and broke out my suitcase-sized kid bag, but still, no toy, no snack,could deter him from his goal. 

After ten tiring minutes of my seven-year-old daughter (Dani) and me fetching my wandering dude, I glanced over at my husband.  He's asleep!   I have no words.  I kicked him and took Dax in the hall.  Mase followed, then decided he missed Daddy.  He went back in.  He came out.  In. Out.  I tried to hold him.  He wriggled away and went back in.  And out.

Part 2: Trickery
I had decided we all needed to go back in when Mase announced to me, and the other families in the hall, "I need to go potty."  Ha!  I wasn't falling for this old trick.

"You do not."

"I need to go POO-POO!!!!"  he growls.

"Shhhh...all right!"

After arriving in the restroom, Mase points to the toilet and proclaims, "Oh look Mom, I go poo-poo."

"You didn't even sit on the toilet Buddy."

He smiles.

We attempted to go back in the chapel and it wasn't pretty...let me jump ahead.  We all ended up, in a room in the hall.  The whole family! 

Part 3: The Tearful Finale
My husband takes the two girls back in.  Mase follows and decides to play with the door.  Dani's finger gets smashed in the door.  Really bloody, painfully, smashed.  She and the rest of our posse are back in our hallway room.  Dani is crying and screaming loudly and can't stop. "It hurts!  Ow!  It hur-ur-ur-urts!!!!"

My band-aid and magical hug were no help.  She is still a sorry (loud and crying) case.  Dax suddenly starts crying too, inconsolably.

I asked my husband to take me and the criers home!  On our way out Mase gets angry because he didn't get to open the door all by himself and...starts crying.  I'm surprised Evie didn't join in.  I considered it.

Just another day at church.
Only the middle finger got smashed.  Her other finger got stuck in her bike kickstand the day before.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the week:  Come up with some new Sunday strategies.

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At June 1, 2011 at 6:59 AM , Blogger m&msmommy said...

I do NOT know how people sit through church services with their children! Not because I think they are "bad" people :) but because there is NO WAY that my children (5 & 1) would ever sit still/quiet/behaved/etc through a sermon, EVER! I'm SO thankful for our children's ministry and Sunday school they have for them or we would NEVER be at church! I give you SO much credit :)

I kick my hubby too when he starts to fall asleep! He might be worst than the kids! :)

At June 1, 2011 at 7:21 AM , Blogger Jennifer said...

Seriously, I laughed so much because this could have been me! I give out so many treats during church that my kiddos rarely eat lunch on Sundays! I feel your pain!

At June 1, 2011 at 7:36 AM , Blogger Cori said...

I can not imagine bringing my children into the "big church". I am so thankful for our children's ministry. My kids would not behave! ha! :) More power to you!! and that finger looks painful!

At June 1, 2011 at 7:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perfectly behaved children boggles my mind. I know my 2 year old would be all over the church running and probably screaming.

At June 1, 2011 at 8:54 AM , Blogger Kathy said...

This is why we have never gone to church as a whole family!!! It isn't pretty!!! And, not very spritual!!! One day we will try it as a whole family again!!! Love your blog!!

At June 1, 2011 at 9:01 AM , Blogger mrsmarkdave said...

Wow! Eventful day, that's for sure. Glad you all survived :-)

At June 1, 2011 at 9:44 AM , Blogger Tatiana said...

at this point in my life I feel like anyone with more than two kids is a super hero! I don't know how you do it all!
I take pictures of my husband when he falls asleep. You know, just to prove to him later that I'm a better Christian than him. haha

At June 1, 2011 at 9:46 AM , Blogger Mom of 12 said...

That sounds just like something that would happen to my family! Sorry about the finger. Hope she is feeling better. I bet posting a pic of it on the blog helped...

At June 1, 2011 at 10:07 AM , Blogger just me... said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At June 1, 2011 at 11:27 AM , Blogger Michelle said...

Ouch! Poor finger. Maybe those people with the quiet kids drug them before going in? Because I had to carry Jaycee out in a football hold before. She kept jumping up and down and licking me in the face and of course she and Logan can never keep their hands off each other. I had already had a long day and just couldn't take it. I don't know what I'd do with 4 kids. Luckily, like someone above, our church does kid's church at the same time.

At June 1, 2011 at 11:36 AM , Blogger An Irish Italian Blessing said...

Oh wow, that sounds like quite the experience! We try to sit through church with ONE toddler and it's always a disaster, I can't imagine it with 4. Actually, I imagine 4 going just as you described : )

At June 1, 2011 at 11:44 AM , Blogger Mrs. C said...

Oh wow...I was just going to write about our church experience...but I have NOTHING on that. lol You poor thing!

At June 1, 2011 at 11:46 AM , Blogger Saunders Crew said...

ouch! that finger looks painful. we too have a children's ministry. we just bring the 2 older ones with us into the service. luckily the other two are far far away. bless your heart though, i think i'd just give up on church for a while and have my own church sunday service AT HOME!! so good for you for biting the dust and going anyway!

At June 1, 2011 at 11:51 AM , Blogger Karen Greenberg said...

Ouch! That finger looks painful. I think I would have been crying loudly, too.

At June 1, 2011 at 12:07 PM , Blogger I Am Not Superwoman said...

This is so our life. I am just "spent" getting to church and then mortified most of the times as we walk out. LOL! 3 yr old always makes a bee line down the hall from class to the snacks not caring who is in his way. Ladies in walkers, pregnant women, he just barrels through with me taggin along behind him trying to catch him. BTW, I awarded you The Versatile Blogger Award. Check out my Thank You, Gracias, Merci, Danke post.

At June 1, 2011 at 1:54 PM , Blogger just me... said...

I feel your pain. Most trips to church with my three little ones end with me in a less than Christian mood.

At June 1, 2011 at 2:17 PM , Blogger We 2 Bees said...

That does not sound like a fun time! We too have a children's ministry that I'm so thankful for. You poor thing, you deserve an award for keeping the crying at bay!

At June 1, 2011 at 2:35 PM , Anonymous DaddyNumberOne said...

That sounds like an episode of Malcolm in the Middle!

Thankfully when we were kids there was a special separate sound proofed room where people could sit with kids. The sermon was piped in on speakers, and the front was all glass so you could see what was going on.

They should have those rooms in churches, restaurants, airplanes, and my house! As much as other people don't want to hear your kids scream, you don't want them to hear your kids scream either.

At June 1, 2011 at 4:31 PM , Blogger JennyLynn said...

Sounds kind of familiar. When mine were all small, I sat in the very back on purpose. So, that I could escape or keep our raucous to our selves.

At June 1, 2011 at 4:54 PM , Blogger Jenn said...

Every mother who struggles in church needs to here other women's stories!
I was mortified when we announced we were leaving an old ward when people asked "who are we going to watch in sacrament meeting now?" and our current stories are too similar to yours.
I would have to say that my kids are better behaved (not well behaved but better) when we leave all treats at home. The only toys we take are crayons, paper and the baby's Tigger that he won't nap without. It was difficult at first but they aren't fighting over/asking for certain treats or toys anymore. We also force the kids to sit on our laps with their arms folded if we end up in the hall.
Our biggest struggle now is that we are living with my parents and they bring the contraban items or strangers who think they help in the same way-as soon as we move we will crack down again.
Just know that you are not alone!

At June 1, 2011 at 7:19 PM , Blogger Russo said...

Oh my goodness, I seriously understood this-my poor mom and the crap we put her through. Funny post.

At June 1, 2011 at 10:26 PM , Blogger Bossy said...

When my boys were younger I gave up on trying to sit quietly (Dad isn't a member so Sunday = single mom days for me.) we spent every Sunday in the nursing room listening to our private radio broadcast. When they were older 3 & 5 I got smart and started going with Grandma. Now we get the back corner and cars and let them lay on the floor and play. Until they are baptized I have little expectations of reverence in the meeting. There is a 3-shh rule however, if you get 3 shhs with said toy you lose said toy. Sadly I mostly have to tell their nearly-8 year old uncle he is too loud.


At June 2, 2011 at 8:49 AM , Blogger MommaKiss said...

We go to church a couple of times a month. There's just 2 kiddos for us to wrangle, but the only way to get them to sit still is to bribe them. Yep. We get them donuts after. I'm not ashamed ;0

At June 2, 2011 at 9:14 AM , Blogger Vivian said...

You have made me laugh soooo hard!!!!!!!! Maybe because that could be me... All I know is that to me everyone else's kids behave a LOT better than mine...but you know..that won't make me EVER want to stop going to church :) Thank you for your comment by the way! xo

At June 2, 2011 at 9:39 AM , Blogger Itty_Bitty_Wittes said...

I have several church strategies because like you - its a zoo on sunday. :)

At June 2, 2011 at 11:50 AM , Blogger Melissa said...

This is why I'm pretty sure I'm done with just having my daughter. She's almost more than I can handle on a good day, all by herself. I have SO much respect for moms who have more than one child, never mind FOUR! You are my HERO!

Come take a look inside A Working Mom's Closet

At June 2, 2011 at 1:25 PM , Blogger Holly Diane said...

OMG! Poor fingers!! What a stressful visit to church. I hope the ride home was uneventful and by today they (including you) have forgotten all about it.

At June 2, 2011 at 1:28 PM , Blogger Cindi said...

Been there, done that. It seems to improve (a little) as they get older. But I recently had a week where I just gave up and dragged four kids out and went home during the opening hymn. It was a bad week. :)

Strategies that have worked pretty well most Sundays that we've learned by trial and a lot of error:
1. Sit as close as you can to the front.
2. Don't take any food or toys.
3. We don't let the kids look at books/draw until after the Sacrament.
4. I used to have a folder for each kid that had activities printed from The Friend. Now I just take notebooks for them to use. It was a good idea, I'm just too forgetful to update it every week.
5. Don't take crayons. Colored pencils are better and they don't leave as much "residue" on the benches.
6. Bad behavior in church earns them "reverent practice time on the bench" (time depending on age of offender) after church.

Hope you have a better week next Sunday.

At June 2, 2011 at 1:35 PM , Blogger Jessica said...

I can't believe your husband fell asleep.

Can you get church on DVR and watch it from home for the next couple years?

At June 2, 2011 at 3:42 PM , Blogger Charlotte said...

My husband knows that if he makes me late enough to sit in the metal folding chairs, I will be sending him silent curses all through Church. They are so LOUD and UNCOMFORTABLE.

I have a mental list of kids that can *hold it* for a while and kids that need to be run to the bathroom as soon as the thought of going crosses their mind. My 4-year-old is in the latter and my 14-year-old is in the former. Go figure.

At June 2, 2011 at 5:44 PM , Anonymous Dawn said...

Thanks for this post, I don't feel so alone anymore!

At June 2, 2011 at 6:34 PM , Blogger Vanessa said...

Isn't church great? I love how we are able to sit and be uplifted with the teachings and spirit shared from the pulpit... NOT. I struggle every Sunday, I sometimes wonder what's the point of going. But than I remember. I need the blessing and all the help I can get from the lord the following week. Hope this Sunday is better.

At June 2, 2011 at 7:50 PM , Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

Thankfully JDaniel goes to Sunday school while we are in church. I love that your children are teaching you bad habits.

At June 2, 2011 at 8:29 PM , Blogger Erin said...

I have been joking that I should just go inactive until my daughter turns 18 months, because I sure am not getting anything out of the last two hours right now :)

That finger looks awful. Poor thing.

At June 3, 2011 at 10:47 AM , Blogger Rachael said...

Is it bad that I secretly celebrate when another parent has children who don't sit perfectly still and pay attention in church? Misery loves company?

I hope her finger feels better!

At June 4, 2011 at 7:23 PM , Blogger Kristina said...

I don't have kiddos but I'm pretty sure that once we have children - Children's Ministry will be a must! Kudos to you for keeping it together!

At June 6, 2011 at 4:40 PM , Blogger Mimi said...

My kids are grown now but I couldn't have made it without our children's chapel. Rushing around feeding and getting 4 kids ready was always so stressful! I remember one Easter we sat near the light switches and it was all I could do to keep my most mischievous child from flickering the lights. But hang in there - mine love to go now!
As always - thanks for the laughs! :)


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