Ok, let me first start by saying that I am a “believer” but not much of a church person. I have my faith and I have my relationship with God, but I have that in my own home…not a building that is supposed to be “His home”.
I have nothing against those that are church-goers…to each their own…it just isn’t my thing. I think it is my inner rebel…I don’t like people telling me how to pray or what I should believe…again, that is just me so please don’t take offense.
So it is Lent and my mom and dad like to go to Wednesday night church during Lent so the kids and I attend with them. It is good exposure for the kids and it is quality time with my family. Plus we have dinner at the church which is good socially and let’s face it…one less night I have to cook! 🙂
Last night I corralled the kids as soon as I got home from work and got their supplies (diapers, formula, baby cereal, a spoon, extra outfits, blanket, spit rag, sippy cups, “toys” for distraction in church, etc.) together and coats on and everybody loaded into the van and seat-belts on….breath….and headed over to my parents’ house. I unload the kids and with the help of my brother get everybody and everything in the house. Liam, the 4-month old, is hungry and wants to eat so I make his bottle and cereal and feed him. Mom informs me that dad has to work late and will not be able to join us…so it is just me and mom and the 4 rugrats. I don’t like those odds… 🙂
After we fed Liam we loaded everybody up and off to church we went. With hands full, mom and I unloaded the kids and headed into the church. First stop, hang up the coats (less “stuff” to carry around!). As I am hanging up our coats, my mom is unloading Liam from his carseat because he is fussing. Logan, the oldest, announces that he has to go to the bathroom so he heads towards the bathroom door which is right next to where we are standing. Of course, Austin then has to go too because his big brother is and then Lexie, not wanting to be left out, chimes in as well. So I tell them wait just a minute so I can finish hanging up the coats and I will take you in to the bathroom. I turn to finish hanging up the last coat and when I turn back around Austin is kicking off his boots and pulling down his pants in the middle of the foyer area! He is now naked from the waist down in the middle of church…yep that is my kid that is naked in church! The mom part of me is telling him “Austin what are you doing?! Wait until you get into the bathroom before you take off your pants!” My mom and the grandma part of her is laughing hysterically at the whole thing. Yes, it is very funny and I will laugh about it for years to come, but I couldn’t let him think that I thought it was funny or he would be naked everywhere just trying to be funny!! So I run over to him and scoop him and his clothing up off the floor and head into the bathroom before anybody else can see him “streaking” in “God’s house”.
Fast forward toward the end of dinner and the start of church. We get the kids and stuff into one of the pews at the back of the church and just sit down and Liam starts to cry. Now it is not just any cry…it is the “I am in pain, my tummy hurts, and I am over-tired” screaming kind of cry. So I take him back out to the foyer area and get him to calm down and go to sleep. I head back in to the church and mom takes him from me and snuggles him for a bit. We get about 5-10 minutes into the service and he wakes up screaming again. I take him back out into the foyer and try to calm him down with no luck at all…in fact I think he is screaming louder! He is being so loud in fact that the usher closes the doors to the church so as not to disturb the service going on…embarrassing! So I take him further back in the church where the nursery is located and by then Lexie is realizing mommy is gone and wants to find me and proceeds to walk out of the church! So I got her and took her and Liam to the nursery where Lexie played happily and Liam screamed. I finally got him to calm down enough that he was just fussing slightly off and on when Lexie announces “My poopy mommy!”…awesome. So I leave her in the nursery…yes by herself…I know, “bad mommy”…and took the now quiet Liam into the church to get the diaper bag. I headed back to the nursery and laid Liam on the floor so I could change Lexie’s diaper. And so begins another round of screaming. So I change Lexie, get cleaned up and pick Liam back up. Still screaming. I tried sitting, rocking, walking, bouncing, shhhh-ing, talking, singing, etc.,etc., etc. Still screaming. So this continued through the entire service and then I see my mom (with no kiddos) walking toward the nursery and asks me if that is Liam screaming…yep it is! So she goes to get the boys and our stuff so we can head home. The service is now over and people are leaving.
Fast forward again to the car ride back to mom’s house to drop her off before heading home. Mom and I are talking and she says that if she had known that Liam was crying that whole time that we would have left earlier. I told her I thought about that, but didn’t want to walk into the church with a loud screaming child to try to come get her and the boys. She said “If only we had some kind of a signal…” My reply….”Caw-caw!” We both started laughing! We now will always have a “Caw-caw” signal associated with church and my little rugrats.
A crazy, hectic night…but good memories and laughter will be associated with it.
So today I am one tired mama as it was a long and exhausting night with a fussy baby, but a happy mama just the same!
Enjoy the rest of your week all and enjoy those “fun” and challenging parenting moments!