Monday, March 14, 2011

My kids are too old for the nursery, and so we must all suffer

Yesterday, the fam and I came out of our Divine Hibernation. That is, after missing an entire winter's worth of church services, we dusted ourselves off and re-emerged as the picture perfect family of Presbyterians that we are.

(Well, we go to a Presbyterian church. Disgruntled Husband and I both went to Lutheran colleges. He's an actual Lutheran. I'm a "everyone loves everyone" non-denominational Christian. My dad's family was Jewish before my grandfather; my mom was raised Southern Baptist. When I tell you church was confusing as a child, please believe me.)

And after the service was over, four different people came up to me and told me how entertaining my children are.

Awesome.

I don't aspire to be the mother of church-entertaining children. In fact, I'd love it if they'd sit quietly listening to the sermon. Hell, Heck, I'd settle if they just sit quietly and colored.

In the past, we've made full use of the church nursery. For a few years, it was nice just having DH next to me. Sometime Mini Me would be with us, but when she was a baby, she got passed around the pews like the offering plate. (Come on, tell me you can resist a red-headed baby.)

Once, when Larry Potter was 3 and Hoover was a baby, we went to our church's annual Christmas Cantata...which is basically a night of music. They had just added a bell choir and this was their first big performance. With LP on my lap, we watched as Carla, our church secretary and music-knower extraordinaire, summoned the bell choir to the stage, got them ready, and then with baton in hand, rose her arms as if to say "Okay, let's do it."

Only, she must have had her hands in the air a little too long for LP's liking, because he yelled out, "Just do it already!" Might I also add that the Christmas Cantata is second only to Christmas Eve in terms of packing in the parishioners. My face was red, Carla started laughing, as did the rest of the church, and our family proved once again why we chose a church with a nursery.

Oh shoot, honey. Is that the Snarky Mom's family? I wonder which kid will be doing his comedy hour today.

Two years ago, we visited another church. They called for the children to go up and listen to the story. Against my better judgement, we let Hoover go with LP. Hoover bounced all over the place. The kids were all given a mustard seed, to which Hoover yelled at the top of his lungs, "Can we go outside and PLANT it?!" Through the laughter, the pastor mumbled something about "Faith like a child." I don't know exactly what he said, because I was too busy extracting Hoover from the sanctuary. And no, we haven't been back.

We're taught that Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me." But I'm pretty sure even Jesus would do a little sigh of relief if he saw my kids weren't there for the children's message.

Yesterday, as Hoover was on his way up for the children's message, I told him to behave himself. And for the most part, he did. He raised his hand. He answered the questions correctly. Although at one point, he had his hand up, and our pastor called on him. Hoover said, after a lengthy pause, "That's my mom over there," and pointed. Congregations erupts with laughter. As they were headed back to their seats, Hoover asked Pastor Steve (who was still mic'd) "Do bad guy love each other?" And to his credit, Pastor Steve answered his question without dropping him off in our pew. (Like I would do.)

Unfortunately, that was only a portion of the service. The rest of the time was spent by my kids drawing on paper provided by the lady behind us, trying to draw in the hymnals (I stopped them), fighting over worksheets, laying on the ground, trips to the bathroom, and one angry outburst during a very silent portion of a prayer.

::sigh::

It's not that I don't want to go to church or teach my kids how to behave in church. But does it have to be so humbling when we do go? Pride goeth before the fall, I suppose.

(Pride? What pride? My kids have already told me that the reason we go to church is to eat cake afterwards.)

I have a lot of work to do in this department.

3 comments:

  1. We had a banner day in church yesterday too. My husband, against my recommendation, plopped our two year old in the middle of the Children's sermon and returned to his seat. Our four year old proceeded to shout every answer, flop around, and then tackle his brother against the prayer rail. During the crying that followed the pastor unconvincingly said "accidents happen, ouch." My hubby reluctantly went to comfort the little guy who wailed louder at the prospect of leaving the kids sermon. So he had to sit up front with a fussing kid for the end of it. I don't think he wants to return to church anytime soon.

    Thanks for sharing in the pain! Nancy

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  2. Which is why I attend the First Divine Church of Pillow and Mattress each and EVERY Sunday morn'! My children are too heathen-ish even for the holy house!

    Great Blog, BTW! Found you at Rants from Mommyland

    Kelly

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  3. Oh, this post was so great!

    Today, as my fiancee and I cobble together our wedding ceremony out bits and pieces from the (Anglican) book of common prayer and the Evangelical-Free Church wedding liturgy, wondering whether we're even allowed to do that in the Methodist church where we're getting married, and whether anything in the service my offend my Lutheran parents or his Southern Baptist relatives ...

    ...I will think of you post and be strangely comforted.

    I'll think of you again if/when one of my flower girls has a meltdown in the ceremony. :)

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