January 2012 archive

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

With Pat Benatar as my inspi­ra­tion, I packed my chil­dren up on Sun­day morn­ing and head­ed to Assump­tion in an effort to have all of our souls cleansed of the week’s sins. Scott and I have already begun the sac­ri­fice of Catholic edu­ca­tion with our dear, sweet, angelic, nev­er mis­be­hav­ing or sassy-mouthed or tast­ed soap,Handsome #1, so head­ing to church is part of the pack­age.  He comes home with cute lit­tle prayers and songs and insists on pray­ing alone at the din­ner table, so Mass should be right up his ally, right? Not so much. Instead, the mere men­tion of church starts the win­ing, cry­ing and I am not going chant. Or, as I like to refer to it, the nego­ti­a­tions.  He is shrewd and cun­ning. He will begin with a ridicu­lous request like wear­ing his entire out­fit inside out or watch­ing 37 episodes of Pink Pan­ther before we leave, know­ing that I will say no and will even­tu­al­ly work his way into get­ting an entire back­pack filled with rub­ber fish for the trip. As we were get­ting out of the car, I noticed that he had swiped his train hat off of the hook and looked like he was head­ed to run the Zooline Rail­road. The con­ver­sa­tion went as fol­lows…..
Mr. Con­duc­tor
Me: “Hand­some #1, you may not wear a hat in church.”
Hand­some #1: “Why? Will Jesus get con­fused and think that I am a con­duc­tor.”
Me: “Just take it off.”
He is always so hap­py
Then, there is my Hand­some #2. He is pre­cious with his doe eyes and dar­ling lit­tle bowl cut. At just 19 months, his vocab­u­lary is explod­ing and he likes to share his gift of lan­guage with the entire con­gre­ga­tion as soon as it is qui­et. He prefers to yell things like, “Down, down, down, down, down, down. No, no, no, no, no, no. Out, out, out, out. Mau­r­mi, Mom­ma, Mau­r­mi, Mom­ma, Brudee, Brudee. Eye, nose, nose, nose. “And then comes the grunt heard round the world that caus­es that embar­rass­ing swift exit out of the pew, down the aisle and into the germ-infest­ed cry room. It is as if they keep it 20 degrees warmer to encour­age the growth of bac­te­ria. Every child is cov­ered in snot and slime and is rosy cheeked from their peek­ing fever.  Once in the cry room, Hand­some #2 pro­ceeds to touch every­thing and every child and Mon­day morn­ing we pay a vis­it to the pedi­a­tri­cian in an effort to iden­ti­fy the rash that has just popped up!
And well behaved
Nev­er in any trou­ble
This Sun­day; how­ev­er, was going to be dif­fer­ent. There would be no cry­ing, or scream­ing or infec­tions. Instead, I came pre­pared for the worst. Armed with trains, juice, books, hand san­i­tiz­er and snacks; I was tak­ing charge of this Mass. Most moth­ers would con­sid­er this stan­dard oper­at­ing pro­ce­dure. I am much more of a grab a dia­per on the run, no wipes, pray­ing that there is no poop and if you get hun­gry let’s hope I for­got to eat my break­fast one day this week and there is a fiber bar in the bot­tom of my purse that will lead to that poop that I am not pre­pared for, so it can’t be a long trip and if you are scream­ing and thirsty, Mom­ma nev­er gets too far away from a QT, kind of mom.  This kind of par­ent­ing has always worked for me, so the over­ly pre­pared stuff was a new ball game.
Know­ing that Hand­some #2 was in no way shape or form going to make it through Mass among the parish­ioners, I opt­ed for the cry room from the start. I arrived ear­ly, go me, and was able to take the first pew. I strate­gi­cal­ly placed myself, my chil­dren and all of our bags across the entire pew as not to encour­age any of the sticky peo­ple to sit next to me. My plan worked beau­ti­ful­ly as we were the only peo­ple in the cry room and my boys were able to be there dar­ling selves and I could par­tic­i­pate in a prayer or two. That was until THEY walked in.
I am cer­tain they must be church hop­pers .You know, the kind that can’t attend the same church two weeks in a row because their chil­dren act so hor­ri­bly that the Priest asks for a reprieve. The par­ents, hag­gard and low­ly took their twin daugh­ters, who must have been about four, way too old for the crap that they were about to pull, to the back of the room. We hadn’t got­ten to the first, “And with your Spir­it,” –anoth­er bonus for me attend­ing, and know­ing some of the respons­es with­out the cue card, Mass since the change- before it start­ed.
The two chil­dren, who I will refer to as The Most Annoy­ing Whin­er on the plan­et, or Whiney for short, and You Have Got to Be Kid­ding Me, Shut Up, or Cry­baby, to pro­tect their good names, start­ed in with what can only be described as what I believe that a goat giv­ing birth must sound like. The par­ents just kept say­ing, “Shh­hh. Let’s be qui­et, please.” And, “That is enough Winey.” “Cry­baby, dad­dy doesn’t like that.” But when that didn’t cut it, they moved on to the, “If you don’t stop it we are going to the car.” Real­ly? That sounds like a reward, for all of us.
Then, the run­ning of the bulls began. They cir­cled the pews over and over. I felt like a spec­ta­tor at the Indy 500. At one point, it became so crazy, that my boys were hang­ing on to me for dear life Hand­some #2 was pet­ri­fied. He want­ed out, and he want­ed out fast. He began to bang on the glass win­dow as if he were a caged ape at the zoo. Peo­ple began to turn around to see what all of the com­mo­tion was about. They were shoot­ing ME dirty looks because my child was tap­ping the glass. Lit­tle did they know it was a cry for help. He was hop­ing that some­one would see him, hear him and help him to escape unharmed.
As the Mass con­tin­ued and the behav­ior con­tin­ued to degen­er­ate, the par­ents got out the sug­ary cere­al. Awe­some! How­ev­er, if it had not been for the cere­al inci­dent, I may not have noticed the oth­er strange goings on in the cry room. For instance, the cou­ple that was hold­ing hands, fac­ing one anoth­er about an inch apart as if they were renew­ing their wed­ding vows, the entire Mass. Nope, it wasn’t the sign of peace, nor the peti­tions, they were hav­ing a rehearsal of sorts among the tod­dlers. It was uncom­fort­able, but I couldn’t stop watch­ing. Then I noticed the man that was there, in the cry room, alone. Like, no kids, no spouse, just hang­ing out. Why would you opt for the germ farm? What­evs, dude.
By the time Com­mu­nion rolled around, I couldn’t wait to move. I mean, between the won­der twins, Angeli­na and Bil­ly Bob and creep­ster, I need­ed a break. I noticed as I was walk­ing through the line that peo­ple were look­ing, smil­ing and laugh­ing. I thought, how sweet, my chil­dren as so pre­cious. I am so glad that they are well behaved. Hand­some #1 duti­ful­ly held my hand as I car­ried Hand­some #1 through the line as he played with his beloved Thomas the Train…….or was that a Tampax…………God help me! Hand­some #1
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Mon­day I enjoyed a day off with my boys, Mau­r­mi and Uncle Jim­bo at St. Louis Mills. The trip proved to be too much for Hand­some #2, who passed out dur­ing his lunch. I hope will you enjoy the video and pics as much as we did. And no, he was not helped out of the chair until the prop­er doc­u­men­ta­tion was com­plet­ed.