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.

1 Comment on Hit Me With Your Best Shot

  1. Jess Schr8r
    January 27, 2012 at 5:04 am (10 years ago)

    You always were a crack up writer, I feel like I was there living the hell in the cryroom with you, too funny Colleen. Thx for the chuckles.


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