Last night was my turn to go to church. Eric is now sick but everyone else is well. Therefore, I went to church with six of our children (Zane stayed home as he's so little).
It had already been quite a day yesterday and it just got better and better at church. (Sense the sarcasm). I felt so bad for the poor soul sitting behind us. It is comforting to know that she is also the mom of young children. And a friend. A very understanding friend.
Right before church began, Gloria had to use the bathroom. Of course, this means getting into the sanctuary after everyone is already seated and announcements are being made. If you go to a Baptist church, you know that announcements can last almost as long as a sermon. I would normally wait until everyone else stands for singing before going to my row, but I wasn't taking a chance leaving five children unattended.
I did that once. My then-4 year old literally tried to strangle his then 2-year old sister. Lesson learned. So, last night I had to crawl over 3 children to get to my seat. Of course, another child was in my seat which resulted in 3 more children moving down. That was inconspicuous.
Of course, as soon as we all got arranged, two children just NEEDED to tell me something right then. "Shh," I say as I look intently at the pastor, pretending everything is normal.
Song service. Ok, now we can stand. And turn around. And pass books back and forth. And drop them in the process. What were we singing?
Sit back down for the missionary. His wife sang a couple of songs. Very nice. I almost fell asleep during the second one - relaxing for sure. No, that is not a negative comment on her singing - it really was wonderful. It's just something about sitting down in church after a long day.
The missionary had a good sermon with a good message. I caught bits and pieces of it between children poking at each other, instructing children down the row to stop drawing pictures and pay attention, and shushing Seth who was loudly whispering "STOP" to his annoying sister. (By the way, this was the same pair previously mentioned in the strangulation episode.)
In the midst of all that, another daughter was quietly copying the words of a hymn from the hymn book when a sickening "rrriiiippppp" sound occurred.
If you attend our church and pick up the hymnal with page 353 torn almost completely out, I'm very sorry.
Did I mention that the father of my friend behind me was sitting on the far end of our row? Why does that matter? Oh, well, no reason. He's just our PASTOR! A very loving and forgiving pastor. Just like his daughter.
We stand for the invitation. Seth wants to pray at the altar. Feeling the need to repent, no doubt. However, I was in no mood to find out what sort of chaos he could create up there. This resulted in some pouting, but he was quiet. Until right before the final prayer when he again LOUDLY whispered "STOP" to his sister.
If you had looked up during the final prayer you would have seen me dragging 2 very sad children out of the church. Then again, maybe you wouldn't have had to open your eyes. You may have just heard us.
I know that all parents think that the whole world is watching them and being completely distracted when their children are misbehaving in church or any other public place. However, whenever I hear of a parent mention how naughty their child was, I must admit I never noticed. Here's hoping no one noticed our family last night.
Oh, and for your information, the release date on my child training book has been delayed indefinitely.