Do you have young children? Do you take them to church?
Have you ever had that sinking feeling that, though they are YOUR children, you cannot control them, and you need help?
You haven't? Okay, come back and read tomorrow's post, but not this one.
The morning started with a small battle in the bathroom with Caroline. You see, she likes to go to the bathroom in other bathrooms. A little variety. (Grocery shopping at Target? Let's go to the bathroom! At a restaurant? Let's go to the bathroom!) So I wanted her to try to go to the bathroom at home before we left for church, so that we wouldn't make the inevitable bathroom trip in the middle of the service. She didn't want to try. I sent her in to the bathroom anyway. When I went to check on her, I found her with a SOAKING wet baby wipe ... and I do not want to know how that thing got so wet. Preemptive bathroom trip: fail.
We get to church, and all is going well. Caroline announces that she has to poop. I leave Will with Lucy's godmother Demetra, and take the two girls to the bathroom. So far, so good.
We go back into church. The kids are doing relatively well, though I'm a bit flustered, since I prefer to have Bob with me, helping keep the kids in line. You know what they say about going from two kids to three (or more)? No more man-to-man; now it's zone defense. So true.
A couple minutes later, Caroline tells me she needs to pee. Are you serious? Yes, she is. So this time, I leave Will in his car seat, Lucy with Demetra, and Caroline & I go to the bathroom. When we get back, they're reading the Gospel already. And then I look down and see that while Caroline did wash her hands, she failed to wash off any of the soap on the BACK of her hands. So back to the bathroom we go.
By the time we get back this time, Lindsey's holding Will, Demetra still has Lucy, and I'd like to actually participate in the service. Caroline starts asking me if she can go see Michelle, her godmother (um, no. A little too much activity from our family this morning. No more trips across the church.). When it's time for Communion, Caroline ends up going with Brian, her godfather. Lucy's with Demetra. Will's with Laura, his godmother. I go up for Communion, blessedly by myself.
And I feel like a loser. This morning felt like musical children.
The kids really weren't misbehaving or acting up; they were just needing different things from me at the same time (the nerve of them!), and I only have two hands. At home, I can prioritize, and if someone melts, so be it. But in church, the stakes are higher. I really do not want my family to be a distraction for anyone from the service. So demands need to be dealt with right away, before any meltdowns.
I'm incredibly grateful for my church family. I might have just left in the middle of the service, if people who love us and our children hadn't stepped in to help me.
So thank you.