Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday Reflections - What is the Point?

I'm sure all of you parents out there have had at least one occasion where you've gone to church and wondered "What is the point?".

You spend half the time in the hallways with your little one, or if you are a nursing mom half of your time in the mother's lounge (not the case for me anymore thank goodness). And by the time church is over, you look at your spouse and say "So, did you learn anything in church today? Because I sure didn't."

Today was such a day.

I remember going through it with Preston, and now we are officially going through again with Taylor. It's called "I'm-too-wiggly-and-hungry-and-sleep-deprived-to-sit-through-church-anymore" syndrome.

1:00pm church is hard with little kids because it's nap time. But on the other hand, it should give you plenty of time to get ready right?

Unless you're us, of course.

Today we were fashionably late (as usual) to church. Please, don't judge us. If you have little ones at home you know that sometimes it just doesn't matter how early you start getting ready to be somewhere, something always happens and you are typically always running a little behind. Even with the best intentions.

Everything was going all right at church for the first half hour or so. Preston sat on Will's lap and took a nap, while Taylor charmed the people sitting behind us with his smiles and waves, while also being interested in Grandma's lap. And then he started getting fussy. Don't worry - this is normal. In fact he was right on time with all of the other Sundays as far as his fussiness goes.

We tried goldfish crackers, toys, spoons, papers, books, and eventually it got to the point where he would do a big swiping motion so everything would fall to the floor and he would fuss.

Fuss, fuss, fuss.

Noisy, noisy, noisy.

So I scooped him up and out we went. There is one thing I won't tolerate is my kids being noisy during church.

So we went out into the foyer and sat on the couch. He didn't want me to sit, so I put him down and he cried. Not only cried, but threw himself onto the floor and laid down and cried. Ooookay.

So I thought, hey, maybe he would like to go outside and get some fresh air because the church was very hot today. We went outside and he wasn't really diggin' that either because the sun was actually hotter outside than in.

So we took a walk to the ladies room. I set him on the counter while I fixed my shirt that was buckling up. He found his way over to the sink and plopped himself in. Not a big deal, except that today he figured out how to turn the water on.

It was too late before I could grab the knob to turn it off. He had completely soaked his britches. I took a few paper towels and dried him off the best I could and then we left.

We went out to the foyer again and I held him by the back doors so that we could peek in and listen/watch the speakers. I though just for a second that he might fall asleep because he laid his head down on my shoulder for a minute. Nope! The first sign of distraction and he was up looking around and wiggling for me to put him down.

So we went back over to the couch where I had originally left our little baggy of cheerios, water bottle, and baby spoon (that he likes to chew on and hit things with).

We played "Open and close the water bottle" for about 10 minutes, and then I didn't realize that it didn't get closed tight. All of a sudden I feel cold water under my rear, and I look down to see that my water bottle was draining out on the couch right where we were sitting.

Great!

So I hurry and close the water bottle and assess the damage. Most of the couch cushion was soaked, and so was Taylor and myself. Taylor was already wet from the bathroom sink though so I wasn't too worried about him. I fed him a few cheerios, to which he then did a big swipe and dumped them EVERYWHERE.

So during the closing prayer, I was on my knees trying to pick up all these little cheerios before people starting pouring into the foyer after Sacrament meeting. All the while I have one hand on Taylor so that he doesn't fall of the couch because he is wiggling like a worm. All the while people keep passing us and saying "Oh he is so happy today!" or "Look how cute he is!" and I just want to give them a full explanation of how he really is today, and then offer him to them.

Oh, did I mention I had a huge wet spot on the front of my skirt that looked like I wet myself? Yep let's not leave out that tiny detail.

So Sacrament meeting was over, and Will came out with Preston and took him to nursery. Preston was all rosy-cheeked and groggy, but still gave us a passing wave. When Will returned, I promptly handed Taylor to him and said "Your turn."

We decided Sunday School should be manageable since Taylor could just be set on the floor and scoot/crawl around. No more than 3 minutes passed before one of the nursery leaders stuck her head in the door, looked at me, and did a hand signal for me to come.

"Preston is just in tears and not consolable, do you mind going into nursery?" she said.

Last week Preston broke down in nursery because he had an accident and peed in his underwear and was so embarrassed about it. So my first thought was that he may have had another accident. Super.

When I got to nursery, he was on the ground hunched over in a little ball just crying profusely. Two nursery leaders were patting him on the back trying to get him to feel better, and then when he realized I was there he just went hysterical and cried even harder. I picked him up and we went outside to the picnic tables so that he could calm down and tell me what was the matter.

"Why are you crying?" I asked.

"I nunno." He answered (which means "I don't know")

"Can you tell Mommy why you are so sad?"

"No" he said through tears.

"Did you go pee-pee in your pants?"

"No"

"Do you NEED to go potty?"

"No."

"Um, let's see here, did another kid take your toy that you were playing with?"

"No."

"Did you not get the puzzle that you wanted?"

"No."

It's like a game of 20 questions and I'm totally losing.

"Does someone in nursery seem scary to you?"

"Yeah."

"So do you like your nursery teacher? She's really nice and she likes you a lot."

"No." he said.

I started to think he was just saying "no" to everything. So I held him for a while on my lap, and then I told him he could come with mommy to her class but that it would be really boring and he would have to sit still. He still wanted to come.

So Preston sat on my lap for the last 20 minutes of Sunday School, while Will was out in the hallways with a very loud and wiggly Taylor.

Third hour came, and since my mom had to play the piano in Primary today, she agreed to take Preston with her. Preston will be going into Sunbeams in January anyway, so I thought it would be fun for him to go to Primary.

Meanwhile, I went to Relief Society because I was subbing for the pianist today. During the lesson, I would see Will walk by, and then walk back. One time I saw Taylor was passed out in his arms, and then a few minutes later I would see Taylor scootin' down the hallway trying to escape.

Will never did get to go to Priesthood.

Preston never did go back to Nursery.

I dare say, even though I missed Sacrament meeting and most of Sunday School, I at least got to hear the RS lesson.

But as we were leaving the church building to go back to our car, Will looked at me and said, "So honey, did you enjoy church today? Didya learn anything?" he said with a chuckle.

Sigh.

I know, I know. It's a habit. You go, even if you don't learn anything, just so that you simply GO.

We have about 6 more months of these types of Sundays before Taylor is old enough to go to nursery. So I suppose we should just hunker down and just accept the fact that we will be in the hallways more than in class. But still, it doesn't mean that we can't occasionally wonder what the point is? Haha!

9 comments:

Aby Runyan said...

Oh how good it feels to know that somebody else was suffering today. Sorry, that sounds awful but it's true!
Oz is a TYRANT right now. He's hated church for a long time but lately he is absolutely impossible form pretty much the moment we sit down in the bench. He's always been loud, now he's louder. He's always been strong, now he's stronger. And when he does NOT want to do something, he does not ever ever ever give up or give in. Today felt especially awful because I forgot to cut his nails last night so they were like little knives today.
When I dropped Capri off at class Oz wandered in after her. I said, "Oz come on, let's go to primary." But then I turned to Capri's teacher and said, "Unless you want to take him. Home with you. Forever."
I felt very serious at that moment!

Today I was also having the how many more months until nursery discussion with Jeff. Four months feels like four years.

I'll be thinking of you next week at church!

luvs, aby

Sandy said...

I'm not trying to be unsympathetic or anything because I so understand Sundays and mothers (and fathers) with little children(having had 10 of them). However, today I had to work at the pharmacy (which I have to do every third Sunday)and I didn't even get to go to Church at all. I'm thinking I'd still rather be there walking the halls and peeking into the chapel for a minute or two to see who's speaking than to totally miss the wonderful feeling of being in Church on Sundays. I am sorry about your wet dress and all the hassles but if they grow up and take their little ones to church, it will all be worth it :)

NelsonFam said...

I am right there with you these days. Potty trips with both kids and any sort of teaching about proper behavior is a joke right now. plus I know it isn't true but I feel like all eyes are watching since Mark's new calling. I am finding that personal scripture study is taking the place that a nice relaxing sunday used to play in my life. Good luck and may Taylor take to Nursery fast when it is time.

Renae said...

Hang in there! We haven't been to church in two weeks because we have seven children ages four and under. We don't have enough car seats, let alone enough room in our car. The thought of managing SEVEN little ones in sacrament meeting in building that doesn't have pews or a mother's lounge just doesn't make sense to me. The children leave on Tuesday. It was a very temporary solution in an emergency situation. Such is the job!

But, I have been in your place many times with many children. And having two kids with Autism... They don't ever grow out of that toddler phase it seems. We had to totally rethink the way we were doing things. I'm not one to bring toys to church. Well, I realized that when I did, we actually were able to listen to a speaker all the way through.

We were really excited when Adam was about ready to go into nursery. Then, they called us as nursery leaders. So... We spend the whole time taking care of our kids and others' kids, just like we would at home. I just keep telling myself that the only thing that matters is taking the sacrament. Otherwise I tend to hate Sundays. Then other times I'll pray fervently to feel spiritually uplifted during the day. Sometimes it even happens. I just try to remember this is only temporary!

Dan Thomas said...

We keep going just because we are commanded! Rembemer come January you will need to be there by 9:00.
That is not an easy time either.

Jenni said...

Well, actually, we're buying a house and the ward we'll be moving in come January will be 1pm church again. LOL

Dan Thomas said...

Then get used to the 1:00 time slot or move to another place!

Jenni said...

Yes, thank you for that.

Stephen and Ileana said...

Jenni,

Let me just say I know EXACTLY what you mean. At least it progressively gets easier the older they get, but ours are still a pain during sacrament meeting. They're always fighting over crayons or books or whatever, then Abby starts whining REALLY loud, she gets fidgety and wants to go to "nurseny" when there's still like half an hour of sacrament meeting left. Abby usually doesn't make it all the way through sacrament meeting, she has to get out and walk around in the hall. So we can definitely relate!

Stephen