Last night we had a rough evening. We were running late for church and the boys were tired. I don’t know if they napped at all that afternoon because I was running too late to talk to their daycare teachers. All I know is they were tired, really tired. We made it to church and we’re trying to get dinner, but the little one won’t let me put him down. As much as I wish I had extra hands to pull out, I don’t, and he needed to walk in order for me to get food for him and his brother.
Let me explain. When the little guy doesn’t want to be put down, he grabs on tight and doesn’t let go. He can stay clinging to your clothes for a few minutes and he won’t let go. He’ll even try to climb you like a rock wall. It’s intense. So here we are at the dinner line, and he’s climbing me like a rock wall and I probably got a little too loud trying to explain (to my 18 month old) that I have to put him down in order to feed him. That whole eating thing is kinda important. Someone offered to carry plates for us and the children’s minister came and took the little dude so I could get us some food and sit down.
Fast forward and the older one starts throwing massive fits in his class (right across the hall from me). I talk to him about how he will have to go home if he doesn’t listen and even tell the teacher to call his dad to pick him up if he doesn’t calm down. Now, he doesn’t climb people like rock walls but he’s really good at being sweet and listening just long enough that you think he’s gotten it, then becoming a little demon child again. It’s a talent of his. He also somehow manages to get his pull up down just enough in his shorts that it’s of absolutely no use and he pees everywhere before we can leave. Of course, I don’t have spare clothes for him.
What makes it all worse is that there are all these other families with perfectly behaved little children, some with like five or six children, and their kids aren’t climbing people or throwing chairs in Bible class. So obviously, I’m the screw up here, right?
That’s the trap my friends!
Those families with the five children all walking in a straight line, they aren’t perfect! They don’t have some secret knowledge that you lack. Here’s what they do have: older children and more experience.
My kids are 18 months and 2 1/2. They throw fits and get upset. All kids this age do. Some people get lucky and their kids throw their fits at home when there’s nothing on the schedule. Other people get “lucky” and their kids throw fits at church. It’s a roll of the dice. (And if anyone tries to tell you that their kids never ever throw fits or get upset, punch them because they’re either lying or controlling all the special Mommy Magic and that’s not okay.)
Now, there’s not near enough to be said about that second thing. Those families with it all together with their seven older children, they’ve had so much more experience! If their oldest child is 12, they’ve got ten more years of experience on me. That’s ten years of learning how to avoid upset babies in church. Just think of all the things you’ve learned in the last two years and times it by five. How awesome of a parent will you be then!
Lastly, if there’s ever a place to feel like a failure at the whole mommy thing, it’s in the church. If you’ve got to have your kids go full on Psycho in public, what better place then surrounded by your brothers and sisters in Christ? What would I have done if that man didn’t offer to carry plates or if our children’s minister wasn’t there to take my rock climber? What would have happened if my two year old had been throwing his fits away from his Nana Bobbie and was surrounded by strangers instead of people who have known him since he was born?
If you’re going to have a crappy mom day, you’d probably chose to have it at home, but church probably isn’t all that bad either, after all it is kinda like being at home.