Sacrament Meeting

1:00PM church is hard. For everyone.

Why is it easier to get everyone to church on time when it starts at 9AM and you have only one hour from toddler waking in his room to opening prayer in Sacrament Meeting than when church starts at 1PM and you have five hours to make everything happen?

I have no idea. This is one of those cosmos defying questions that I will ask once I've shuffled off this mortal coil. I'm keeping a list.

1. What's the real story with the Dinosaurs?
2. What's the deal with one O'clock church?

So when me, my Mister, my toddler and my baby (and all our ridiculous gear) slid into a pew before the the beginning of the second verse of the opening hymn, I gave myself a mental high-five.

But while 1:00PM church is a challenge for everyone, it's probably hardest on the two-year-olds. Wy immediately displayed symptoms of restlessness. None to fear! We came prepared. We offered him his water, his snack, his drawing book, a snuggle. But the usual distractions were met with ferocious shakes of the head and...was that-?...uh-oh...a lip quiver.

We had a time bomb on our hands. It was only a matter of time - but how long? Would he make it through the Sacrament? The rest hymn? The last speaker? Could we keep him calm until we could unleash him to the happy chaos of wonderful, wonderful Nursery? Where there are cars and crayons and SNACKS?

It's funny what we allow our kids to get away with when we're desperately trying to keep them quiet. Wyatt soon bored of drawing in his book and decided that he HAD to draw in MY book (which I bring for note-taking - but was using to plot course for singing time for the younger and older kids during second and third hour). Soon he was drawing cars all over my book, our tithing envelope, the props for the game I prepared for Primary...

I felt like his little time bomb counter was stuck at 00-00-03. Any slight jarring, and we'd all be in trouble.

Then Daphne started protesting.

Bill grabbed her and her unruly car seat (you know!) and managed somehow to climb over Wyatt and his little messes, the diaper bag, my Primary bag, the bag I had all my game props in, ME...and burst through into the isle. Sweet, sweet freedom.

Then Wyatt began to panic.

I began to wonder if Bill's charitable willingness to go and change the diaper of the Moeb was actually a bit of strategy on his part.

Wyatt started noisily flipping through the hymn book.
I leaned in to him "We need to be soft with that, Buddy."
He looked up at me with cold warning. I had horrific visions of him as an exasperated teenager. He slowly, roughly turned those pages - his eyes never leaving mine - and dared me to tip that scale.

I did the only thing I could think of. I pulled out his water cup and put it square in the middle of the hymn book he was abusing. Wyatt looked at it. He looked at me. He looked at the water cup. In one fluid motion, he whacked that water cup from the book, sending it flying across the pew - flinging water at the bench and probably the innocent congregation behind us - and crashing into the brick wall.

Wyatt started breathing heavy, eyes welling. Any minute we'd have a wail - and EVERYONE would know that the McCrery's were sitting on the second row this Sunday. I whispered - begged! - him to tell me what was wrong and to USEYOURWORDSpleasedon'tscream!

He was upset because he wanted his water.

Of course.

so I retrieved it, pulled him on to the bench next to me, and Bill and Daphne returned.

And then...for everyone's enjoyment...Wyatt performs a MASSIVE TOOT. Echoing against the walls, shaking the chandeliers.

I had a strong urge to turn into a 7th grader and point very animatedly at the blond little culprit. Instead, I just closed my eyes shut tight and shook my head. know what follows toots.

I retrieved Wy's shoes from various locations along our pew, took his hand, and led him out of the meeting. He enjoyed a brief respite in the women's bathroom where he got to pull faces at himself in the mirror while I changed him.

"Are you ready to go back in?" I asked.
"Uh-huh" he said.
"We have to be quiet and whisper." I said.
"No. We don't whisper."
"Yes we do. When we go back in to sit by Daddy and Baby Sister, we need to be soooo quiet and use our whispers and be reverent."

I pushed open the doors, and with tired determination made my way across the back of the chapel and up the long walk to the second pew, diaper bag slung haphazard across my back, two year old dragging behind me.
It seemed like I felt everyone's eyes on me - and then I caught what the speaker was talking about.

Reverence during Sacrament Meeting. Specifically - when it is and isn't okay to take your kids out. "We shouldn't take our kids out of sacrament meeting at the first sign of trouble," he said. "They need to learn how to sit through the meeting, even if they're tired and ornery."

And there I was, practically right in front of him, being all irreverent and distracting with my tired and ornery and tooty two-year-old.

We dove into the pew and Wyatt was received into the patient arms of his Dad. I looked at Bill and he grinned at me. The irony was not lost on him.

I hadn't heard much of the first part of the speaker's talk, what with being all distracted by a time bomb and all - but it turns out that both speakers focused on the sacred nature of Sacrament Meeting, and how we need to not trivialize it by being irreverent and distracted.

Pretty sure my pew was the object lesson on what NOT to do.

1:00PM church...we will figure you out, yet!


b. said...

It is hard on those of us with teenagers too.
I think it is hardest on me and Hoss!

Britney and Jaron said...

I totally feel your pain! Last week my two year old was the same, which is why we ended up going out in the foyer half way through the meeting. It is Lexi's nap time so of course it seems like it is always rough. However yesterday she was an angel, which was very strange so I guess we win some, we lose some! :) Just for the record though, we were a few rows back and I didn't even notice Whatt acting up!

Nae said...

OH...that left me laughing so hard. :) I wonder if the speaker has ever had a two year old...