Saturday, December 11, 2010

Let the Side Show Begin

Oy vey. Let me say it again: oy vey.

This morning we were off to altar servers' practice which begins with 10:00 Mass. Dave was doing construction at a friend's house, so I was running the show solo. These days John is doing very well at Mass. Good behavior? You get to light a candle, maybe eat a donut if it's your lucky day. Bribery works wonders. Even more effective is abandoning the loud and unheated cry room for the front of the church where John can actually see and participate.

So we've been on a roll of late.

Today we witnessed a little deviation in that trend. As in he bit me in the middle of the homily. I took Jaws by the hand to deal with him in the narthex and whispered to Tim to watch Ainsley.

I tried to be inconspicuous as I led my recalcitrant toddler to the exit, but the church is big and nearly empty. I avoided making eye contact,  but couldn't help but notice the surprised expression on one man's face. Funny thing was, he wasn't looking at me. I turned around to see Ainsley aimlessly toddling down the aisle unaccompanied.

Oh well. At least no one was shrieking.

When Tim finished up, I reluctantly agreed to drop by the downtown library. I say reluctantly not because I don't love the library, but because I don't especially love it with two small children one of whom likes to rip every blinking book off the shelves. I don't think the librarians miss us.

I pulled up to the front of the library. Let me emphasize that my parking space was smack dab in front of the library. I let Tim, Kolbe, and John out and told them I would meet them inside. I grabbed the stroller, got Ainsley situated, and walked in to find a stern-faced guard giving Tim what for. Tim caught my eye and pointed my way. The guard immediately came up to me and gave me a rather firm dressing down for leaving my children unsupervised at the library (for all of one hundred and eighty seconds).

I apologized, shushed John, and told the kids they had another one hundred and eighty seconds to find books because we were exiting the premises pronto!

For the record, the kids' behavior was nothing short of stellar, I made a donation to the library, and John offered a sweet and unprompted "Sank you" as we beat our hasty retreat.

Yes, sometimes I feel like we are a side show. Then again, maybe we bring a welcome diversion to an otherwise mundane morning.


ami said...

Do you often make guilt offerings? Will have to figure out a way to ride that guilt to generate a second income for our house. Wanna come visit RVA?

Seriously - I've been there - and we've only got 3. Any time you depart a public place without leaving a trail of destruction behind you should count as a success (it does for us).

Anonymous said...

Oh goodness, church and children. I've only got 2 children I have been LOOKED at many times for various motherly misdemeanors. On the other hand, I think it's really easy to imagine that people are being critical when in fact they are sympathetic or concerned or just interested.

Amy Parris said...

Been there done that! My year as a library mom for Mackenzie's Kindergarten class still brings a chill to my spine.