Monday, March 26, 2012

Children in Church Suck the Jesus out of Me

1) My son's behavior, especially during church, brings out some pretty unChristian feelings.  Yes it is my responsibility as a parent to model behavior and use discipline when necessary to mold him into something other than a hellacious brat.  And I'll be honest, I suck at it.  Hubby is much better at it than I am.  I am a cuddler, I can kiss the owies away, I can show the mushy gushy love...but really I am probably the enabler.  I want my boys to enjoy being children, to have positive memories associated with places (like church) so that they won't fight going later on.

Unrealistic?  People around/under 3 feet holding still-ish and quiet-ish for an hour. 
When I take the boys by myself...I have arguments with the toddler that Jesus on the crucifix up above the altar is in fact not a dragon.  Or the joys of hearing - at the top of his lungs, the Toddler repeatedly telling the Big D (aka Baby Brodder) "BE QUIET BABY!" because he coo'd. "SHHHH NO TALKING, QUIET BABY!"...long after brother stopped making a peep.

If Toddler goes alone with Hubby I hear he was an angel. Maybe there is something to the Hubby's theory of "They won't ever behave any better than you expect them to".

Do you ever find yourself wishing it was socially acceptable and a proven method of great parenting to duct tape toddlers' mouths shut? either.

2) My other son's behavior.  At 10 months he really is too little to know better.  But its a constant battle to keep his little paws from tapping and tugging on the people who sit in front of us...and keeping those same precious little fingers from latching a death like grip onto to some poor woman's unsuspecting pony tail.  Or trying to eat the missalette.  Is it my imagination or is my pew getting a larger berth of vacant space around it?

3) I honestly can barely remember anything said in mass and seldom ever even hear the sermon...but I keep telling myself this is important.  I am setting an example.  The boys are learning. I have to be getting something at least from osmosis...right? Can it at least count as penance?

***In the end though I know some things are sinking in.  The Toddler is starting to recite the Our Father with me, he is avid on saying grace (or at least Father, Son, Holy Spirit) before eating, and during a little road trip I heard him say "Thank you Father for blessing me"***


  1. Oh, hey...I hear you, sister! When my kids were that age, I remember getting back to the car, buckling them in and crying because I was so relieved that it was OVER. I don't think it's unChristian to acknowledge that this experience is HARD!

    Really, it does bring you closer to're praying for a good mass when you go in, and pray during the mass that it will be rahther expedient, then praying in thanksgiving when it's over. Nothing unChristian about that!

    (It's worth it. It's SO worth it, as your little anecdote at the end proves. Sending you hugs and yes, praying for you this Sunday!

  2. I have constantly said I'm not having another baby because I can't handle taking three kids to church by myself. I will say as they get older you are able to hear the sermon and you will continue to notice the kids are picking a lot of things up from going to church. You will also learn that chattyness must run in our family because I still can't get my son to be quiet during church and I was the ssshhhhh and "do you want to go outside?" (then following through with it as the child was almost screaming no as I drug them out by the arm)nazi. But I am constantly told it will get better and someday I will miss continue to hang in there's supposed to get better.