Oh. My. God.
I need a drink. Stat.
So… Husband and I are Catholic. We go to church every week. Husband is even a Eucharistic Minister (distributes the blood/wine and body/bread) and Lector (speaks in front of the congregation). We even get involved in parish events like fish fries and festivals when we have time.
You would think this would translate into our kids into well-behaved, studious little angels.
You would think…
But the fact is that since having the girls, we’ve been going to church separately to avoid bringing the kids to church with us. We just didn’t have the heart to deal with it. They haven’t really been to church regularly in around a year.
Today I decided Buddy was plenty old enough at 2 1/2 years old to be able to handle church. I asked him if he wanted to go to church with me today, and he nearly jumped out of his skin with excitement and started running around the house yelling “derch!” “derch!”
I got us ready and he was grinning like a fool the whole while. Husband got home and we headed out for mass. Buddy was singing about church in the backseat.
I was feeling good about my decision.
When we arrived he walked in silently and looked around himself in awe. He sat down quietly and watched the people around him. He would occasionally look at me and treat me with one of his heart-melting smiles.
I was feeling very good about my decision.
Until he got his hands on my keys. And began slamming them around the wooden pew. And then threw a fit when I took them away. And only yelled louder when I asked him desperately to whisper.
oh. my. god.
The parishioners around me were polite enough to keep their eyes forward and pretend they weren’t irritated to have ended up by the naughty kid.
I was grateful for that.
Buddy eventually settled down to a reasonably quiet play as he crawled and climbed around the pew and kneeler. The most I could hear was a little giggle and occasional scuffle now and again. That was acceptable.
Then the Eucharist came. There’s a lot of standing, sitting and kneeling during this part of church. Buddy wasn’t having it. Having decided that church wasn’t as amazingly awesome as he thought it would be, he climbed out from under the pew and took off running.
oh. my. god.
I had to jump up and run after him when, of course, everyone else was kneeling. I could be seen for miles. I grabbed up a now furiously wailing Buddy and headed back for the pew.
I sat him down on the pew and went back to kneeling. I was hunched over as far as I could go to avoid anyone looking at me.
That’s when I noticed Buddy. Taking apart my kneeler. Like… literally taking it apart. He had a screw out and a rubber stopper pulled off.
Oh. my. GOD.
I grabbed Buddy’s arm, now very low on patience, and pulled him out from under the pew.
Banging the back of his head in the process.
Oh. my. god.
I swear on my life that bang could have been heard from the ends of the earth.
All other parishioners around me forgot their years of practiced patience and respect for parents of kids-gone-bad as everyone turned around and looked straight at me, wide-eyed.
Some people gasped.
There I stood, holding a thrashing and screaming child in my arms, trying with all of my might to calm him down. People continued to watch. Slowly, as Buddy calmed down, people turned back to the front. Only the priest didn’t seem phased by my awful child. God bless him. I wanted to hug him.
Finally, Buddy was quiet. He was slumped in my arms and whimpering occasionally. We went up and received Communion. I got my wafer and popped it in my mouth. Buddy noticed everyone else got a snack and he didn’t. He pointed at the lady and said. “cracker?” I told him I’d give him one back home.
He wasn’t having it. He wanted one NOW. Another fit ensued as we headed back to our pew. Everyone watched us. Once he was settled, I asked him in a whisper if he was okay now and if I could give him a hug.
He reared back his head, a look of fury on his face, and screamed out as loud as his little lungs could handle, “NOOO!!!!”
Then he hit me. HARD.
Oh. My. God.
He never hits.
The old lady behind me gasped.
I did too.
I had had just about enough at this point. I was ready to just go home. After Buddy finally settled down for the millionth time, I asked him if he was ready to go home to see Daddy and Remmy.
At the thought of leaving, Buddy went wide-eyed and gave me one of his million-dollar smiles and said, “No! Beach!”
Except when he says beach, it doesn’t sound like beach. It sounds like a word that rhymes with “itch”.
Oh. My. God.
OH. MY. GOD.
The parishioners around me gasped yet again as they listened to my son call me the b-word. Or so they thought.
I wanted desperately to yell out “No! beach! He said beach!!! He wants to go to the beach!” I mean, no one was listening to the priest anymore anyway. Instead, I stood up and headed for the aisle with what little dignity I had left. I made the walk of shame down the aisle while everyone got their good senses back and looked down and away as I passed them.
Buddy skipped along happily beside me.
I have no idea what mass was about. After today, I don’t think I’ll ever go back.