Kids + Church = Suck, Or What Our Sunday Mornings Look Like (Part 2)

This is a continuation of What Our Sunday Mornings Look Like (Part 1).  Click here to read that.

So, we’re in church on a Sunday morning…

The music has started.  The music at our church is LOUD. So Steve and I both wear earplugs. People are raising their hands in worship and I find myself saying to God (and by the way, I don’t raise my hands…because I’m an introvert and we’re not allowed to do crazy things like that), “Okay God. I’m ready to feel your presence. You said I just need to ask. I’m askin’…come on…I’m ready…I’ll just be sittin’ here…I’ll give you a few more minutes…where are you?  Is it because I’m not raising my hands?

The music ends, the pastor gives an introduction and prayer and as we’re being seated he asks us to greet the person next to us and answer the question: Are you rooting for the Bears or the Packers today? Awkward.

If I don’t know the person next to me, I’m worried about whether my hand is sweaty, and did I remember to put on deodorant, and what should I say, do I just let them say something? Does the pastor really intend for us to answer this question when neither I nor the stranger next to me really care what the answer is?

If I know the person next to me, then it’s even worse because I wonder, do I shake their hand or give them a hug?  I’m not really a huggy person, I don’t want to hug them.  But what if they want to hug me? What if I go for the handshake and accidentally jab them in the stomach as they’re leaning in for a hug?  What if they just want a shake, but I assume they want a hug and then I get jabbed in the stomach?

Steve chooses the handshake, but accidentally passes off his earplugs to the guy next to him, like a baton in a relay. The guy is kind and gives them back with a joke.  I decide that being an introvert is justification for ignoring everyone around me. I pretend like I’m teary-eyed from all that worshipping and have to get a tissue. Right. Now.

We all sit and I grab my notebook to take notes.  I open it to where I previously left off and find a chunk of tortilla…or a giant booger (it’s hard to tell), stuck to the top of the page.

The pastor gives his sermon and I reminisce about the first time I heard a pastor say Jesus wanted us to take up his yoke. I thought he was talking about eggs.  I thought: Wow, I don’t really like yolks.  They’re crumbly and dry and make a mess.  I like whites.  Can I take up the whites?  Does that count?  Then he went on to say that His yoke is easy and his burden is light.  Boy, was I glad to hear that because I like eggs when they’re over-easy, you can dip your toast in them.  Then years later, I heard that a yoke had something to do with an ox, but I don’t know what because oxen are mammals and they don’t lay eggs.
I see our number light up on the parent screen indicating Autumn went into the little bathroom and tried to “go potty” and got poop all over her first-time-ever-worn-white dress. I venture into her class and spend 10 minutes changing her diaper and clothes on an infant-size changing table, while her head dangles upside-down off the end.  She sees the kids through the door and tries to flip upright, locking my arm between her legs and therefore rubbing poop all over it.

I get cleaned up and go back to my seat just in time for everyone to exit. We pick the kids up. Autumn takes off running ahead of us. Josiah and Sheehan chase her and tackle her to the ground, so they’re all three rolling on the ground right in the main lobby of the church…where everyone can see them. This is also where they give out The Parents of the Year Award.

I smile and ask in my sweet Snow White tone for them to please get up off of the freaking floor. Then they all want donut holes from the donut station.  These double as hacky-sacks because every Sunday the donut holes drop out of their napkins, bounce off their shoes and roll across the room, one time skewered by a pair of stilettos.  Autumn ran over to retrieve it. We chased her down, saying, “yuck, yuck, yuck!” as the woman walked away balancing all her weight on a shish kebob.  

We get Autumn two more donut holes (they always come in twos), which she bounces off her shoe again, and again, and we watch them roll across the floor in different directions, Steve repeatedly lunging for them like a soccer goalie diving for saves.  We attempt to talk to some friends while she makes numerous trips to the donut station and then promptly drops them. We tell her no more and she cries because she wants the dirty donut holes, but we’re firm. Twelve is the limit.

Finally, we’ve had enough and we make our way to the minivan, tripping over the kids feet, then sitting down and giving a sigh of relief. I ask, “where are we going for lunch because I’m too tired to make anything.”

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Kids + Church = Suck, Or What Our Sunday Mornings Look Like (Part 2) — 22 Comments

  1. This sounds like my life and why I don’t take them to church (yes I am a bad mother), but I think I do enough to torture myself right now in this life, I don’t need to add to it. Great post and could so relate with two small kids and any time we go out somewhere!

  2. Very funny post! But UGH! This sooo much reminds me of a horrible church experience I had at a very unhealthy church. When you described the guilt or wondering of if you don’t raise your hands does tat mean you can’t feel God’s presence? Our pastor’s wife actually would walk around and SCOLD teens for NOT raising their hands. How did she know how holy or unholy they were based upon outward appearance?!

  3. OMG! That’s awful!!! All my church guilt is from past experiences. Still trying to shake it. My new church is awesome, but I still have those legalists sitting in my head telling me I’m doing it all wrong. #lame

  4. Kate…you are too much! Shish kebob stilettos! I love it! Thanks for the laugh today. I totally needed it.

    And I’m thinking maybe I need to get a couple of small kids. Mine are all grown and aren’t as cute and funny anymore. Sort of like puppies and kittens turning into dogs and cats. It would definitely help my blog content. Any thoughts on that? ;)

  5. Haha! What a great way to start the day! :) Kidding, kidding. You just reminded me of Sunday mornings with my family growing up. Moms deserve so many props. I think you handled that like a pro, and I hope you got a good lunch out of it.

  6. Oh my word Kate! Why is it that white seems to attract mess and dirt like a magnet? I mean that hardly ever happens when you’re wearing black! (Except for cat hair..but that’s another story). Loved your Sunday morning story :)

  7. I had no idea what I was missing out on until now! I think I’ll stick with Sunday morning brunch at the grandparents’;) Great two-parter. You’ve got us all coming back for more!

  8. Ok, seriously? Why doesn’t my Church have a donut station?

    Also, this made me giggle. Seriously, kids and Church are a deadly combination. My daughter usually lasts about…oh, 5 minutes, before we have to take her into the hall, because she can’t sit still. And that’s only the 1st hour. Oy.

  9. I don’t even know where to begin. I thought for sure you couldn’t get funnier than the first paragraph…you set the bar high and then you just keep it coming! I laugh out loud so much when I read your writing. You are gifted. Tweeted!

  10. lol on the church experience, which I totally can identify with (as a boy sentenced to parochial school). totally get the ‘ hey god’s watching, mess up now and it’s all so very over’ (I repeat: lol)

  11. I know I read this one before, but I thought I had responded to it… Oh well, I will respond now.
    My wife takes 4 children to church every week without me.(Yes she is a saint or crazy… or both!) Every single week I hear stories about how this one wouldnt stop talking or that one kept switching seats etc… Or they are arguing in the car about supremely important things like how old the dog is or what time it is!
    I love how you can turn church into a conversation about breakfast!

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