Saturday, October 4, 2008

Dreading the Morrow

It's horrible of me to even think it, but I'm dreading mass tomorrow. Last week, we visited a church near our new home. There were maybe a hundred people at mass, all of whom had to know we were new simply because they didn't know us. I really wanted to make a good impression...

First Daughter chattered incessantly during almost the entire mass.

"Mama hair wet." (repeat five to ten times)

"Mama earring, Mama earring, Mama necklace." (repeat five to ten times)

"I want to be all done." (repeat five to ten times)

"I want my Grammy." (repeat five to ten times)

"Where Dada and baby [sister]? I want my dada!" (repeat five to ten times) (Kansas Dad was walking the baby, of course.)

It went on and on. I'm trying to shush her and pay at least some minimum of attention to the mass without drawing more attention to our pew. I think I failed, on both counts.

At one point, she kicked her shoe off and it rolled under the pew in front of us to land right between the feet of the people kneeling there. I had to wait for a pause in the mass to ask them to hand it back to us while she wailed (really wailed), "Where is my shoe? I need my shoe! I need my shoe!" (I don't know if they couldn't understand her or if she really wasn't as loud as she seemed. I expected them to turn around on their own, but they didn't.)

She was quiet for the last five minutes or so. I thought she was just sitting quietly on the kneeler, but I should have known better; she had taken off her shoes and socks and then proceeded to dance barefoot (thankfully not on the pew). Lovely, just lovely.

So I think I am justified at least a little bit in my lack of exuberance for mass tomorrow. We've decided to attend our parish church, which is even smaller. (We didn't go there last week because they just lost their parish priest and, since we're likely to be the only newcomers there, thought we'd give them another week to grieve without onlookers.) Tomorrow, though, we go, and this will be our one and only first impression.

Mary, pray for us.


  1. Just remember that when Jesus said "Let the little children come to me" he wasn't just talking about the quiet, well-behaved ones. ;-)

  2. I second Hilary's comment :) We have a Church with less than 25 people at any given sunday Mass, so I completely understand.

  3. Thanks, ladies! We had a much better time at church today so it seems my prayers were answered!

    Hilary, I'm sure I'll need to be reminded of that again, though.

  4. I'm glad it went well!
    I read a book last year - Parenting in the Pew - that was really good. She gave some good suggestions for engaging small children in the service and had a great perspective. I found it very helpful, even though we don't keep our little ones with us during most of the service - most people send babies to nursery at our church (or sit in the balcony), and we have a terrific children's program, so our kids usually go there, at least during the sermon, which usually lasts about 45 minutes. Amanda can finally manage a whole service reasonably well, but we've tried it with Caitlyn a few times and it has been miserable.

  5. Thanks for the suggestion, Tiffany. I'll be adding that to my reading list. Thank goodness our services are usually only about an hour total. I can't imagine getting First Daughter to sit still for a 45 minute sermon.

    I'd hate to leave my baby in a nursery, though. I guess it's just because I've never done it.

  6. It's really not bad. I think everyone is hesitant at first, but our infant nurseries are usually staffed by wonderful grandmother-types who know what they're doing, have been serving in the nurseries for years, and just want to love on the babies. It's very well organized and the church screens and trains all the volunteers. It's really quite a blessing.


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