Jesus, the Bunny and the basket- PART ONE

Today is Good Friday. It’s a day to remember Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. Being Catholic, this entire  season of Lent is all about going to church. This is no exception. I’ve been a bad Catholic this Lent and yesterday was the first non-Sunday service I’d attended.

Have you ever gone to church with a child? How about multiple children? Is the experience all about worshipping and praising our Lord and renewing your spirit? If you’re like me and most of my mom friends, it’s not! Instead, it’s constantly redirecting your children, threatening their lives in hushed voices and praying only that God will please make them sit still and be quiet for the rest of the service.

In my faith, we don’t have a nursery or any other during-church program for the kids. They go to Sunday school, but that’s after church. During the liturgy, they are supposed to be taking it all in, learning about their faith. What my kids tend to take in is a few spankings or time outs.

Last night, for Holy Thursday, I went to church alone. That’s right, no kids. They stayed home with Dad. And you know what? I listened during church! I heard the gospel and the sermon and never once did I have to take someone to the bathroom. It was great. Of course, I did find myself eyeing the other children in church. In fact, I was staring longingly at a darling baby girl so intensely that I let down. Oops. That’s the hazard of leaving your breastfed baby at home…

Today, tomorrow and Sunday I will have the baby, the preschooler and the eight year old in tow. Oh, and I almost forgot, some stowaways. My cousin’s two younger children are coming with us. They’re over the age of 10, so they don’t count. If they misbehave I’ll just threaten to take away an ipod or something. ‘No Justin Bieber? What?!’

Tonight’s service is a lonnng one. That doesn’t really do it justice. Tonight’s service is a lonnnnnnnnnnnng one. Long like my Catholic wedding where in all the pictures of the service, you see my bridesmaids yawning and the groomsmen napping. That long. And in some sort of sadistic Olympic Mom training event, we are supposed to keep our kids in check. Right. Huh. How does one plan for such a thing? The mere thought of it sends chills down my spine.

Tomorrow, the kids can be bribed with the after church Easter egg hunt. They know, all too well, that if they don’t behave in church they will not be allowed to participate. You think I’m bluffing? Oh, I won and have retained the title of “Worst Mom Ever” last year when my then four-year old son would not behave. He began misbehaving so badly in church that after many attempts and the ultimate threat that I would not let him hunt for eggs, I finally told him after church that he could not take part. Holy cow. I have never seen a fit as bad as the one he threw. My husband tried to convince me to let him hunt and to just let this one slide. I wasn’t giving in. After about twenty minutes of his thrashing on the floor, I picked him up and took him home. I think you could probably see the steam coming from my ears miles away.

Sunday, the kids will be dressed to the nines in special Easter outfits bought for them by Grandma. They’ll have Easter baskets waiting to be blessed in the church hall. They’ll be psyched about Easter and people will be singing so loudly about our risen Lord they won’t be able to stop and glare at my misbehaving kids.

My sons’ godmother and I often swap stories (repressed memories) from our childhood and our actions in church. I think I still have scars (mental and physical) from my mom reaching around and pinching the skin on the underside of my arm. We didn’t dare misbehave. If we did, we suffered the consequences. There’s no way we would have pulled half the stuff our kids do. What’s the difference? Fear of corporal punishment?

I’m ready to pack some sort of survival kit for tonight. The kind they make for the end of the world, a devastating earthquake or the inevitable zombie apocalypse. What goes in something like that? Candy? NO. That will just jack them up more. Crayons? I can see them coloring the church pews now. Toys? Fights ensue over the good ones and the kids just ignore the lame ones. Hmm. I’m open to ideas here!

Be sure to come back and read my next post- Part Two of Jesus, the Bunny and the basket. But, until then, how do you keep your kids behaved in church?

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa
    Apr 22, 2011 @ 23:44:49

    How is it just now I’m finding out you have a blog?!? I love it!
    I can vaguely recall services when my girls were little, but in our church we had nursery which I took FULL advantage of! These days will end. It does get easier. Training them up right is not easy, but it is SO worth it!
    I was all excited about services this weekend now that we found a new church we love. Then I got the flu! It’s me and netflix this weekend. No bunnies here.

    Reply

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