Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Perfect Storm

If I were to ask you to describe the conditions that would create the perfect storm of sacrament meeting disruption, you'd probably come up with some (or all) of the following suggestions:
  • a new walker (that is, a child who is new to walking, not a new assistive device) eager to show off
  • an un-corralled pew (that is, a pew not surrounded on all sides by other pews, such as the front row) to taunt the new walker with walkable open space
  • fellow worshipers with smiles and treats eager to lure the new walker away
  • a cane (the assistive device kind) placed seductively on the floor in clear view of the new walker
  • a high pitched baby squeal with every triumphant new walker step
  • loud complaints from a pre-schooler about the new walker having too much fun
And if you made any (or all) of those suggestions, I'd say you're off to a good start. But if you suggested dropping a handful of ball bearings on a wooden floor, I'd say you must have been behind us in Sacrament Meeting today. And for that, I apologize.

Our choice of seats (front row of chairs in the gym) was unfortunate. We realized that about four notes in to the opening hymn. Without pews to fence us in, Grace was a menace. I know it's par for the fourteen-month-old course, but trying to hold Grace on your lap when she has exploration in mind is like trying to kiss a shrieking eel. It's loud and messy, and you might end up with a bloody lip. Beware the mighty headbutt!

Still, I decided that moving the whole family after the meeting had already started would be too disruptive. And so we tried to contain our little tornado-in-a-dress where we were. I wasn't even particularly self-conscious about the first couple sprints up the aisle to catch her. Our ward's used to that kind of thing. We've all been there. And I could understand Grace's interest in Bro. Jones' cane. A big ole' stick, twice your height, just lying there on the floor? What self-respecting toddler would pass that up? How else would you find out what happens when you swing it around? (Answer: people gasp and rush to your side! Yay!)

But when Sam dropped his Barrel of Monkeys Keychain, which he'd filled (without my knowledge) with the steel balls from his Magnetix set, we crossed the line from amusing diversion to full-fledged meteorological disturbance. The worst part was the ward members jumping to our aid to crawl on the dirty floor and collect steel marbles. "Just leave them," I said. "I don't care if we lose them." But within 60 seconds, I had them all back.

I did not return the balls to Sam, much to his (loudly announced) disappointment.

On the bright side, since both children got all of their shrieks and wiggles out during church, they were perfectly cooperative for a post-church photo shoot. As you can see below.


Ree said...

Oh Boss, if I had been there, I wouldn't be laughing this hard. (At least I hope not, because that would be pretty irreverent.) But I needed a good laugh, so I'm glad I read your colorful description instead of seeing it in person this time. Congratulations to Gracie on her new accomplishment!

Mrs. Donut said...

Wow! That's a couple of busy toddlers there! And parents, I must say. I TOTALLY understand the "leave them" sentiment in regard to the balls. Glad ya'll survived, and got some pics of those amazingly good-looking kids afterward!

Amber said...

You forgot to share the post church hunt for the lost walker!

I wish we had been there on time to see the great storm. I'm sure it was a tad more interesting the the speakers for some people :)

Peanut said...

Now I really wish that I were in your ward--but I think the commute would be a tad overwhelming. That sounds like an exciting Sacrament meeting! Also, funny. Maybe it's best I wasn't there, like Ree, I don't know if I could be reverent with all the hilarity.
Hooray for the new walker!

Boss said...

You're right Amber. This tale of Grace's independence is incomplete without noting that Grace was missing for a good five minutes after church let out. In the time it took me to gather up our things (her toys, mostly, btw), she was out the door of the relief society room. I wasn't too concerned because there's always a human traffic jam just outside the door, and I didn't think she'd get far. But when I got there, I didn't see her toddling down the hallway in either direction. I checked the near-by classrooms, and made my way around the church in one direction, and then the other. By then I was starting to get anxious, and enlisted the help of some great friends. She was found a few minutes later trailing behind a random 12-year-old as if he was her new caretaker. Thank you Amber and Michelle, for chasing down my sweet tornado! I'm starting to think the whole "it takes a village" thing is as much about keeping track of my child as raising her.

Tara said...

I ALWAYS get a good laugh when I read your blog! And I'm mostly laughing on this blog because I've been there (as a parent of disruptive children in sacrament meeting) Your kids are SO adorable though that I'm sure no one minded the disturbance!

Stephanie said...

You're not the only one with magnetix problems these days! Go to my blog to find out more! Just be glad that you got all the balls back and nobody ate them. We found out that's not a good thing!
On another note...I feel your pain...and love you for it. I'm so glad my kids aren't the only ones disrupting sacrament meetings!

Princess Gerty said...

LOL!! We were on the wood floor today too--not my first choice. I know your pain (but I sure laughed at this post!).