Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Moment To Gather Myself!

On a Sunday like this one, I need all the Heavenly help I can get.

I found myself so frustrated with Thomas and his inability to behave appropriately at church-- or any time it seems.

Everyone wants to give him a "free pass" for being a boy and I refuse to do so. My expectations are high, I can admit that. But, as I pointed out this morning: our children are a reflection of ourselves, and today I am truly embarrassed!

Yes, Gracie was angel as a baby and a toddler, and preschooler, etc. And while she has her moments, she remains my sweet wonderful very well behaved little girl. And, I can't compare Thomas to his sister, or he will end up even more messed up. But, I can expect great things from my kids, and I intend to.

No he didn't bite anyone today, nor did he explode a diaper. He refused to sit still during church and play quietly with his toys and cookies and milk. He took off during the children's message and got the whole congregation's attention. He walked across the isle to his Aunt Ruth, but was not entertained for long enough apparently and made a bee line back too mommy--only he deviated his course with a very deliberate and sly look on his face and made his way to the front of the sanctuary before being caught and scooped up by mommy. Thwarted in his effort to do what he wanted he threw a temper tantrum and had to be removed from the room. He got left in the nursery. When I went to retrieve him some 10 minutes later at the end of the service, he was being held and was crying.

Now, you might ask why I don't just dump him in the nursery every Sunday?

1. I am a firm believer that is my SOLE job to care for my children. No one else should be responsible for them. If this means missing out on things, it means missing out. They are our joy and our burden and no one elses. We asked to be parents, and that comes with a 24/7 obligation.

2. There are so many new babies and young kids back there, the constant nursery worker and the weekly volunteer have their hands full! They don't need an extra handful to keep up with.

3. I am terrified of what he will do when I am not around! I have seen what he is capable of when I am standing right there next to him! I am so embarrassed of his behavior (that I am unsuccessfully trying to correct), I don't want to add more oil to the fire!

4. How is he, or any child, supposed to learn how to behave in situations if they are removed from them? He needs to learn to be reverent, quiet and somewhat still in church. He will have to learn how to behave in public, and in school, and at home. How else do you learn that to be taught in those situations?

So why is this Sunday getting to me worse than others? I mean he isn't exactly a prince on Sunday mornings, and sadly it is only getting worse. This isn't the first time I have had to take him to the back of the sanctuary or have had to take him to the nursery.

I think I am just starting to think about how we are not going to be able to find a church home in Richmond.

I mean all of these people know what a little demon child my son is, and they love him anyway. They make funny faces at him to get him to stop crying, and if they are on the end of a isle they know they could have to catch him at a moments notice (and many have had to!!!). A new church would be appalled at how I could possibly allow my son to act! I know I am!


Sara said...

The children in our congergation are always making noise, running up to the alter because their mom is in the praise band, being taken to the back...

I'm sure you will find a family friendly church in the Richmond area and you will fit right in and no one will think badly of his behavior.

A lady in our church with three children said once (and she was quoting our retired minster) that if God wanted them to behave perfectly during service He would have made them that way.

That isn't saying you shouldn't work on his behavior, tolerate truly obnoxious behavior... it just means that he is little, likes to be active, and is still learning.

Amy said...

remember in the bible where it says we should be childlike? the natural curisoity that kids have are a blessing. the vigor and vim they experience remind us life is sacred and exciting. that no stone should be left unturned or we havent learned all we can. every path must be blazed and all noises must be made. boys are cut from a special mold. Remimber you are now Mary, raising a special son who is just as loved as her son was. Boys have different chalenges that come with a broken volume control and super speed. enjoy the differences, we have had to do things like getting to church a few minutes early for them to run outside, bringing match box cars for them to zoom on the floor, lots of snacks, and other toys to create obstacels for cars to drive around, etc. be creative and enjoy the energy, they never lose it. (and when we do timeouts at church, we found that a room with a piano worked well, we sat our kids on the top of the piano and stepped away... they froze and were still while we read quietly out loud to them) (now what do i do abt my daughter with the teenage attitude?????)

Kay E. said...

why in the world , would you be embarrassed? Your children are wonderful, and so well behaved, and loving, you are great parents, and I know that because of the way your children are.

Aunt Dawn said...

Barbara, I love you, but have you lost your mind? A child under a year who entertains himself? HAHAHAHA. Those are few and far in between. :)

Mickey E. said...

You are so Blessed to have two of the most well behaved Children I've known, and I've known many!!

Katie W. said...

Um. I think it is hard for a little one to sit still for an hour and be quiet. We leave Stella in the nursery so she can play. We've never been able to sit through a service with her.

Aunt Ruth said...

This is one of those times when I'd like to be near you, so I could kick your butt. I think I need to put you in a room with a bunch of other one-year olds and let you see how one-year olds behave. They're ONE, for cryin' out loud! And he IS a reflection of you and that reflection is a happy, smiling, curious, inquisitive, I-want-to-see-it-all-be-a-part-of-it-all child. Let it be - let HIM be - let YOURSELF be happy with two little gems! Read all the above comments. You've got some of that stinkin' thinkin' going on.