Sunday, June 22, 2014

Trapped in Church

It's rarely easy to try something new. Dragging seven kids with you is usually less of a treat, so my expectations in trying out a new church this morning were blissfully low. 

No matter how prepared I think I am, something invariably surprises me every time we leave the house as a family. (Did I ever tell you about the time we drove forty-five minutes to the state fair only to discover the eight-year-old wasn't wearing any shoes? How do you forget to wear shoes?!? Sigh.) 

I had done my homework on this church. I'd called ahead and found that there isn't any special needs programming or anything for Bo, but Shawn and I had decided we could take turns walking the lobby with him, if needed. I'd sent Shawn to scout it out with the older girls one Sunday to see if it was worth a return visit and, more importantly, to get our family in the computer system for easier drop off/pick up from kids' classes without actually having all the kids with us for that tedium. 

Other than a few snafus like realizing the third time I brushed it, just as we were leaving, that KJ's hair wasn't damp; it was greasy. Ew! When was she bathed last? Oh, wait, that's why she was telling me hair mousse and lotion were almost the same. Perfect. 

After we made it inside, an old friend found me looking lost and mercifully helped me check the kids in and get them to their classes. 

And then we entered the auditorium. The very full auditorium. We needed four seats. I couldn't even find two. I was starting to panic thinking we would need to go back and get the kids out of the classes and go home. We stood there in the back for several minutes while everyone sat down after the first song. 

Finally, half way up on the left, I spotted four seats. We just had to climb over a few people to get to them. Once we got there, we saw the walker and realized that the elderly lady on the inside could barely stand to let us through. She and the people with her graciously motioned us in, however. Shawn and the kids admitted later that they'd knocked her back into her seat behind me trying to squeeze in. Oh dear. 

Bo did pretty well during the music. He likes music and flirted with the ladies behind us with big smiles and high fives. 

It wasn't until the sermon did we realize how trapped we were. 

Looking around, it was obvious that ours was the narrowest aisle in the whole church, which is probably why it still had available seats. Shawn was sitting closest to the elderly lady and clearly could not climb over her again. There was an entire row of people my way and no room to climb over them. I also know from experience that when I walk by seated people while carrying Bo, their heads are the perfect height for kicking. 

In my initial panic, I worried that I didn't bring any toys. Then I smiled to myself and realized I'm so much more competent than I give myself credit for. I don't bring toys to church for Bo because they quickly turn into projectile missiles. My little guy has an excellent throwing arm. 

He sat on Shawn's lap for awhile before becoming noticeably "restless". I offered my lap and he happily complied. We played a game of mimed patty cake, catching his nose, biting his pumpkin, and tickling his belly which turned into a game of keep in keep the long flowing hair of the lady in front of us out of the hands of Bo. I won, by the way, but it was a close game. 

She had no idea she was even a participant. Unlike the poor guy in front of Shawn who we think became annoyed at being touched on the arm a time or two. Sorry, buddy, but you took one for the team. You are the hero that kept a fellow church member in your row from being snatched bald! Now, don't you feel silly for throwing us that dirty look?

In the end, we made it through no worse for the wear (just an extra bruise or two) and we're pretty proud of him. It was a long time to be in such close proximity with all those people. He didn't make any noise, he kept his shoes on, and he still smiled at a few pretty girls when it was over. 

I'm proud of us, too. We actually managed to listen to some of the sermon, I didn't have a complete panic attack, and I didn't fall all over myself apologizing for him to everyone around us at the end. 

Next time, one of the teens will go ahead to reserve us seats on the end in the back row. 

And I'll put the mousse in KJ's hair after her bath.


  1. Wow, all I can say is wow. I don't have the guts to attempt a new church after what Kimani did the last time we went somewhere new. Total disaster.

    1. Oh, you know you can't leave me hanging with that little tease. There is a story in there that I need to hear!

  2. This was really good. I loved every minute of it. I hope you get the chance to go back and get better seats.

  3. Geez...I only have three. I am in awe of your mom awesomeness.

  4. Sounds like a successful morning in church if you ask me! :)