This is the second Sunday morning that the whole family is going to church since the little one was born. I am excited. We have a lunch gathering with extended family this afternoon, so I am cooking two casseroles, ironing clothes, and getting ready. My husband has to be at church early, so as much as we hate driving separately, that's just how it has to be if I'm going to finish these casseroles.
The older three kids are going on with my husband. The toddler and baby are hanging back with me. "Are you sure you can make it okay with the little ones?" my husband asks as he heads out the door. I reply, "Are you kidding me? Two kids will be a breeze. Go ahead. We should be there in time for Sunday school." (famous last words)
I finish doing my makeup as the baby starts waking. I check on him briefly. Then, I wonder where the toddler is. I go back to the bathroom and see him standing near the toilet with a look of fear and bewilderment. As I approach the toilet, I can see that water has been splashed on the seat. I look down, and there it is - my favorite earring in the bottom of the bowl. Lovely. What do I do? What anyone would do. I reach down into that toilet water and save my earring. Then, I quickly sanitize the earring, the toddler, and myself. Meanwhile the baby is still crying. He is hungry, but we need to be leaving. I feed him just enough to pacify him until we can get to church. If we can get there...
We arrive at church 20 minutes after Sunday school began. I take the toddler to his class and head to the mother's room to finish nursing the infant before worship service. The bell rings to dismiss classes. I quickly grab my belongings and head to the sanctuary. Hubby is serving in the sound booth, so I'm parenting solo. I spot my sister and quickly ask her to watch the little one while I go get the girls from their classes. Upon leaving their classrooms, we walk hand-in-hand straight to the restroom. We don't want to disrupt the middle of service for a bathroom break.
Now we are in our seat. Whew (sigh of relief). We still have a few minutes before time to start. Great! Toddler is in the nursery. Baby is in the infant seat next to me. The girls are on the other side of me. Wait...where is my oldest? He was here a minute ago. Survey room. Nope. Bathroom maybe? My niece informs me he went to the choir room to practice. He is singing in the choir today. Okay, that is great, but he is supposed to ask first. Never mind. Everyone is accounted for and all is well. I've got this. Five kids in church - no problem. Right?
The service begins. How wonderful to finally be back at church to worship. This is great! We make it through song service, and the preacher begins. I'm trying to find the Scripture just as my 3-year old daughter starts to snuggle up next to me. She is getting tired and wants to be held. Aw, this is sweet. She lays her head on my shoulder, and I think she is going to sleep. Uh oh, the baby is starting to stir. He is getting restless. Oh, quick where is the pacifier? I set the 3-year old beside me, much to her dismay, to get the pacifier. I found it, but not fast enough. Now the baby is beginning to whimper more loudly. I hurry and get him out of the carrier and try to force the passy in his mouth. He doesn't want the passy, so he starts gagging. This draws the attention of the row in front of me. Heads turn. My face is probably red, and I assure those nearby that he's okay.
The baby doesn't want the passy but seems to be content just being held. I hold him. The 3-year old does not like this. She lets her distaste be known. I realize that she is not going to settle down, so with baby in one arm and toddler by the hand, we exit the church for a "come to Jesus meeting." Once composure is regained, we return to our seats. I'm not sure what I missed while we were out, but it's not like I was hearing much of the sermon anyway. "His mercies are new every morning," I hear the preacher say. Oh so very timely.
We haven't been in our seats very long, when my sister offers to hold the baby. I pass him down the row to her. My 3-year old watches intently and realizes that my arms are free. Well, I guess she will get her way after all. I hold her in my lap once more. My niece leans over and asks for a napkin. The baby has spit up on my sister big time. The burp cloth is saturated as well as her clothes. Ugh, I don't have anything. The baby is fussing, so we pass him back down the row again. Now my oldest daughter rises to her feet, crosses over people to get to me, and asks, "Is church almost over?" Oh the rage I can feel coming over me! I make her sit down beside me so that we cause no further distraction and tell her to be quiet. "Just a little longer - If we can just make it a little longer...," I think to myself. Before I can even finish my thought, I hear my 3-year old say "Mommy, I've got to go to the bathroom!"......
If you are a mom with little ones, be encouraged today to keep going. Ask God for help. His mercies are new every morning. He will help you through the challenging times.