Holy Smoke

>> Monday, 15 October 2007

We took the boys to mass on Sunday, as we do most Sundays when we're home and not hungover, exhausted, trapped in the house by poo, or doing the weekly shop. So not that often then.

With a 4 year old and a not-yet 2 year old this can be challenging, but for a change it was relatively straightforward, until I took Boy #1 to the catechism class (always a good wheeze as it gets accompanying adults out of the need to listen to the sermon) and it became clear there had been an 'incident' with the incense in the corridor outside the main part of the church; probably an over-enthusiastic altar server over-egging the pudding in their excitement at being given responsibility for the special effects. Whatever the reason, it was pretty hazy out there, and a number of children - my son included - asked loudly where the smoke was coming from and whether the priest had called the fire engine (it was 999 week in nursery, so this was of course fresh in his mind).

Once we got back into the church the priest decided that this Sunday would be a good time to get all the children to come and stand around the altar whilst he did the business with the eucharist. Scenting trouble immediately, I tried to persuade Husband to accompany Boy #1 (there was no question we would send him up by himself) but my beloved wasn't having any of it. I can't blame him really; as I'm the only Catholic in our marriage it would have been a bit rich, but thought I would try my luck. In addition, Husband pleaded the necessity to keep control of Boy #2 who, finally released from the buggy in the interests of allowing our immediate neighbours to concentrate on the service rather than his Houdini-like escape attempts, was making a bid for freedom and kept rifling through the votive candles (helpfully left in boxes for small children to decimate) to our right.

So up we trotted, Boy #1 and I. Boy #1 straight away saw the opportunity for misbehaviour and grabbed it with both hands. He refused to go to the front when asked, and then spent the next 5 minutes staring vacantly into space, rocking backwards and forwards on the soles of his feet like some runner about to start a race. Not so bad, I thought. I can handle this. But then he turned around and stuck his tongue out at me. In front of around 400 people. I was so proud... Only a whispered threat about the promised park trip after the service being cancelled called him to heel.

What would have helped of course would have been Husband not grinning widely from the pews. As a (delightfully, of course) arrogant Dutchman he hates to think his sons will ever be sheep and do just what they're told. Fat chance. Boy #1 was definitely having a non-sheep moment yesterday; at the party he went to in the afternoon he refused to join in any of the games that the entertainer painstakingly set up, preferring instead to do his own free-form dance / acrobatic display along the side of the hall. I caught a couple of the other mums we hadn't met before looking at me pityingly. Did I care? No - the parents were serving champagne.


Frog in the Field 15 October 2007 at 17:42  

Ha Ha!!
Reminds me of my friends Catholic Christening of her daughter, in fact I think I'll write a Blog about it.
Why do husbands always grin like that?
I had to give up going to Church with the girls, they were impeccably behaved, unless we were in Church. I also couldn't stand my Mother-in-Laws' singing anymore, but I didn't say that!

Potty Mummy 15 October 2007 at 20:52  

Hi Frog; Catholic christenings are always worth a blog or two (have had 2 of our own in the last 4 years and boy, are they fun. And that's just the training sessions you have to do with the priest before-hand).

Just wondered, regarding your MIL's singing; do you mean, you didn't say that to her face, or that comment is not attributable to you? Now I come to think of it I've never heard my MIL sing. Hmmm...

Trenches of Mommyhood 18 October 2007 at 20:20  

"We took the boys to mass on Sunday, as we do most Sundays when we're home and not hungover, exhausted, trapped in the house by poo, or doing the weekly shop. So not that often then."

Hey, we're on the same church schedule!

Iota 23 October 2007 at 02:13  

Come to the Midwest. Churches are equipped with purpose-built creche facilities, appropriate and new-looking toys, and (it seems) plentiful staff. So instead of having to keep your children quiet in a service (hello?) or accompanying them to a draughty church hall in order to entertain them yourself with a selection of broken dirty toys because they won't stay on their own with the lady on the rota (who are these people who have children who will happily be left in the company of a complete stranger week after week?), it is like leaving them in a professional day nursery. You are handed a bleeper, so you don't even have to feel guilty (what if they cry?). This leaves you to go to the service with a free mind (or nip out to Starbucks for an hour of me-time). I've never done that, by the way. Just so you know. Darn good idea though.

Tattie Weasle 23 October 2007 at 18:24  

The Boy was doing his Harvest Festival bit this week - spluttering giggles with best freind on front benches while Mothers tried v hard not to join in - why is it that forbidden giggling is so much fun???!!!
Thank you so much for my comments the other day - and yes please would love to have lemon Curd receipe!!! (is that how it's spelled???)

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