From the Back Pew – Baby’s First Latin

Contained herein are my meditations on coping with children, currently composed of one small child, in Mass.  I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.  Having not grown up Catholic myself, I have very little idea how to teach the Faith to my own children.  I’m sure I’m making a mess of things.

It seems that the timing of Mass on Sunday morning is crucial in predicting how well GeekBaby will behave.  I grieve that the days where he fell asleep on the drive, slept through until the Offertory, and was sleepily content to be cuddled through the rest of Mass are now over.  Now we must judiciously choose which Mass to attend.  Too early, and he is still in his “I have just woken up and am imposing my tyrannical will on the world” phase, which doesn’t mesh well with my wanting him to sit reasonably quietly with us in the pew.  Too late, and he is in need of a nap and desperately trying to avoid it.  No only is he not willing to sit still, he requires holding from either mommy or daddy and frequently demands a switch between us at the top of his voice.  Somewhere in this Bermuda Triangle of toddler behavior is the point where he sits reasonably quietly and still, and even participates within the limits of his ability.

Unfortunately these times change from Sunday to Sunday.  Even more unfortunately there is no telling what time it is until you are sitting there in the Back Pew.  (We have learned the hard way to chose the Back Pew.)

Today we hit the late edge of the Triangle, he was getting sleepy and therefore trying to stay awake before Mass by playing with our hymnal.  It doesn’t matter that he has his own special book to bring, he always wants my hymnal.  So he’s sitting on my lap very quietly, flipping through the book pages, and then he starts talking.  Loudly.

“Ubi cari.  Ubi cari.  Tas.”

I was so delighted that he was trying to sing in Latin that I didn’t shush him.  And now I’m afraid he thinks it’s okay to be noisy as long as he’s orthodox about it, because right after the Consecration he announced, repeatedly and loudly, “I see him!”  “I see Jesus!”

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