From the Back Pew – No Munchies or Little Friends

Right now I’m trying to stifle my resentment with friends that let, nay, insist their small child socialize with your small child in complete disregard to the fact that their child has a raging river of snot running from their nose. That would be a cold symptom. A cold symptom now run rampant in my household.

This doesn’t explain the lateness of this post. That’s just my laziness.

So I fretted all Saturday, when I wasn’t out having fun at the Kolache Festival, about the fact that we were going to maybe try to attend Mass with a friends family the next day.

She… she feeds her boy in Mass.

*dun dun dun*

Way back before I had kids, I had only one iron clad rule of behavior for my kids. They would not eat in church. No. Absolutely not.

This rule was developed after a friend told me about the announcement in her parish’s bulletin, requesting that parents please not bring Happy Meals into the pews.


And that was it. No eating in Mass. None. Zero. Zilch. Nursing babies may nurse, and that was that. If they are old enough to not require nursing in public, they can last through Mass without snacking.

Just to prove I’m not unreasonable, that I’m a generous and understanding mother, I have relaxed this rule to allow a sippy cup of milk in Mass if we’re attending a very early one. (This doesn’t happen often.)

It’s my responsibility as a parent to feed my son properly; in a chair, at a table, and only occasionally with the TV on. Sometimes this means getting up thirty minutes earlier, or going to a later Mass. But no snacks. How can I teach him to behave properly by using bad behavior as a reward for sitting still?

It’s difficult when we end up sitting next to a family that is pacifying their child with cereal. Because GeekBaby wants it, and I have to tell him that he can’t have any because we don’t snack during Mass. I’ve gotten a certain number of dirty looks over this, which I can cope with (barely) because I’m not acquainted with the family in question.

It’s an entirely different handling method when I’m sitting with a family we know, who resort to snacks to keep their toddler still. I finally wimped out and just waited for a later Mass… but they had also been slow that morning and we ended up meeting up anyway.

And it turns out I was worrying about the completely wrong problem. Forget snacking during Mass. Never ever ever permit two acquainted toddler boys to sit next to each other in the pew. For sanity’s sake, they must be separated. This only works if both sets of parents are committed to keeping the boys at opposite ends of the pews.

GeekBaby and I ended up spending the second half of Mass outside (not in the narthex, outside in the heat), and he had lost all movie and TV privileges until after Mass next Sunday.

We spent time with our friends after Mass, which is when I noticed the copiously dripping nose. Then they went home. By Tuesday, GeekBaby was distinctly ill. Today I joined him.

Frankly, being this sick is punishment enough. So we spent today watching episodes of The Last Airbender (which we’re all really enjoying), eating fruit snacks, and sleeping.

Really, this whole week has me feeling like a terrible mother. I can’t get my son to behave in church and I massively lose my temper with him in the process, when really, it wasn’t only his fault. And I let him get sick in the process. And then I am inconsistent in my reasonable punishment of TV ban because we’re both sick and exhausted and I just want him to sit still for a little while and stop running around using the house as a handkerchief.

Next week will be better.

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One Response to From the Back Pew – No Munchies or Little Friends

  1. flycat says:

    Hugs! I hope you feel better soon!

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