Sunday, October 6, 2013

What I Wore Sunday: where they nearly drive me nuts...

Okay, so this is way too long, and it's kind of whiny because this morning was... well if you read it you'll see... so... you've been warned:

I wore, that dress that I wear all the time, with a snood I made, a sweater
that used to be my mom's and a scarf that doubles as a nursing cover.
After surviving Mass today and getting all three kids all the way home I kind of felt like I'd done something monumental... when I thought of comparisons, scaling Everest actually came to mind.

Our time out this morning definitely had it's share of ups and downs... with highs and lows for each member of the family (including Mommy) as we had a less than spectacular behavior at Mass.

You see, Paul had another 4 am work night, which means nighttime Mass for him, and since nighttime Mass most certainly doesn't work for two of our three kids, it means morning Mass on my own with the kids while Daddy gets a little bit of sleep.  It's not my favorite way of doing things but I'm pretty much chanting "this isn't forever" under my breath when I contemplate it and hopefully it's only for another year until that time arrives when he has more normal hours that don't involve working until the wee hours of the morning.

So the kids and I walked the four or so blocks to Mass and slid into a pew.  Maggie sat between Sadie and I, still wearing her monkey leash, and leaned back against the seat, apparently taking the words "best behavior" to heart.  We made it for a good fifteen minutes when Patrick started to fuss.  I was ready though.  I had my yellow scarf and my button down shirt and I managed to get him latched on while the family of boys next to us turned to stare (last time they completely turned around in the pew to stare while he nursed... covered... and while I always cringe about saying "I would never" as a parent I do find myself thinking that if any of my kids ever does that to a nursing mother they will be told to face forward and I will not just sit there and do nothing while they try various angles of staring to get a better view...).

I was thoroughly outnumbered...
Finally we were set.  I was going to do this.  We were going to survive Mass.

And then Patrick starting doing the whole "I'm miserable with this yellow scarf over my head and I hate this so let me arch my back and wail in between gulps of milk" which caused a retreat to the narthex.

After the homily he was finally asleep and, noting that Maggie does much, much better in the pew than in the narthex where she was trying to sprawl on the cool tile, I wrangled everyone back into our little back pew and breathed a sigh of relief.  Maggie cuddled up next to me again and I started to relax my aching muscles and focus on the Mass.

Approximately 30 seconds later a small voice said:  "Mommy.  Hey Mommy.  I have to go pee-pee." in a whisper.  I might have glared.  If I was in a cartoon a rain cloud would have gathered above my head.  So I took the entire group back out, while whisper lecturing about using the bathroom before we go even if you "don't have to."

While Sadie was in the bathroom Maggie collapsed on the ground and when I bent to try to get her back up Patrick woke up and started to scream... because five minutes of sleep had only served to make him very, very cranky.  Which is around the time I started to feel like I was about to faint.

Sadie came back out of the bathroom, and burst into tears when I pointed out that the chaos she was met with was exactly why we use the bathroom before we leave (I know, I know, not a bright shining moment for me) and I escorted her over to a chair by the door and knelt down to explain that she wasn't in trouble I just needed her to be on her best behavior at Mass because the babies can get so wild.

Maggie was attempting to play on the squishy floor mats behind me and Patrick was screaming his head off intermittently while I knelt and talked to Sadie while jiggling him and Sadie was still sobbing because she really had been on her best behavior and she could tell that I was upset (and feeling like I might pass out at any moment) when an old man walked over and stood over us... and...

... told us that he needed us to move.  He needed to "get by."  I was confused.  There were four big doors.  We were kind of in front of one of them, in an off to the side sort of way.  I ushered Sadie out of the way and he took the seat she'd been sitting in and moved it behind a nearby table and sat down.

I looked around and saw the three other empty chairs he'd walked by to come take her chair and almost started crying (I later saw that he was setting up the table to hand out business cards... I'm sure it was just what he had planned to do, or usually did, or something...).  I could feel the tears and knew that if I blinked they would start to fall.  I was so close to leaving.  I felt sick to my stomach and faint and everything was falling apart.  And I'd still have to get them home.

He was a handful today...
I walked the kids over to another part of the narthex and decided to see if we could hold out for just a few more minutes.  I got Sadie a kleenex and dabbed her nose.  I'm sure a single tantrum from any of my three would have sent me over the edge.  I'd actually wound Maggie's monkey leash around my wrist a few extra times in case I did faint, so she couldn't sprint off.  But what other options did I really have, I found myself asking.  I just couldn't faint.  I hadn't even remembered my cell phone (why had walking the few blocks with only keys seemed so appealing only an hour earlier).

The next few minutes were actually surprisingly peaceful.  I prayed hard, for the grace to be in a state to receive communion.  We went forward and I glanced at Maggie as she bounded along next to me.

She was laughing.  Her hands came together in front of her and she signed "more, more, more" with a huge smile on her face. Her eyes were on the priest who was still about ten feet away (that was huge because while we watch signing videos and Sadie knows a lot of signs, but Mae never uses them).  When it was almost our turn she yanked her binkie out of her mouth and turned her little mouth up to him ready to receive communion.  And she got her blessing.

Back in the narthex we made it through the final blessing and the Saint Michael prayer, and then played at the playground (where they got to play for a lot longer than usual while I gathered my strength) before making the walk home.

When I retold the story of Maggie in the communion line she laughed hysterically as if it were the funniest thing.  Sadie asked questions because she was very concerned that Maggie had succeeded where she has so many times failed and had tricked the priest into giving her the Eucharist.

So we survived.

Here's hoping that our next Mass is much less eventful.

And of course, I'm linking up with FLAP for WIWS!


  1. You did it!! Way to go Mama!! You made it through "by the grace of God"!! Wahoo!! I pray the rest of your SUnday is peaceful. You look lovely as usual.

  2. What is it with the sensory sensation of swimming on cold church tile floors, ds does the same lol. Good job, I'm not brave enough to handle it by myself so we take overtired kids to the night mass.

  3. Good for you! Sorry you felt sick and like fainting. I always try to be sure to eat something before Mass, because if I don't, sometimes I feel faint.

  4. Cammie... I soooo wish we lived nearby. I hope that if I noticed a mama with three littles on her own at Mass having a difficult time, that I would offer to help! (would someone offering to help be offensive???) It would be sooooo nice if you could get to know someone at that parish who would offer to be another set of hands for you during these tough moments. So happy you made it through...sending prayers your way! I am proud of you that you didn't lose it and melt down yourself!

  5. You did it! Hopefully everyone is in a good mood this afternoon!

  6. Cute dress, Cam. And serious props to you for going to mass with 3 on your own!!

  7. This made me feel a lot better about our mass experience today! We are always outnumbered (6 kids, 2 adults) and today was the day of musical chairs! You did a good job! I am so happy the youngest of mine is 4 and not breast feeding! You survived, and are setting a great example for your children!


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