There is no Intro

April 10, 2011

Ok, so here is the thing.  My husband just got put in the Bishopric.  Just a couple weeks ago.  My first thought when they called him was "We are not OLD enough for that!"  But, the truth is, we are.  I just turned 33.  And Richard is almost 40.  Did you catch that?  FORTY.  Yeah.  In your thirties you can say you are "getting old" but once you are 40 you are officially there.  Oldness.  You have arrived and there is no use fooling yourself.  And my baby-faced husband is almost there.  So, yeah, despite the fact that age has nothing to do with the calling, he is still, definitely, old enough.

My second thought was "I'm going to be watching my kids alone in sacrament meeting."  And that is about as far as my thinking went.  My brain is pretty small, so I try not to work it too hard.  Besides, I knew Richard would be fine, but me?  ME?  Would I actually be able to survive this?

Today was our big chance to find out.  Today was my first chance to sit through sacrament meeting alone with my two little boys.  So how did I do? I think I would have to give myself 1 & 1/2 thumbs down.  And maybe a sad, slow, shake of the head.  

I didn't totally fail.  Harrison did not run screaming up and down the aisle (though he did scream "Go Away!" when I tried to wipe his nose).  And they didn't rub Vaseline into the carpet (because I am smart enough not to take Vaseline to church.  They get plenty of Vaseline time rubbing into the bathroom floor at home).  So it wasn't a total loss.   And we did just great for about the first 3 minutes, which I think is something I can really be proud of.   But Colin is ready to start exploring with gusto as soon as we walk into the building, and after the first 3 minutes he had our 2 feet of pew pretty much figured out.  So the rest of the meeting was basically a wrestling match while I tried to keep him from escaping.

Meanwhile I did what I could to keep Harrison occupied enough that he wasn't smacking his brother or throwing things around the chapel.  After he started grinding cheerios into the seat I picked them all up and took them away but I couldn't find the lid and I almost started crying after I dumped them over twice in a row.  I went digging around in my giant diaper bag for the lid to the stupid cheerios bowl with one hand while trying  to keep Colin from throwing himself off the seat with the other hand.  I found about 7 pairs of underwear.  No lid.   At least in an emergency I can sew the underwear together to make clothes or a blanket or tent or something.  I finally gave up and dumped the cheerios straight into the diaper bag.  I'm sure they'll come in handy when someone is starving one of these days.

The rest of the meeting is a blur.  Probably a bunch more stuff happened, but I don't want to tell you about it because I would like you to think that I am only saying that I am a bad mom.  Apparently we survived it.  Me and my children are all alive which is sometimes all you can ask for.  And I would like my husband to think that I totally have this thing under control, so don't tell him about the cheerios, OK?

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  1. I have a good friend, whose husband was made bishop at 29. BISHOP!!

    You've been to my condo complex, so you know where we are located. That area is a branch. Yep, you heard me right. We have three apartment complexes, and our condo complex. It is *very* transient, so they made a branch so they could put someone in as Branch President from another ward.

    But the counselors are very young. Early 20s. Good luck!

  2. OK, you need either a young woman or a grandma to come and sit with you. Be brave and ask someone.

  3. When I had 3 babies, Tom worked Sundays, so I would pack them in our little red wagon and walk to Church in the snow (cause he had the car). People at Church always said, "Wow, you have your hands full." But they never offered to help. When the oldest had to go potty, I had to take all three to the bathroom and lay the baby someplace while I helped the older one with her panties. But that was ok, because at least she had on panties. One Sunday as one was climbing all over the bench I realized that she was a little bear/bare.
    Trust me. You're a great mother! And it will get easier. Just get someone to sit with you.

  4. I'm so glad you survived!

    I stay firmly on the "B-List" in the Church (though I think we've recently moved down to the C-List) in part to avoid that stuff!

    IN ANY CASE, I am thankful that there are men like your spouse and women like you who are willing to endure all that must be endured to serve in those callings. Ugh. My infrequent prayers will include a plea for your contiued survival. Very challenging.

  5. Que is technically "in the bishopric." He's not a counselor though, he's the executive secretary. I think that's because he makes suggestions in bishopric meetings (to cut down on time spent on announcements) like "When you give out that YW medallion in sacrament meeting, why not just say 'Hey, Samantha! You got your YW medallion!' and just throw it at her from the pulpit? That would be much faster."

    Your husband might try something like that, they might demote him to secretary. Just sayin'.

  6. I really wish we were in the same ward because then we could partner up and our boys would be entertained by having contests to see who could be the naughtiest. ...although I don't think they're really naughty on purpose. It just happens that when they decide to ..."toot", it's during the sacrament which is of course the quietest time of the meeting. (And which of course, to them, is hil-freakin'-larious.) My boys would also probs be bad examples to yours since their favorite hobby for the first hour of church is giving each other bloody noses. And then when I try to remind them to be quiet in a loving, good-motherly way, they scream "Heavenly Father isn't happy with you right now!" at the top of their lungs. And all of that is with my hubby sitting next to me so you, my friend, are Wonder Woman! You have my respect, admiration, and sympathy. But your parents have told me how much fun it is for them to watch me wrestle my little gang for 70 minutes, so just focus on the joy and entertainment you bring to those sitting behind you in the chapel.

    Also, I would like an underwear tent. Spiderman, preferably, but I'm not too selective.

    Fingers crossed for the Longest Comment Ever award.

  7. I have the opposite problem: my husband isn't a member, so I'm alone with my two 90% of the time. Yikes. I totally feel your pain. I agree that having a grandma or someone without kids come and sit with you is a great idea. Our bishop just got called; he's a year younger than me (35) and they have 4 kids. Our former bishop's wife sits with them every week and helps keeps them sorted out.

  8. Hey. Just as an aside, although my own personal response to this post of yours could take up twenty pages (including a rather embarrassing personal experience wherein I was seen hissing at my children during church, in a rather devilish fashion), I don't find you comments annoying at all.

    In fact, I love them.

  9. Congrats on a great calling! You know, behind every great man, there is an amazing woman supporting him! You're doing great!

    Due to my husband's job, I have to go to church often myself. Been doing it for years. I don't think it gets easier, but you learn to manage so it's not so frustrating.

    Lucky me, I wrestle with my kids during sacrament meeting and then spend the next 2 hours taking care of the dozen 18 month olds in the ward! Gotta love Sundays! :)

  10. My husband is the organist, so I'm solo for about half of the meeting.
    I figured I had it under control, but then Michael told me one day that it looked pretty bad the way I was dragging Ender out of the chapel by one arm...I'd thought nothing of it (I mean, he wouldn't walk, and we had to get out of there while he was screaming, so...)
    Makes me laugh now. Actually, I laughed then, too, so I guess I just don't get it. Do what you have to do, right?
    I hope someone can help you. If it's any comfort, though, your boys sound very normal!

  11. My deepest sympathies on the loss of your husband...
    Mine was in the bishopric when we were starry-eyed newlyweds. Since I didn't have kids, I just sat with my friend, whose husband was also up on the stand and doodled on the program about how cute my guy was. So basically, I am absolutely no help. But surviving sacrament is grounds for getting an afternoon nap...and maybe an extra date night.