1. Yesterday morning was a total comedy of errors, and in my opinion, contained enough penance for the remainder of Lent. I had planned to take Will to 9 am Mass at our parish for Ash Wednesday but he had a bad night and was up from 3 until 5. He went back to sleep until about 8, and there was just no way for me to get him up, changed, fed, dressed, changed again, bundled up for the arctic tundra, and to church in an hour. I found a 10:15 Mass at a nearby parish so we headed over there.
2. As soon as we sat down, I knew it was going to be a loooong Mass. As the school kids started to file in, Will began his prom queen wave, enthusiastically greeting every. single. K-8 student with his newly acquired, “Hi!” The priest, deacon, and altar servers processed in and Will ratcheted up the waving and the verbal greetings. Enraged and frustrated by the failure of the priest to notice him and greet him back (the nerve), Will started shrieking, “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!” towards the altar, over and over. (I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that the three babies surrounding us, whom I chose to sit near on purpose, were all snuggled quietly and obediently in their mothers’ laps.) After about five minutes of trying to contain him, I just cut my losses and moved to the cry room. Now, in general, I agree with Kendra about cry rooms but when you’re there alone with a kid who just will not be quiet and stop thrashing already, you do what you have to do.
3. We were alone in the cry room, so I basically dumped Will’s religious board books out on the floor for him and let him do whatever he wanted while I attempted to listen. When the time to receive our ashes came, we left the cry room and walked up the main aisle. Will resumed waving and hi-ing the entire way up. Will was a little freaked out by the imposition of ashes and tried to bat Father’s hand away. As we turned around to head back out to the cry room, he had a total freak out about the ashes and practically threw himself out of my arms and onto the floor. Once on the floor he decided his best option at this point was to rub his forehead on the carpet vigorously in order to remove said ashes. The school kids were greatly amused by his performance as you might imagine.
4. After I dragged him out and back into the cry room, his rage with my abusive parenting practices continued to mount until he began hurling his entire body into the glass wall separating the cry room from the sanctuary while calling desperately for his “Da-deeeee! Da-deeeee!” Unfortunately for Will, Daddy was not in attendance and he was forced to cope with his least favorite parent.
5. But! All is not lost and he is absorbing something because when he got home he proudly demonstrated that he knows what that water bowl the dogs are always drinking out of is really for: