Monday, January 4, 2010

The LONGEST 3 hours of the week!

I feel like there should be some sort of disclaimer at the beginning of this. But I have no excuses. Since January of last year I have not once sat through all of Sacrament meeting, Sunday School, or Relief Society-unless I was teaching. I go to church because I remember what it used to feel like when I went as a teenager-single adult and young newly wed-and early in motherhood. I would feel the spirit so strongly. I knew with every sentence spoken that Heavenly Father loved me. In drastic contrast I now spend all of Saturday desperately preparing so that my kids can learn to love it as I do. As soon as we pull the church shoes out to shine on Saturday Gabriel throws himself on the floor in fits and spasms. "NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I don't wan't it to be Sunday I don't want to go to church. I think to myself-I don't want you to go either buddy! But, of course I do want him to go. So every Sunday morning the clothes are lined out on the couch ready to put on, we eat breakfast and begin dressing. "I hate that tie", "These shoes are dumb" "Thats not mine" etc. begin to be chorused. Some how we all finally get to church. Mostly on time- hardly ever do I get makeup on-everything else seems to take to long even though it has been carefully planned the night before. Then we open the doors to the van and Gabe and Hyrum take off for the church-at a dead run. No, they are not excited to be in church they are excited for the long open hall ways to run and run and run, till some one takes pity on us and pins them till we can catch up. This is almost always on lap number 3 sometimes 4. Then we go sit in the Chapel. Usually with 5-10 minutes before the meeting starts-which I cannot decide if this is a good thing or a bad. It gives us 5-10 of uplifting music and time to quit breathing hard after our morning run...but it turns a 70 minute meeting into 75 or 80. During Sacrament our pew is quite entertaining. Just this Sunday alone Hyrum screamed "Dad your squeezing me to hard" "1 minute is a really long time" "your breaking my bones". He also peek-a-boo-d with a girl 2 rows back and batted his eyelashes at a newly wed behind us-saying "Your Gorgeous" all through the meeting. Hyrum took a book from Gabe so Gabe kicked him in the head. Enoch threw several toys (the boys kept giving to him) several rows up. Seth lays across the entire bench. Most of the time we are laughing or crying at comedy ensuing. Oh yeah I forgot, when they pass the sacrament- Gabe looks for the fullest cup of water and Hyrum grabs handfuls of Bread. A few weeks ago we stood to sing the rest hymn and Gabe got mad that Tom stood so he threw his head back and conked Tom in the nose. He almost passed out, until he realized he was bleeding all over. He left all four boys with me and I knew I might just DIE! Neither of us leave the other alone during sacrament for very long. Though both of us would like to just crawl in a hole and stay there. You would think with this kind of ruckous "Well it is obvious to me that all these folks need is a little discipline and some good ground rules". I am here to tell you "Be my guest!" I will personally pay your round trip to fix this problem! Next comes primary. You would think-break right? Wrong! Ever since Gabe got switched from Nursery to Primary meaning (play time and snacks to singing time and class) we have all been paying for it. I am a librarian and Tom is Sunday School President, so we both have jobs to do right after Sacrament. Do we ever get to do them or do them right? NO! We take our kids to there classes, drop them off and then hurry to get as much done as possible before someone inevitably comes and gets us. Some times it is-"Hyrum ran outside and we cannot find him". Other times it is "Gabriel is throwing the chairs in primary across the room". Most of the time it is a little giggle outside the Library window and when I peak to see who it is, the chase begins again. Most of the time by Relief Society/Priesthood Meeting Tom and I are settled in and mostly sure that we won't be interrupted for the last meeting of the day. But, then someone has to go to the bathroom or some one ran away or Enoch has to eat or someone has a talk (don't mind this one, just saying...). So church gets out. The chase begins again- and again both Tom and I have Sunday callings that need to be worked on after church for about 15 minutes. So what do the kids do? Run!! Do we get our jobs done? No! I say the kids- but really it is just Hyrum and Gabriel. But it is hard to chase boys when your holding a baby. One time we decided not to chase them, and figured we'd see them again soon- come to find out they were playing in the parking lot in the snow "ice skating". So we chase and we time out and we scold and sometimes we spank and we hold them and we walk with them- I have even made them walk the mile and a quarter to church to wear them down. We have a reverence chair for them to sit in after church, we have family home evenings on reverence, we practice during scripture study and family scripture reading, we practice during the week and we practice during FHE, we bribe, we pull our hair out and in the end we find our selves saying "Thank goodness that is over for another week"

I love my kids and I love being a mom but it is HARD WORK!

And for you who wonder why I go to 3 hours of church
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ang :o) said...

erika this had me laughing so hard! because i was in a ward with you, i could visualize everything you were saying! and i experienced your boys in nursery. but i will say, i miss them, and you! you brought so much energy. there is a new gal in the ward with a very high energy son. we have experienced a couple of things with him that have made me laugh and think of you and give the mother a hug. you are doing just fine.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Erika! Remembering each moment, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. If I wasn't there to see it all, I would think you must be exaggerating or making part of this up. Maybe some day we will laugh about this... as we read it to their children... assuming they survive long enough to have children! I am pretty sure I know now why some old people are senile - it was the kids! :) In spite of all the hard times, I can't help but think of all the endearing things too, and love them and you all the more.

your hubbin,


Janelle said...

I can relate to this... more than a little. I have three girls who are often the butt of the ward jokes of whose kids are bad in sacrament meeting. And they are pretty loud. But they are good in Primary so you've definitely got me beat.

All I can say is there is a family I know who had mostly boys and they were TERRIBLE all of their lives, throwing things to hit men's bald spots in sacrament etc. But now, their parents hard work is paying off and they are coming to church willingly and behave great. Their youngest is 12.

renaekingsley said...

You had me laughing out loud and cringing at the same time. You sound so similar to our family (a couple years ago). The only thing is to be patient and hope they grow up quicker. It helped our kids to have us take them out for a walk around the building halfway through sacrament meeting, and I change what is in the Sunday bag each week, so there's something always new to catch their attention. It didn't always work, but sometimes it DID, and those were great days. Keep it up!!

Trisha said...

I know you're not exaggerating and I also know you're not the only parent to wonder "why" and "how the heck" and feel at the end of the rope and all viable options. When you have done all that you can think of, all there is left to do is pray with all your heart and hang in there. You have four high-energy boys, but they really are good boys. Though I don't know from experience, I think your efforts will pay off in wonderful and amazing ways and you WILL make it to the day when you know for sure that is was all worth it. And thank heaven that it's all over! Love you and miss you so much!

Al Shaffer said...

Haha. I hadn't ever read this before. But it's great. I see I have something to look forward to. At least some things have changed and you do don't feel the need to be a hermit for the rest of your life. No one should be critical of the parents that are giving their best effort. It's way better to give your kids a love for the gospel and patience than to avoid it until they have the maturity to handle it (or else they might not ever have enough maturity).