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Quote of the Day
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Yep, They're Mine
Almost all of the time, I happily claim T and ST as my family. They’re funny, attractive, smart, and well-spoken guys, generally respectful and well-mannered. But sometimes, like tonight at Mass, I just want to leap over a few pews to be by myself and to get away from my obnoxious boys.
We usually go to the 10:30am Mass on Sundays, but we decided to go to the late afternoon Mass tonight instead because T is helping with a half-marathon tomorrow. Before every Mass, we ask ST to recite our “Rules of Church:*” no screaming, no hitting, listen to Mom and Dad, use your quiet voice. He has them down pat, but despite that he usually has a few problems in church because it lasts far too long for a toddler to pay attention. He makes it through the “Gloria”** all right, but once we reach the Homily we have to have something for the child to do or he goes nuts. I have a “church bag” full of Matchbox cars, books, and a few non-messy snacks (Teddy Grahams, oyster crackers) for him, and these things usually placate him until at least after Communion. Not today.
We sat in the back. ST was generally noisy throughout, and of course the more we tried to “shush” him the louder he got. Before the first reading he pointed toward the front of the church. “Mom, is that a boy? Or is it a girl? What is it, Mom?” he said, voice at optimum embarrass-your-parents level. Fortunately it wasn’t clear to whom he was pointing. While the priest was blessing the bread and wine, the altar servers ring bells very quickly. “Hey!” ST said, loudly, “Someone get the phone! Mom, the phone’s ringing!” The family sitting behind us laughed uncontrollably. This only encouraged him more, and he started going, “Hello? Hellllloooo? Who’s calling me?”
Those things weren’t so bad, I suppose. But add them to the fact that ST shoved oyster crackers in the crack between the padding on the pew and the pew back, AND the fact that he pushed a Matchbox car into the middle of the aisle where an elderly woman almost tripped on it, AND the fact that he had seemingly uncontrollable gas during Mass, and it was a horrible experience.
To make things even worse, I caught T snacking on Teddy Grahams with ST during the homily, which is totally inappropriate and he knows it. I think that embarrassed me more than anything. He felt pretty bad about it and apologized later when I explained to him that if he really needed to snack during Mass, he should feel free to bring a La-Z-Boy recliner, a magazine, and a beer to Mass, too. Grr.
And wait. There’s more. We usually dress up for Mass, but today time got away from us and we dashed off wearing jeans and sweaters – nice jeans and sweaters, but certainly not dressy. This afternoon – of course – the priest chose to talk to the congregation about dressing up for Mass. I felt like a total loser.
We made it through without being excommunicated, which is good. We came home, ate a late supper, and then ST wanted T and I to look at the crescent moon with him. “Look, Mom,” ST said, excitedly, “There’s Hy-eenus!” He pointed to Venus, glowing brightly above the houses in our neighborhood. We have a book that features hyenas, and ST always mixes up “Venus” and “hyenas.” An honest mistake, I suppose. We read ST two books about the moon and sent him to bed.
Now I’m going to go downstairs and visit with T before doing a bit of work this evening. Or not. I may just sit and watch Hy-eenus make its way in the night sky for awhile, relishing in the fact that my boys are just as bright and just as constant.
* These “Rules” are suspiciously similar to our “Rules of the Grocery Store,” “Rules of the Library,” and “Rules of the Hospital.” Go figure. ** There is nothing funnier – nothing – than hearing a toddler singing “Gloria in excelsis deo” while he’s in the tub. Especially when it comes out “Gloria in shellfish mayo.”