Monday, May 07, 2012

Welcome, welcome Sabbath morning...now please go far, far away.

On the way to church we talked about Nauvoo. For some reason (after Music and the Spoken Word) Rachel had asked Grandma where her parents served missions and the answer was South Carolina and Mississippi.

"Mississippi?!" Rachel yelped. "That's in Nauvoo!"

"Not quite," Grandma said. "The Mississippi River runs by Nauvoo but the state of Mississippi, which is where they served their mission, is not where Nauvoo is."

So we talked about Nauvoo on the way to church. Rachel still remembers quite a lot from that trip—her favourite part being Pioneer Pastimes. 

"And, oh, the Mississippi River," Rachel reminisced. "Remember watching the sun set over the Mississippi? It's beautiful!"

"Know what?" Miriam chimed in. "I have a sippy cup at home. It's beautiful."

Sometimes Miriam likes to feel like she's part of the conversation even if she has no idea what's going on. And sometimes in doing so she derails what was once a perfectly logical conversation. Such was the case today. 

After Rachel and I had finished laughing about Miriam's silly interjection, Rachel asked, "Can Mississippi be a boy's name, too?"

"What do you mean?" I asked. "I don't think I know anyone named Mississippi—boy or girl."

"Like...Mister Sippi!"Rachel said, roaring with laughter.

Sometimes my children are hilarious. No, really. They are.
Sacrament meeting started off well enough. We walked into the chapel about five minutes before the meeting was due to begin. We meant to be earlier but Miriam decided to change her clothes right before we left. 

Seriously. 

At 10:35 I said, "Okay, girls! Let's go!" 

And then Miriam ran out of her bedroom...naked. 

I was like, "Whaaaaaaaat?

Apparently she decided she didn't like the dress she was wearing. 

"Are you fifteen or something?" I asked.

And Rachel said, "She's not, Mom. She's only two." 

Thanks.

At least we were on time, right? Not to brag or anything (because I think we were late just about every week last year) but we've been on time every week this year. Anyway, we walked into the chapel and Miriam and Rachel both started laughing. 

"What?!" Miriam giggled. "There's a girl playing the plan-o!"

That's how she says piano. And what she actually meant was "organ."

Then she got all serious and worried. She looked around the room several times and then said, "Uh, where's Daddy?"

Since it's gotten warmer we've taken to walking to church after Andrew leaves to practice the organ so that we don't have to sit around in the chapel doing nothing. I suppose walking to church and hearing the strains of organ music made Miriam think that Daddy should be there. 

"He's in Ghana," I reminded her.

Silly girl.

Where were we? Oh, right...

Sacrament meeting started out well enough. The bishop announced a few mission calls, one of which was for Brother and Sister Nelson (who my girls love). They'll be going to...Nauvoo! Rachel just about died of excitement right on the spot. 

During the songs, my girls set up their hymn books against the back of the bench and knelt down facing the bench, pretending the bench was a keyboard. They like to play the organ along with their daddy (and apparently with that girl (can you believe it?) who played the organ today as well).

"I'm plan-o-ing," trilled Miriam, happily. 

I bet you didn't know that piano could be a verb. Well, it can. If you're two.

We got through the actual sacrament without upsetting any trays or touching every piece of bread or spilling water all down our fronts or yelling out anything embarrassing. Not to shabby.

But do you want to know the truth? Church was awful today and I am so glad I only have to do that on my own for one week. Phew!

It really wasn't all bad (obviously) and in fact was pretty good...until Rachel decided that she wanted to colour. Sometimes colouring is therapeutic and calming for her. Other times it is not. Today was one of the less-therapeutic days; in fact, it was kind of an angry day.

Rachel tried to draw a pioneer—in the middle of testimony meeting—and messed up. On the verge of tears, she asked me if I could fix part of her picture for her so I tried...and apparently failed hardcore. She started a, thankfully, whispered temper tantrum involving many sour faces and poorly chosen words directed at me and punctuated by her stabbing her paper with crayons. I told her to quit it or I'd be taking away her paper and crayons. Instead of stopping, she escalated her bad behavior. So I took away her paper and crayons. And then she got really mad so I abandoned Miriam right in the middle of somebody's testimony and dragged Rachel into the hallway where she started a full-on hissy fit.

Our ward meets from 11–2 there was no good place to pull Rachel aside for a temper tantrum (since the classrooms were occupied by the 9–12 ward) so I did what any logical parent with a screaming banshee of a child would do and I escorted Rachel through the main doors of the church and into the great outdoors. She continued to scream, which was fine, but when she started kicking the door I went outside with her and reminded her to smarten up again.

She blamed all of the world's problems on me, screaming about how mean I was and how much she hated me. 

So I grabbed her arm and started dragging her away from the church.

"Where are we going?" she screamed. "I want to colour! I just want to colour and you're not letting me!"

"I am taking you to Naanii and Bumpa's house," I explained. "So that you can sit with the cat [she hates their cat] because I certainly don't want you sitting with us! And as far as 'just wanting to colour?' I don't believe that for a second, otherwise you'd be colouring right now instead of screaming, right?"

Screaming, screaming, screaming, blah, blah, blah—bigger!

Then she kicked me so I just left her on the sidewalk and started walking back to the church.

"Don't leave me!" she wailed. "I don't want to be alone! What if I get lost? You would feel so bad! You're not a good mother!"

Just so you know, the distance between our church building and my parents' house is approximately four houses. You can see my parents' house from the church. We were halfway between the church and their house so to get to either destination she had to walk two houses. Oooooh! So scary! And so it is that I feel perfectly justified in saying that I continued walking while hollering back to her that she had better change her attitude and stop screaming already or there was no way I'd be sending her to primary.

So, it was a good day.

Meanwhile, back in the chapel, Miriam was sitting on our pew all by herself. The family behind us passed her a package of fruit snacks, which she happily consumed. And then she just played with the hymn books and basically was a little angel. That's the report I got, anyway. 

Eventually Rachel and I were able to come back in and sit down. We missed about fifteen minutes of testimonies because screaming is so much fun that we just didn't want to quit. And then I got to go to primary where the kids were all bouncing off the walls. It was unusually insane and thus unusually tiring.

Rachel, however, was rather solemn and serious. She's typically well-behaved during primary, which I'm happy about because if she's not going to behave for me then at least she behaves for somebody (which is more than I can say for a few kids in our primary who, much to their parents' joy, don't behave for either their parents or their teachers. Oh, did I say joy? I meant hair-pulling frustration).

We had a lesson about repentance during sharing time—how when you do something wrong it feels like you have a rock in your shoe (the teacher brought in little pebbles for the kids to put in their shoes to try it out) but that we can take our shoes off and remove the pebble and it feels so much better (and that's repentance). She told a story about something she had done wrong as a child and explained what she had to do to repent and then asked the kids if they had ever needed to repent.

Rachel's hand shot up.

"Rachel, okay! What's your story?" the teacher asked.

"I threw a tantroom," Rachel said (because that's how she says tantrum).

"Oh, I've thrown a tantrum before," the teacher said. "You know, the funny thing about a tantrum is that you think it might make you feel better but it never does. How did your tantrum make you feel?"

"Really, really sad," Rachel said.

"And a little out of control?" her teacher asked. "And you know what, when I throw tantrums I get headaches."

"Me, too!" Rachel said.

"Well, what did you do to repent?" the teacher asked.

"I stopped my tantroom," Rachel said. 

"And did you apologize to whoever had to listen to your tantrum?" the teacher asked.

"Well, no.... But I want to because it was my mom and she's so tired because my dad's not here and I shouldn't have screamed at her."

I turned around and smiled at her while my eyes welled up with tears. And then I sat and cried for a few minutes because I'm pregnant and I can do that. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe that someone so sweet can also be so...not sweet.

And then I taught Sunbeams by myself and...oh, boy...I survived. But just barely.

Rachel was super sweet after church. We walked home and she buckled Miriam into the stroller for me and while she was buckling her she said, "One snap, two snaps! Tickle you under there!" and gave her sister a little tickle. She was oozing kindness. I pointed this out to her and she said, "I just kinda want to make sure you have a better day."

And she did. 

She watched Legacy while Miriam and I took a nap and then she played pioneers with Miriam after we woke up (while I just stayed in bed listening to them play because I was so worn out from teaching Sunbeams that I could hardly move). They made a covered wagon out of her bed...but I guess the mess was worth being able to lie in my bed for a while longer. 

Then we made a pioneer dinner of cornbread and chili together and the girls hardly even fought about whose turn it was to stir (hardly) and we only dropped one measuring cup and one spoon into the batter.

We talked some more about behavior during dinner. Rachel's been put on the "three strikes, you're out" program for colouring at church. 

She threw a tremendous fit last week during stake conference over colouring. Strike one.

She threw an even tremendous-er fit this week during sacrament meeting. Strike two.

I told her that if she throws a fit next week she will be grounded from colouring at church for an undetermined amount of time.

"If I throw a fit at home about colouring does that count against my three strikes?" she asked.

Clever, clever chid.

"No," I admitted. "It won't. But I actually don't want you to throw fits about colouring—or anything—at home, either. So don't plan on it."

Now the kids are in bed and I only have to survive Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and part of Thursday. Not that I'm counting down or anything (I'm really trying not to because sometimes keeping track of days just draws them out longer) but I'm tired of doing things on my own and I want my best friend back. *pout*

5 comments:

  1. So sweet, Rachel's in-primary repentance. And just so you know, I threw my last really horrible tantrum at age 15 or 16, not sure which. While my sister and I were home alone because our parents were in Europe. And I was truly, truly chagrined by my behavior, and the person who had to listen to that tantrum (Arlene) never had to ever again. And I am really sorry about Rachel being so much like me sometimes, so I hope her last really bad tantrum comes much sooner than mine did!

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  2. Wow your day sounds like mine, only our church is in ghetto downtown so I just sat in the hallway while Gigi kept digging her finger nails into my arm, telling me I had to give her the crayons. Of course she wasn't repentant later. Instead she kept spitting on her chair during sharing time and drawing pictures in the spit. They kicked her out and brought her to Jason who was subbing in nursery. Thank goodness because had it be a me only Sunday I probably would have walked out and not come back for a year. She then had a delightful time playing with Sadie in nursery...so in my opinion that sort of backfired. Primary isn't always the funnest place people, show kids a way they can escape and they are probably going to take it :) PS I love your cat punishment.....

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  3. Your story made me cry a little too. I hope someday Edward will realize how his behavior affects his mother or anyone else around him, but currently it does not feel like that will every happen.

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  4. Dude, this story upset me. Not by anything you did, because I would have done the EXACT same thing, except I would have left my child in the street and never looked back (well, maybe not, but you know). It upsets me because my girls have NEVER make that connection between their behavior and how it make ME feel unless I outlined the path to that conclusion with strobe lights and neon paint. Seriously, that is some amazing deduction. And once the connection was made, it was also impressive to me that she CHANGED HER BEHAVIOR. Blows my mind. Totally. Totally....

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  5. I cried a few tears too. Maybe every mom just wants their kids to learn from their actions, and maybe, just maybe, someday notice the person who makes sure their little world's go around. That Rachel, she's a keeper!

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