Sunday, March 01, 2020

Stake Conference

Unlike how things went down at our multi-stake meeting this morning, I'll go ahead and spill the good news first thing: we're in a new stake but we get to stay in our meetinghouse (at least for now).

Our bishop cautioned us to leave early to get to the building because he assumed it would be super crowded, but as it turns out we were in an overflow building and the actual conference was held in a different meeting and broadcast to ours, so we would have been fine leaving the house at least twenty minutes later than we did. But, oh well. We were there in plenty of time to pick out seats and sit in them for a half hour before the meeting began.

When it finally started, the sound wasn't piped over the whole speaker system in the building and so we had to rely on the muffled broadcast sounds coming from who knows where (the computer?). At dinner I said something to the effect of, "I've discovered I have some sort of sensory processing issue and I cannot filter out extra noise very well. So between the poor sound quality and all the chaos of a congregation filled with children I have no idea what was going on..."

And (spoiler: my mom is here) my mom said, "What do you mean 'discovered?' I've known that for years!"

"You have?!" I asked.


Huh. Well, my mom may have known this about me, but it's something I'm just discovering for myself over the course of being a mom (and being married to Andrew). Too much extra noise and my brain just switches off trying to compute anything that's going on. So I can't really tell you much about what happened in stake conference. I did listen long enough to learn what stake we're in—and that we did switch stakes. Our ward borders five stakes so this whole thing really could have gone in any number (assuming n=5) of directions.

And then they had all the old stake presidents and new stake presidents (some entirely new because they also formed a stake with all this shuffling around) and their wives get up and make remarks. I really have no idea what any of them said. Sorry y'all.

I brought two bags full of Sunday activities since I figured we'd be sitting still for so long. Two bags were probably overkill for our own family (especially since Andrew made the very good call of sticking our iPads in one of the church bags) but being over-prepared ended up being good because a family from our ward sat in front of us, but it was just the dad with the three little kids and a teenage child with a chip on their shoulder. Mom and second-mother-big-sister were both home sick. And they'd forgotten their bag of church tricks. So we passed around our I Spy books and our magna-doodles and our file-folder games and our felt boards was good.

At one point I had to run Benjamin out to the bathroom because he said his stomach wasn't feeling well. Fortunately, I knew the exactly where they'd be since the building is the exact same blueprint as the Northridge stake center! We made it to the bathroom in record time and, it turns out, he was fine (he did need to go to the bathroom but he was fine...but we won't get into all that).

I asked Alexander if he needed to go potty while we were there waiting for Benjamin to finish (he got to run out with us because he was in my lap when Benjamin told me he thought he was going to be sick), but he insisted he did not (and indeed would not go when I tried to make him go anyway), so we returned to our seats.

A seemingly agonizingly long time later (this meeting was so long, guys), Alexander, who had been happily colouring while sitting on my lap, froze.

"What's wrong, buddy?" I asked. "Do you need to go potty?"

He was completely zoned out (or so I thought), so I repeated my question.

"Hey, Alexander. What's up? Do you need to go..."

He did need to go potty. In fact, he had started to go...all over my lap!

"No, stop!" I hissed. "Stop right now!"

He never pees his pants! I lifted him up and ran out of the chapel. En route to the bathroom I ran into a friend of mine, which was good because I realized (as I was carrying my still peeing child out of the room) that I'd left without anything important. I had no cell phone, no car keys, no diaper bag. All I had was this child—who was somehow still peeing!

"Will you go tell my husband I'm going to need a spare outfit from the car?" I asked her.

"Sure," she said.

"Thanks. He's just, like, in the middle row, kind of toward the back of the padded chairs, like..."

"I can show her where he is!" her daughter chirped. "I saw where your family was sitting!"

"Perfect. Great. Thanks!" I called over my shoulder as I raced to the bathroom.

I pulled off Alexander's bright blue crocs and left them in the hallway as a breadcrumb for Andrew and then bustled into the bathroom to get Alexander on the toilet.

"Baby, what in the world?!" I asked. "This is so naughty! You never pee your pants. What is even going on?!"

Well, first off, he really had to go. Like, I honestly don't know how he had been holding that much liquid in his bladder in the first place. He peed for so long I was in shock—because my skirt was wet and his pants were wet and we'd dripped pee all down the hallway (sorry, other wards in that building) and here he was, sitting on the toilet, and just—Niagara Falls, guys! How?!

And then he answered my question by proudly quoting a song from Daniel Tiger (a show we recently introduced him to and which he loves, which is fine because it teaches some good lessons, right? Sure.): "Mom, 'when you need to go potty, stop! And go right away!' I stopped colouring and I goed right away! I am Daniel Tiger."

"That' neat," I told him. "That's great. But, when they say 'go right away,' they don't mean to go just wherever you are. They mean stop what you're doing and run to the potty. You have to tell me you need to go potty. You can't just pee in my lap. That's...not what the song means."

I gathered up his wet underwear and tied his sweater around his waist and then we went in the hall to meet Andrew, who'd found our blue croc breadcrumbs and was waiting in the hallway for us.

"What's going on?"

"He wet his pants," I explained. "So we're going to need that backup outfit from the car."

After we had him in dry clothes we all returned to our seats where we did our best to pay attention once again (but I couldn't really tell you what we were paying attention to) and the meeting dragged on and on and we were supposed to stay after the broadcast to hear specific information regarding, like, our changes (the broadcast was kind of directed toward the Athens stake, which we aren't a part of) but there was no way were going to be able to do that because now my mom was texting me to say that her plane had landed and she was hopping on the metro and we needed to leave to meet her at the station.

So we ever so discretely* packed up our family of seven (with our two big bags of "quiet" activities) and waddled out of the chapel once again. I texted a friend to ask them to pass on any pertinent information from the after-meeting meeting that we needed to know and she eventually texted back to say that we didn't miss much—that's we'd be in the same building (hallelujah!) at the same time (I mean, we meet at 9:00 this year so I'm not really going to cheer for that schedule, but, like, cool).

It was a rather chaotic morning, I'm not going to lie. But I am happy that we at least get to stay at our building because, I mean, it's right down the street.

* There is no actual discrete way to pack up a family of seven and herd them all out of a chapel. I'm sure we were rather disruptive to those around us. But no more disruptive than we had been during our numerous bathroom emergencies....


  1. Yay for staying in your same building! Sorry about Niagara Falls in your lap!

  2. Two days in a row! Niagara Falls happened in my lap today!! He must love me--marking me as his territory like that!

    1. Oh no! He's taking Daniel Tiger's advice too literally! :)