We sit in the front of church each and every week. We always have. There is nothing worse for a kid than being in a gigantic room full of people, knowing something is going on in the front of the room, and being unable to see it. Sitting in the back, all we would hear are extremely whiny, "I can't seeeeeee." So, in the front we sit.
I know parents are afraid to sit in the front of church, because what if the kid misbehaves?
I say, "What is the worst that can happen? The kid throws a fit and you leave." Every parent in the place has been in your shoes, and only one or two heartless people will judge.
I apologize to any and all young parents to whom I gave this advice.
A temper tantrum is most certainly NOT the worst thing that can happen.
We went to 5:00 Mass on Saturday night, with plans on going out for my birthday dinner afterwards. As usual, we were as close as we could get to the front of church. The 4th pew to be exact.
COW was down at one end of the pew. Cuckoo was on his lap, and four kids were in between us.
At a nice, quiet point in Mass, right after the first reading (to non-Catholics, this would be about 10 minutes into the service) Cuckoo coughed. It was a cough that you just knew had all sorts of phlegm behind it, and he choked a bit. It was an awful sound that echoed throughout the 800 person audience.
He looked to COW with a pitiful face and croaked, "It made me choke."
He then got off COW's lap and started to make his way towards me. At his third step, he gave a roar of sorts, then spewed vomit all over the floor.
Did you catch that???? The boy puked. At church. In the 4th pew from the front.
Simultaneously, the following things occurred:
- COW actually tried to stop the flow of vomit by covering Cuckoo's mouth.
- The thought, "What the hell am I supposed to do with this situation?" flittered through my head.
- a horrified Buttercup (because, really, calling any attention to a 13 year old girl sitting with her parents is bad. Attention being called because her brother upchucked all over the church is just plain mortifying.) slid as far down the pew as she could, head bowed into her lap.
- Turken cried, "He threw up in my coat!" approximately 24 times
- Star pointed out that a few drops of vomit landed on his leg and could he please have something to clean it
- Giant and Phoenix tried hard to hide their laughter behind cringes of disgust. They were disgusted with the vomit being so close, but laughing because...well...they are boys, and that scenario is just plain hilarious to boys.
- A dear woman I've known for years and years (and was actually Phoenix and Buttercup's preschool teacher) pulled two handmade dishrags she had shown me just 15 minutes earlier out of her purse, (She had just, and I mean JUST, bought them at the church's "Different Kind of Giving Market"*) and with sadness in her eyes said, "Use these."
- Approximately 300 Kleenex from 40 tissue packs were thrown at us from every direction by the many elderly ladies surrounding us.
I did what I could with the Kleenex and handmade dishrags, but it wasn't enough. I left church in search of cleaning supplies, cursing our OCD janitor for not allowing paper towels in the bathrooms. In the hall, I came across COW and Cuckoo. He had found some paper towels, so I grabbed them and went down that long aisle while everyone sat listening to the second reading.
I was working on the cleanup, when I realized I had nothing to put the nastiness into. Back down the aisle and in search of a plastic bag I went. The trash cans all had huge liners with no extras underneath. I finally found some donations waiting to be picked up, all in little grocery bags. I emptied one of the grocery bags and took it back down the long aisle to finish cleaning up the mess. Thankfully, my dishrag friend was there getting the last of the puke cleaned up. I took the bag of puke (and her lovely handmade dishrags) back down the aisle to dispose of the bag, clean off Turken's coat, and wash my hands.
I ran into COW and Cuckoo again, and stopped to see how Cuckoo was doing. The dear boy, as he sat on a bench, swinging his feet and bouncing around, asked me, "Can I go run around in the grass outside?"
He was just fine, but they stayed in the hall just in case.
I went back into church to participate in the rest of Mass.
Thankfully for us, the priest was losing his voice, so there was no long homily, and we were out of there in record time.
Before we could leave, we headed over to the gym to buy some dishrags to replace my friends' sacrificial cloths. No less than 5 people, who had been scattered around the church, stopped to ask, "Did one of your kids throw up? We heard the initial, tell-tale blah, then saw a flurry of activity around you."
Thankfully, no one outside of a 4 pew radius had to hear the splat as the vomit hit the ground. Or witness the "one in a million, Doc." hit Turken's coat took. The coat had been on Turken's lap, and that spew went right down the sleeve, shoulder to wrist.
Unfortunately, I am to blame for the entire fiasco.
The last three weekends, COW and I had to go to different Masses. The little boys were with me for all of them. Let's just say, I didn't get to hear much of the last three Masses.
Seconds before the upchuck, I thought, "Ha! Finally. COW gets to wrestle the boys while I relax and listen to the readings."
Lightening would have hurt innocent people. This was a much better way for God to smite me.
Point taken. Lesson learned.
Have a lovely day!
*It seems "smited" isn't a word. It's supposed to be smote. But who ever heard that word? No one will know what I'm getting at if I use "smote". Just so you know, in the future, I will use the word "smote". 'Cause now you know.