...in the pew, that is. I was hoping to forget about it completely...but since Amy brought it up in the comment box, I better 'fess up. Truth is, I heard little of the Gospel yesterday, and dear hubby heard even less. 2 year old Frank was a real terror. Okay, maybe not "terror," but distracting to those around us none-the-less. He discovered the echo of his voice yesterday, and for several minutes during the Eucharistic prayer/consecration continued making noises and laughing despite John's attempts to stifle it. Once they stood up and entered the communion line, things were fine. The boy just needed to move. In his defense, it was a tough mass. All of the high school religion students were in attendance to mark the end of their year, and recognize the seniors. They took up the first 2/3 of the pews. So we sat well into the back half of the church. (We're usually in the first couple pews so that the kids can see what's going on, and tend to behave slightly better.) There were also several rows of Knights of Columbus members with their families for their annual family mass. All this meant extra prayers, blessings, songs, etc. It just was more than 2 year olds could sit through without being able to see what was going on. It didn't help that there was a slightly unhappy (albeit grumpy) older couple ahead of us who continued to send sharp, disapproving glances in our direction through most of the mass. (Another reason I love sitting in front...I can't see the disapproval from behind, and then worry about it less.)
Anyways, it was a difficult mass, and we struggle with how exactly to handle this. We don't want to be disruptive, but our kids do need a chance to learn proper church behavior. We don't have a "quiet room" in our church, so if things get too out of hand we have the option of taking them out into the vestibule/entry for a few moments, but I kind of think once they know that's an option, they tend to misbehave just to get a change of scenery. Anyone have any thoughts on this? We started taking most of the kids after age 2, and for the most part, it seems like it's worked well. Just a couple of the boys now want to make it a little crazy. Charlie is still active in the pew, but at least not noisy or disruptive to those around us. And despite the disapproving glances from in front, there were a couple families behind us that commented how well-behaved our kids were in church again (talk about mixed messages?!)
(sigh.) I just keep thinking, next week's another chance for things to go smoother, right?! Feel free to share comments on this.