Or as I like to title it.....
Stake Conference + Katelyn + Laura = Why Do We Even Bother?
Okay so I know this is what we should be doing. But when we do try it always ends up pretty much like today went....minus the child in the bathroom stall (more on that in a second). What makes today extra frustrating is that Katelyn FINALLY started sitting through Sacrament meetings each Sunday just fine about a year ago (when we do manage to arrive on time by the way...she does well in the foyer too though) and yet she was part of the problem today.
First I've got to explain to my readers who are not LDS/Mormon what a Stake is. Our church is pretty large and we just do go to meetings each Sunday and boom that's it. We have a variety of things that we do within our church. Members are assigned to congregations called wards or branches based on their geographical area. Then anywhere from 6-8 wards and branches make up a Stake. We do a lot of stuff at the ward level but we do have meetings and events on a stake level as well. Typically a church building will house 2-3 wards that will meet at different times each Sunday. One main building that is slightly larger is called a stake center and twice a year we meet there for a Stake Conference with all the wards. Today was one of those meetings.
Now those with young kids currently or those who have ever had young kids know how hard it can be just to deal with them for regular Sunday meetings. I'm sure that is true of any church you belong to. But me....I dread Stake Conferences with my 2 kids. It's hard enough for each Sunday in our ward meetings. Get them around so many others and it's worse. This is why I tend to stay home when I hear Stake Conference is coming up (and Allison feel free to forward this to your dad....the bishop might get a good laugh over some of my girls' antics today....esp the bathroom one)
Raile's arrive 10 minutes before the meeting starts at 10 a.m. Girls sit still that entire time.
Stake Pres. gets up to start the meeting, music starts, Laura says "I gotta go pooootttttyyyy!" So I rush her down the hall. Apparently she had to do more than potty. We were in there a loooong time. Of course part of that included her locking the door (she wants her privacy so I'll just hold the door from the outside in case she needs help) and NOT being able to open it. Other women come in, smile and laugh when I say I'm trying to get her to crawl under. A few other moms tried to get their kids to crawl under and open the door for her. They were younger than her and unable to. Still Laura would not come out. And she wouldn't let me leave her in there to go get help. She'd start to cry. Finally I get her to crawl under for me. I get her washed up and take her in to Clark. Grab Katelyn who is pitching a fit because she doesn't need to go potty and I explain to her what happened and have her climb under the door so she can unlock it. She does. Get her washed up and back in to sit down. And by this time I catch the last 2 minutes of the Stake Presidents talk.
Okay girls are okay, I start to listen to the next speaker. Oh no! A STRANGER sits down next to Katelyn. She freaks out! Starts climbing up Clark like he's ladder. He's getting mad. She won't settle down. I'm on the end so I get to take her out to calm her down. By the time I get back in, we're on to the next speaker.
So we allow her to sit in daddy's lap. She's fine until she decides to start pinching little sister. Daddy takes her out this time. A minute after he takes her out, Laura discovers that her new Sunday shoes light up. So she starts pounding her feet hard on the wood floor where we are seated. People around us clearly annoyed. I sit her in the chair and she proceeds to start banging the shoes on the chairs which is even louder. I ask her to stop, she screams. Sigh. Take her out. Find husband in halls. Switch kids.
I come back in with Katelyn in time for the last 5 minutes of the 3rd speaker and try and figure out what his talk was about. Then it's time for a congregational hymn. Everyone standing and moving gets the heavy perfumes of the women around me wafting through the air. We sit down and through the next couple of speakers I'm sniffling or sneezing and my head is spinning from the smells of the perfumes. But I was determined not to leave the room.
Last speaker begins his talk. I'm finally feeling like my head is not going to explode and throughout his talk I'm getting "I want my sister!!!" in a whiney 7 yr old voice next to me. "shhh" I say. Then "I'm bored!" "I brought crayons and color book" I tell her. "But I don't want to color!" she says. I tell her to shush. Then "I want daddy!" "You can see him when the meeting is over." "But mommy this guy is taking way too long! I want to go home!" I hiss, "Quiet now or I'll take you out for a spanking! I'm that close!" I finally catch some of Elder Evans' (of the Seventy) talk. I hear about being financially smart or something to that effect.
Now here is where it is probably my fault that I didn't hear some of the talk. You see in the choir was one of our ward friends...Robert Magalogo...and he was sitting up on the stand where you could see his face on the extra screens becaus of the way they positioned the camera so those in the back could see the speakers. And when Elder Evans started his being financially smart part, Robert is up there laughing, making faces and hand signs to his wife who was sitting up in the front of the choir area. Now the camera didn't show her, just Robert but I looked to see her reaction because I know she would know he was doing something and her reaction was funny. Even after she turned back around and ignored him, Robert still make nodded in agreement to what Elder Evans was saying. And well I found it all quite comical and kept laughing silently. I hoped nobody noticed that......but Katelyn and she proceeded to annoy me with "what's so funny?" til nearly the end of his talk.
And then "I gotta go potty!" and she was doing the potty dance in her chair. Rush her out. Come back in. Catch Elder Evans' testimony and the choir singing at the end.
So now ask me what I even got out of Stake Conference today. And when I can't answer please help me to answer my burning question......
Why did we even bother going?
I know this shall pass...that soon they'll be grown and I'll wish for their childhood again. But I for one will relish in the fact that I can sit through a Stake Conference knowing it's not my kids causing a ruckus or locking themselves in bathroom stalls for the 1/3 of the meeting.