Matthew had a hard day yesterday. We aren't quite sure what caused everything, maybe teething? Maybe an ear infection? Maybe digestion issues? I don't know. It's always a guessing game so we just treated for all three and hoped for the best. We (as in John) finally got him to sleep right before church, but of course, he woke up in time for the sacrament. Luckily, it wasn't until the first speaker that I needed to take him outside to pace the lobby.
William made his way out to find me later with crayons in hand. I looked in at John who just smiled at me like, "Sucker." (I think it was his way of flirting?) So, it was me and the two youngest listening to the service from a speaker in the ceiling. I didn't mind, I like spending time with just one or two of the kids at a time because it doesn't seem to happen as much as I would like.
William ran up to me and put his hand out and said, "Uh HIGH!" (I high fived him) then rotated his hand down low, "Uh LOW!" and right as I went to low five him he whipped his hand away and exclaimed, "Too Joe-Joe!" (Too slow joe.) Then he laughed and laughed, stopped laughing abruptly and smiled his cheesy smile and shrugged. Then did it again. (And one more time.)
He pretended his crayons were guns and shot at make believe bad guys, his sound effects caused drool to get all down my skirt, but don't worry- he cleaned it up, with his crayon.
All the while Matthew would trade off crying and watching his big brother in utter amazement like, "What's he gonna do next?"
Since becoming a mom, there are a couple "rules" I have for myself for the time I spend in the hall with children during church.
1- Always go back into sacrament meeting for the closing hymn and prayer.
2- Every Sunday, regardless of how many times I find myself roaming the halls with a little one, I need to come home with at least one deeper understanding of the gospel.
The second rule has yet to fail me. Even if I only get five minutes of class time, I have been able to find a moment where I have been uplifted and my understanding has increased. It takes an extra level of mindfulness on my part, but I am grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost that confirms truths to me or ways I need to improve, or things I have to thank God for.
Well, after the closing song, Caity volunteered to take her brothers to their respective classes. We later found her in the hallway literally dragging a crying William to nursery. John volunteered to take him in and I made my way to Sunday School. Naturally, as I stepped across the threshold, that baby of mine completely lost it.
Everyone turned around and looked, I turned around and walked.
I told John to go to class despite his willingness to trade off because, OK- I'll admit it, I loved holding that poor miserable baby. I walked past the nursery and recognized William's voice, so I peeked in and what I saw I can only describe as a "Hulk Tantrum." Knowing William enough to know that soon other children's safety would be in danger, I opened the door and beckoned William to come to me.
I saw relief from the more than accomidating nursery leaders as they said, "Are you sure?" Haha, bless them!
He grabbed my finger and hiccuped his way down the hall and wiped his tears from his flushed cheeks. I sat down on the couch with Matthew on one knee and William on the other.
Eventually William calmed down and started to play with his truck. I realized that before church we never finished getting Matthew dressed, so instead of the planned argyle sweater, he was sporting a moose onsie- haha, whoops. #Classy.
I sent John this picture to update him on our status. He said, "Awww" and I realized he is the only person in my life that understands perfectly how something as frustrating as two fussy children could still be so sweet and endearing.
After Sunday School, John came in to trade off. He took Matthew and I took William to nursery.
He held me hostage there for the last hour of church. Every time I would say, "OK, Mommy's going to go "bye bye"" he would look up at me and pat my lap and say, "No, Mommy daaaay (stay) peeease?" And I just never had the heart to leave. So I stayed and played one on one with William.
We ate goldfish, crashed cars and fed cars to Rex. We tried not to lash out at other kids who took the vaccume we were playing with. We put blocks away and we apologized when we accidently clocked one in one of the leader's eyes and laughed about it. We practiced sharing, we sang songs, we petted plastic "doggies" and exchanged a lot of hugs.
It was wonderful. I am so grateful to have that little tornado in my life. I'm also grateful that me just being there was able to comfort him and make him feel safe.
I don't know if we are having any more children, sometimes it's a resounding "YES" and sometimes it's a "Seriously, we are barely holding on here." Somehow thinking Matthew could be our last, makes me cling tighter to the children I have and makes me appreciate moments that involve me sitting on the floor cross legged in heels playing "crash," because it just may be the last time I get to do that.
(but you get the idea.)
I love those four little ones that call me mom. I love that after church, Johnny ran up to me hugged me and started climbing up me with his arms and legs wrapped around me like a monkey. I love that Caity put a timer on on her CD player so when we walked through the door, church songs would be playing. I love the way William says "Bye MOM!" I love the way Matthew laughs when he hears my voice, even if it is just telling John we need to go grocery shopping.
And most of all, I love the guy I get to share it all with. I couldn't ask for a better husband and father to my kids than John.
Yes, I am grateful.