The excitement we had at church on Sunday


My husband is so lucky that we only have girls. Whenever we’re out someplace public like the zoo, Legoland, a grocery store, or church, and a child has to go to the bathroom, it’s automatically the female parent who has to take her. Yeah for me.

This especially came in handy (for my husband) at church Sunday when one child announced, never quietly, that she needed to pee. Of course, we always make them go before we leave home, but as she is relatively new to the potty trained world, I wasn’t taking my chances on her sincerity,Β  ploy to avoid some pew time or not.

When we left the bathroom, she swiftly yanked her arm away from me so she could run to the back of the church, make a U-turn around the end of the row of pews, and stream back down the center aisle to our seats near the front. Awesome.

And of course, I had barely gotten back to my place when my next oldest announced she needed to go too. I was able to tell her to wait with some confidence in her bladder control until everyone was at least standing. This was, of course, to hide myself better as I walked out yet again in front of those people who were undoubtedly thinking, “She should have just asked them both if they needed to go at the same time. This is so disruptive!”

When I walked back into the bathroom with Child #2, I gave a look of “here I am again!” to the woman sitting on the couch in the bathroom. (Yes, men, women’s bathrooms sometimes have couches. Usually there’s a nursing mom sitting on it.) But this mom wasn’t nursing. She was keeping an eye on her toddler boy who was playing in the bathroom, running in and out of the stalls. I made a mental note of his face so as to be sure not to shake his hand at the Sign of Peace should he emerge from the bathroom by then.

I told my daughter, once we emerged from the facilities, that we would walk back to our seat via the front of the church instead of running around the back, like her younger sister had done. She complied, and, fortunately, we made itΒ  back to our seats just before everyone sat back down. Awesome. (In a non-sarcastic way this time.)

Then the youngest, who is now three, by the way (Terrible Twos have nothing on Age Three in my book) was lifting and flopping her skirt around as her newest form of entertainment. Her older sister, trying to be helpful, pointed suddenly and yelled, “Underwear!”

Apparently affronted by this, the three-year-old stood up, lifted her skirt high, revealing more clearly her pink flowered bloomers, and commanded angrily: “Don’t see my underwear!”

Then my husband got a turn. He decided it was time to pick her up. Sensing this was a ruse, she furrowed her brow and said, “I don’t like you, Daddy,” and gave his cheek a little smack. That’s when he took her outside.

We should have been wearing our matching “#1 Parent” t-shirts.

Okay, parents, let’s hear your best (and by that of course, I mean, worst) stories of your kids’ misbehavior in public. Please. To make me feel better.

30 responses »

  1. Believe it or not, I can’t think of an embarrassing misbehavior tale. That means I’ve either blocked them from my memory or they never occurred because we did have a several month stretch during the worst behavior times where we stopped going out to eat as well as avoided other public outings. It wasn’t worth the effort of having to do ‘car time outs’ for tantrums. πŸ™‚


  2. Two funny,embarrassing stories with the same child. We were foster parents in Texas. On the first Sunday that we had one little boy, I took him to Mass, as we settled into our seats he sat on my lap and as loud as he could said, Sally, “I farted did you fart”. About a year later, at my daughters confirmation with this same little boy ,he was asleep on my husbands lap woke up climbed onto my lap and peed on me. Marking his territory maybe.


  3. Church can sometimes be kind of mundane at times, so I bet at least a few people appreciated the very human things your girls were doing, And let’s admit it. We’ve all been smacked my our kids at some point:)


  4. An occasional occurrence at our church when our children (and our friends’ children) were pre-school age was to hear a small voice being carried out the back of the church saying “Nooooo Daddy – I’ll be gooood!” mixed in with some of the knowing snickers of the adults nearby… As I recall, I had only one turn at that routine (that was my job) with each of my children. We didn’t expect miracles from them, my wife always made sure they had “quiet toys” for when they would inevitably get bored.

    One adorable thing that happened – our precocious 2 year old had memorized all the hymns because we encouraged her to sing along. On one Sunday for some reason the first hymn was cut short a verse. In the ensuing brief silence afterward, our 2 year old’s voice was heard asking loudly “Why didn’t they sing the last verse?” to the amusement of all.


  5. Lest you think that only Catholics have this problem: my kid brother once pulled off one of those “remember it for a lifetime” stunts. Rev. Smith (not his real name) had one sermon style. He started out at triple forte, crescendoed for 25 minutes, then asked a rhetorical question, giving you about a minute of silence to contemplate the dread of hell in your immortal soul. He then decrescendoed back down to triple forte in about five minutes, the choir would sing a hymn, and all of us would feel grateful to have escaped the fires of hell for yet another week.
    It was Jimbo’s first time in “big church.” He fidgeted until the start of the sermon β€” but when Rev. Smith opened up, Jimbo had his eyes locked on the pulpit. For 25 minutes there was not a fidget nor a sound. But in the silence after the rhetorical question Jimbo came out with a stage whisper you could hear all over the church: “Is he mad?”
    As I recall, Rev. Smith felt the Lord calling him to a different pulpit shortly thereafter.


  6. Well, once – sensing that something was amiss – I turned around while walking back from Communion and found that the five year old was no longer following me. He had fallen asleep at the priest’s feet! Luckily we were the last ones in line…It was kinda awkward retrieving him, though…Father could hardly contain himself, nor could the rest of the congregation. Last time anyone walks BEHIND me!


  7. Awesome post! I agree on the terrible twos having nothing on Age Three. We’re going through the same thing at my house. Although my son at three is remarkably better than my daughter was at three.

    I haven’t had the in and out of church to go pee situation yet, but my kids have royally embarrassed me at church on occasion. Two Sundays in a row in fact. I don’t remember now exactly what they were doing, but it involved jumping off the pew and onto the kneeler to see who could do it without touching the floor. My daughter quit the behaviour when I shot her my best stern mommy look, but my son just thought that meant he should try harder to annoy me. Despite how terrible I thought their behaviour was (and the stern talking to I gave them in the car on the way home), there was one little girl in church that day who was far worse and she drew the attention away from my two.


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