Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Toddler + Church = Survival Mode

Going to church with a toddler in tow is sometimes a test of my faith and patience.  I'm sitting in church trying to receive some type of word while silently praying that my little minion won't shout Hallelujah at the top of his lungs and proceed to do a praise dance complete with front flips down the center of the church.  If you are fortunate enough to have children's church AND to have your toddler happily (and quietly) allow himself to be escorted to his classroom then you are one lucky duck.  I, on the other hand, am usually trying to pry loose from a death grip of a tot to be able to walk to my office and /or back to the sanctuary and get something accomplished without having a melt down myself.  This little boy is not having it.  He is right behind me, foot to foot. 

I was wondering just what he was thinking about in church.  What did he really think about the whole  service.  I'm a Baptist so we get pretty "krunk" in church. lol  I imagine that is pretty exciting for a little person who gets kind of cranked up himself.  So from a toddler's take, I tried to think about what the service was like to him from our usual service layout.

Praise and Worship - The perfect time to yell, shout, and cut a rug without going to time out.

Choir Selections - The perfect time to showcase his vocal range.  (I thought my child was going to out sing the guest choir one Sunday)

Scripture - My Book! I need to showcase my knowledge of "Super Why"

Prayer - The perfect time to throw a fit about something

Tithes and Offering - He needs to write his own name on his envelope and gets throw it in basket.  Good job!

The Word - Please, please, stay in your room.

Communion - Snack time.  (Literally snatched the cracker out of my hand and stuffed if into his mouth.  Then said, "Hmm.  Tastes good.  Next, proceeded to fight me for the cup.

And don't forget this one

Church Nursery - What am I going in there for?  This is where the party's at.

There are many times that I just thought it would be easier to stay home than to take one or more of my children to church. (while they're little)  So here are a few tips to get those little suckers to sit still and be quiet.  Hopefully.

1.  Pack a snack.  Church runs into snack time and nap time, so sometimes we have a cranky tot on our hands.  If your church has a no eating policy (as most do) and you can't sneak and stuff a goldfish in that mouth (guilty), just quietly leave out and let them have a quick snack.  We like to bring bananas or some other less messy fruit, cheese, and crackers.

2.  Pack a bag.  We pack Caleb's backpack with small cars (launched across the church seats once a upon a time) and toys, books, paper and crayons, smarties and suckers. (bribes)  It's a lot better than the eye liner to draw masterpieces on the back of my light bill, the eyelash curler being used as a martial arts weapon, or trying to find some app on the phone he can silently play.

3.  Let them participate.  Of course kids want to do everything you're doing.  Let them.  We give him that offering envelope and let him scribble his name and put his own money in without help.  We give him a Bible and let him "find" the scriptures.  Whatever works.

 Hopefully, we'll make it out alive without being completely embarrassed by the end of the service.