"It' OK, Grandpa, just go be with Jesus. He will heal you and you will be whole."
So when I say amazing? It is true. She is also seven. And out to pluck every last nerve in my body. During church.
I have what I call 'church bags' for the girls to keep them occupied during the service. They have some Bible focused coloring/activity books in them, a pad of plain paper, and a bag of crayons. Genius, no? Well, I can't take credit for the idea, because I learned the trick from my friend Nancy, back in Michigan. Her church bags were out of this world. Candy! Chocolate! Gum! But I'm a mean mommy, so my bags don't include those kind of goodies. (hmm, maybe that's where I went wrong . . .) Both Sarah and Violet have one so there isn't any fighting (I learned that lesson the hard way.) A couple weeks ago it became very clear that my *awesome* church bags had out lived there awesomeness and I had to yank them. All through church it was
*rustle rustle crunch crunch*
"where's my PINK crayon? no not thaaaat pink one . . "
"Saraaah, don't push mee"
"Viooolet, don't loook at meee"
"But III want the Veggie Taaaales boooooooook."
The *slap*? Not from me. That's them, hitting each other. Nice. So much so that the people behind us couldn't hear the sermon. Yeah, Me!!
So I got rid of the bags and went to the local Christian Book Store. I scoured the shelves for just the right activity book to keep each of them occupied. I presented them to the girls on Sunday morning along with a baggie of about six crayons/pens. Because I am a prepared and amazing mom. Violet completely lost it.
"But I neeed my different books!! I have to be able to choose! What if I get bored? What if I want a pink crayon and all I have is blue? *sob sob sob* What theeeeen?" (Throws self dramatically over counter top.)
I gently (really. It was teachable moment) reminded her about that last time in church, the noise, how upset I'd been etc. How only having one choice was going to keep her from getting in trouble. She wiped her little cheeks and agreed. Off we went, me patting myself on the back. I rock.
There we sat in church, both my adorable girls coloring in their Bible themed activity books, me thumbing through my new woman's Bible. Ahhh. Then the baggie of crayons/pens begins to be passed back and forth. Gah! How did I not catch that? I grab two crayons for each of them and shove the rest in my purse. Serenity resumes. We stand to sing. I feel a tug on shirt. I look down. Violet.
"Hey. How do you spell 'Jesus'?"
*stage whisper* "We.are.singing."
We sit to pray.
I feel an elbow in my ribs. Violet.
"What's this supposed to say?"
*stage whisper* "We.are.praying."
Pulls out calculator. Starts playing. Nudges me. Holds out calculator to me . .
I stand up and point to the end of pew. A hardened criminal would have followed me to the end of the pew. Without question. I think my eyes may have been red. I took the calculator from her. I took her downstairs to the fellowship hall where we had a little come to Jesus moment. I think I remained remarkably calm. Of course, we were in church so I kind of had to. I went through my expectations of her behavior in church, again. She repeated them back to me. I was not gentle this time. I was crying. She was crying. We went back and forth about why she could not ask me questions and why she is old enough to sing and pray in church now. When we were done, it went like this:
"OK. So, we're going to go back up there. And sit and pay attention. Do you have any questions you want to ask me, now, before we get up there? Because once we're up there, it will not be the time."
"Can I have my calculator?"
She's alive. The end.