Last Saturday, John was a Confirmation sponsor for the child of a close family friend. Our presence was requested at the 2:00 pm Mass and the middle of the afternoon time frame coupled with a lengthier than usual service, proved to be a challenge for my little kids. Camille and Christopher, like the little rug rats they are, engaged in a rousing game of musical pew hop (it's a thing) and so after the readings but before the Homily, I escorted them and baby Edward to the Narthex for a reprieve.
The problem with releasing small children from church pews into the Narthex is that whatever ants were crawling in their pants while they were seated become unleashed when they experience the freedom found in an open spaced lobby.
At least, this has been my experience and Saturday was no different.
To give you an idea of what I was up against, Christopher and Camille entertained themselves with all of the following while the Bishop spoke about the gifts of the Holy Spirit:
*crab races on their hands and legs,
*crawling into Edward's car seat (while he was in it) to "communicate" with him, which is just a really nice way of saying getting up in his baby grille,
*licking, making hand prints, and pressing open mouths onto the immaculate glass doors,
*banging on the doors and yelling "Hello!" to the people, Bishop, and priests in the church and,
*mounting and then holding a full conversation with the larger than life statue of the Sacred Heart Of Jesus (my personal favorite).
This one is no trouble. No trouble, t'all.
Good thing she's cute.
Is this over yet?
It was when the Confirmation candidates brought the gifts up to the altar that I decided to ignore the three ringed circus around me and try to prepare myself for Communion. I bowed by head and closed my eyes and I'm not quite sure how long my euphoric moment of prayer lasted, but it must have been a few minutes because I suddenly realized everything around me had become eerily calm and quiet.
I jerked my head up and looked around. Christopher and Camille were gone. I vaguely remembered Camille requesting to use the facilities, which is one of her favorite distractionary tactics I deftly ignore as often as possible.
But Christopher--for once--had listened to his younger sibling's potty angst and decided to help her. I suspected he brought her to the men's bathroom, so I darted over and hissed through the door.
"Cam-ille! Topher? Are you in there?"
I hissed again.
"Answer me, you two! Are you in there?"
I could almost hear Camille rolling her eyes.
"We're in here," Camille finally answered.
"What are you doing? Come out of there RIGHT NOW!" I said. I was using--ineffectively, I might add--my scariest "I Am The Mother" voice.
"I can't. I'm going to the potty," she said.
I banged as lightly, but as forcefully as possible. I didn't want to enter because I was afraid to walk in on some stranger relieving himself at the St. John latrine.
"Topher, come out here right now!"
I felt someone come up behind me and when I turned around, I was greeted by a male parishioner. He needed the rest room.
"Uh, I think two of my kids are in there. They got away from me," I explained.
"Do you want me to go find out?" he said, with a big grin.
"Do you mind? It'd be a huge help. I don't want to walk in on anyone," I answered.
He hoisted open the door and stuck his head in. Little voices wafted out and he turned around to look at me.
"They're in there, and it's all clear. Why don't you go get your kids? I'll stand out here and let people know you are in there," he offered.
"Thank you so much, " I said, as I brushed passed him. I'm sorry to inconvenience you."
I rushed into the bathroom and Christopher appeared from behind one of the doors.
"Where is your sister?" I demanded, looking down at him.
"In there," he said, pointing to a locked stall. In an effort to help, Christopher dropped to his knees and army crawled under it.
"I'll get her," he offered. I jiggled the handle.
"Camille!" I whispered through the door, "Come out of that stall right now."
"I can't. I'm going poop," she said.
The man, who was waiting for us at the door, laughed.
Christopher unlocked the stall and I entered.
"Hurry up, this minute," I lectured as I pulled Camille off the potty. "I didn't know where the two of you went. You don't go into a men's room to use the bathroom! You use the Ladies room, Camille. \And you don't ever go by yourself!"
"So---rry," she said. "I had to pee."
She finished her business and walked out of the stall.
I turned to my new friend who was now making his way into the bathroom.
"This whole incident could have been a YouTube video," he chuckled.
But I figured a blog post would do just fine.