Sunday, July 25, 2010

19 months old ... reining 'em in

This morning we FINALLY took the kids to church. We'd been meaning to try it ever since we dropped the morning nap, but we hadn't gotten around to it yet because, frankly, the idea was supremely intimidating. I mean, getting four toddlers ready for church—feeding them breakfast, changing their diapers, dressing them up, and preparing the diaper bag for an extended outing—while also having to get ourselves ready, all before 9am? A daunting task, to say the least.

But this morning I got the itch to try it and, since Ted didn't have any strong objections, we decided to go for it. After breakfast, we raced around to find outfits for the kids and make ourselves presentable before rushing out the door (right on time) for our first family trip to church since the babies were dedicated.

When we got there, we quickly unloaded the van and each grabbed two kids by the hand to walk inside (in the most meandering way possible, of course, as each child desired to walk in a different direction). We registered the kids in a flash ("yes, they all have the same birthday ... no, they are not two sets of twins ... yes, I do have my hands full") and dropped them off in the toddler room.

Notice that I have no pictures of the chaotic momentous occasion.

While Dahlia was thrilled to go in and make new friends, the other three cried as soon as they realized what was happening. Although I felt bad for leaving them when they were so sad, Ted and I quickly left the scene and made our way to the sanctuary. There I tried to put the kids out of my mind in order to focus on the message (which turned out to be a very interesting exegesis of a portion of Matthew 5—see, I paid attention!).

As soon as the service concluded, we booked it back to the toddler room to see how things went. I could hear Isaac crying down the hall and immediately thought the worst, but the caregivers claimed that he had been fine until just then. In fact, they assured me, all of the kids had actually had a lot of fun while we were gone. It would seem that our first church nursery experience hadn't been too bad after all!

My relief, however, was premature, as leaving proved to be even more difficult than arriving: Isaac was inconsolable, Dahlia repeatedly bolted at the slightest decrease in hand pressure, Lucy insisted on being carried, and Jude absolutely refused to walk through the double doors. Somehow, we were eventually able to get all four of them to walk back out to the van among a throng of exiting churchgoers, but it was no picnic!

To be completely honest, the whole endeavor left us sweaty and grouchy and utterly exhausted. But at least now we know that taking the kids to church on our own is not an impossible feat! We will be repeating the attempt sometime soon, but definitely not until we receive delivery of these nifty little contraptions:

The key to controlling our
four little monkeys in open spaces?


Julie said...

I can only imagine how frazzled and hot and sweaty you were after that ordeal, but good for you for giving it a shot! I must admit I used to be one of those people who judged parents that used the "leashes"...until I had ONE crazy two year old and got one. LIFESAVER!!! You'll LOVE them and they will make outings MUCH easier, I'm sure! Besos a todos!

Jackie said...

Good for you for taking a brave leap. I'm am not looking forward to giving up church for a while, but I know it is inevitable and during RSV/flu season there is no way I would consider it even if it was possible!

Megan said...

"sweaty, grouchy, and utterly exhausted" - man, can I relate to that! We usually take the crew to church at 9am on Sundays, and almost EVERY Sunday, Kenny says at some point in the day, "I HATE SUNDAYS!" LOL! It is definitely a chore for us too, and the kids tend to be cranky the whole day. But somehow we keep going back each week! We have the backpack leases - we haven't tried them at church, but in general the kids LOVE them. They ask to wear their backpacks around the house ALL the time!

The Saunders Family said...

glad you got to go...I am sure you enjoyed it despite the added drama! I had nursery duty yesterday and a little girl cried "I want my daddy" for about 25 I missed all of the sermon that comes through on the speaker, much for my church experience!
We have a bear leash and Maria will randomly ask to wear it at home...she's beyond needing it when we are out, but Anna is heading in that direction!

QuatroMama said...

I am SO PROUD of YOU! You tried it and you SURVIVED! From here out it will get easier every single time. Brad and I always prepped ourselves with - What's the worst thing that could (realistically) happen? 4x the meltdowns and a traumatic event that we would one day laugh about. 90% of the time when we've went for it, it's been a success.

Keep it up, mama! I'm cheering for you!

Andrea said...

I know I am not a quad Mom, but I know I can't handle my 2 by myself. So BRAVO to you. You should be very proud. Hopefully it will only get better every time. I think the monkey backpacks will be awesome.

Lindsay Conner said...

Hah! This story made me laugh a lot!


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