Sunday, February 23, 2014

One Mom, Two Kids, Twenty Pounds of Stuff, and Zero Patience: A Comedy of Errors

<<Woman hits the car steering wheel with her hand, and swears>>

God damn it!

Mom, I know you’re angry, but it’s just gonna be ok!  You don’t hit things though.  You don’t hit the steering wheel.  You might break it, you know?

I know, honey.  And I want you to know I am not angry at you.  I am angry at myself and the situation.  I think I left the lights on in the car and now the car is dead, and we are going to be late.  Again.

I know, but Mooooom, you don’t have to be angry because it’s just going to be ok.

I know, honey.  Hop on out and we will take the other car.  Let’s go back through the house to the garage.

<<Woman gets out of the car, and opens the rear door.  She grabs her purse, a large diaper bag, and lifts out an infant car seat.  She helps her other daughter down from the car and then holds her hand while slipping/walking on an icy walkway back to a house>>

OK. 9:50. let’s hustle, ok honey?

<<The little girl walks up the steps to the house at a glacial pace while peering into a party favor bag she is holding, the woman following behind her and becoming visibly irritated while struggling to hold the purse, diaper bag and car seat>>

Hustle up Lu, please.  I’m carrying a lot, ok, and my arms are getting sore.  And we are going to be late to church. 

<<They make their way through the house and into the garage in back>>

OK.  OK, here we go.  Hop into your seat and buckle the top buckle please.  I will finish your buckle when I get your sister in.

<<Woman skates around the ice covering the garage floor to put the infant seat into the other side of the car, skates across the back driveway to open the gate, and skates back to the car.  The clock reads 9:56am>>

Lucy.  Lucy why didn’t you buckle your seatbelt?

Well…sometimes I just don’t understand that it’s a little tricky for me.

Were you looking at your princess wand?

Yeeeaaaahhhh. Oh, mama.  I wan’t to sit upstairs when we get there.  Can we do that?  Can we sit upstairs mama?  Can we sit upstairs?  Mama?  Mama?

What?  Oh…yes.  I think we will probably have to sit upstairs because we are going to be late.  But we will see.

<<Woman parks the car.  She unbuckles the sleeping baby, and in the parking lot attempts to wrangle her into a Moby wrap that is wrapped too tightly.  The now awake, freezing, and unhappy baby protests.  Loudly.  She unbuckles her other daughter and, holding the bobbing infant into the wrap, they run across the street and enter the church.  She is not carrying her diaper bag, but she is holding a pacifier in her mouth.>>

Lucy.  Lucy, over here.  Lucy.  LUCY!

<<The woman hisses to her older daughter in a loud whisper as her daughter wanders through a crowd of priests, alter boys and girls, and families whose babies are being baptized that are gathered in the back of the church.  It is very crowded, and the pews are all full.  She wrangles her daughter to the back of the church to try and wait until everyone has processed up the aisle.  However, her daughter starts dancing in the back and singing loudly while the priest starts the mass.  All eyes are on them>>

Lucy, please come here!  Sweetie we are in church, please stand still back here until we can find a seat.

<<Her daughter glares at her, folds her arms over her chest and sinks to the floor against the back wall of the church>>

Mom.  I know.

<<The scene changes.  The mother and her two daughters are seated up in the balcony, and it is now halfway through mass.  Her daughter has just returned from the children’s liturgy, and is sobbing loudly>>

But Moooooooooooom I can’t help it.  I just caaaaaaaaaan’t.  I don’t even understand why we can’t dooooo it!  Puuuhlease let me do it!

Lucy, please come here so I can talk to you.

<<The child backs away from her mother, her eyes wide, looking as if she is afraid of being beaten.  They are seated in the front row of the balcony, so her daughter is drawing the eyes of literally everyone seated there.>>

Lucy.  Please come here love.

<<The child shakes her head no and backs father away, her hands clasped to her chest>>

Lucy.  Please.  Come.  Here.

<<The mother kneels down on the floor, trying to appeal to her daughter, while still rocking back and forth to keep her infant asleep>>

Sit on my lap, sweetie, and we will talk.

I just want to stay until the end I want to STAYYYYYYYYYYY!

We can stay until the end, we can stay until after communion.  But you have to be able to calm down.  Ok?

But sometimes I just caaaaaan’t!!!  I don’t even understand I will try but I can’t control it!!

<<The woman is very purposefully not looking at anyone except her daughter.>>

Come sit in my lap and we will talk and figure this out, ok?

<<More time passes.  The priest begins the Lord ’s Prayer.  The woman remains seated with her infant in the wrap on her chest and her three year old on her lap.  She tried to hold her older daughters hand.  Her older daughter repeatedly pulls her hand away>>

Can you hold my hand for the Lord ’s Prayer?

<<Her daughter glances back and glares at her, while withdrawing her hand once more.  The mother, in a fit of immature anger, removes her older daughter from her lap>>

NOOOOOOOO!  Noooooo please I wan’t to sit on your lap please NOOOOOOO don’t PUSH me OFFFFFF Mama please!

OK, love.  I want you to sit on my lap too.  Can you please hold my hand while we are praying? We are praying this prayer in community.  And now we are going to the peace be with you.

<<The daughter climbs back in her lap, and turns to give her mother a hug and kiss of Peace.  They both give the infant a kiss.  The mother turns to the older couple seated next to her and shakes their hands in peace, but keeps her face blank.  She does not acknowledge their smiles of pity>>

Mama, can I go over and give Owen a hug for the Peace be with you?

No, sweetie.  He is at the other side of the balcony and I can’t see you over there.  And it is over now.

No MOM NO!  I never got to see Owen!   I never got to see him and give him the Peace!  Mom PLEASE PLEASE PLEAAAAASE let me see OWEEEEEENNNNN!!!!

Love, the Peace is over right now.  I can’t walk you over there and it is too far to go by yourself.  We can see Owen after mass.

Nooooooo Mama NOOOOO!  NOOOOOOOO!  You never let me see Owen for the Peace!   PLEASE LET ME GO SEE HIM!!!!

<<The girl is sobbing again, her nose running, and tries to back away from her mother towards her friend at the opposite end of the balcony.  All of the other parishioners are kneeling for the transubstantiation.>>

Lucy.  Please come back here.  We are going to go downstairs for communion and then we can see Owen later, or on Tuesday at school.

Nooooooo!!  I don’t understand WHYYYYYYYY!!!

<<The scene fasts forward again.  The woman and her daughters are in line for communion.  Her older daughter is sobbing, not so quietly.  She is holding her daughters hand, her purse and both of their coats.  They go through the line.  Her daughter shrinks away from the priest as he goes to touch her forehead to bless her.  The woman takes communion.  She takes a larger than normal sip of the communion wine.  As she walks with her sobbing daughter back down the aisle she very purposefully look straight ahead, ignoring several well meaning and sympathetic smiles from various friends and acquaintances.>>

Put on your coat, love.  We have to get home to spend some time with Papa.

But mama we have more things to do in church!  It’s not over!  There are more things to do!!!

No sweetie.  Communion is over and we can leave before prayer just for today.  We need to get home.  We need to spend some time with Papa.

But the juice!!!!  There is more to do in church!!

It’s ok sweetie.  We are not going to have juice and cookies today.  We have lunch waiting already at home.  I already had it in the oven.

<<The woman zips up her daughter’s coat, and draper her own coat over her infant in the wrap.  She gets her keys out of her purse and leads her daughter across the street>>

Mama this is just ruiiiiined!!  There is more to do in church!  Is that our car?

No, sweetie, we parked in the other lot.

Whose car is it?

I don’t really know. 

But we usually park in that lot.

I know, but we didn’t today.  Today we parked in this one here.

But its soooooo faaaaaaaaaar!!!  I’m so cold!!!

<<The girl stops on the sidewalk, shivering>>

Well, if we get to the car then you will be able to warm up.

But I can’t even know that Mom!  Where even is it!?

Hold onto my hand, its right over here.  If you can get into your seat I will put your sister in and then buckle you.  Here let me move this other seat up a little bit to give you more room.

<<The woman goes around to the other side of the car, removes the sleeping infant from the wrap, and attempts to wrangle the now awake, freezing and unhappy baby into the car seat.  The girl in the other car seat starts to sob loudly again>>

Lu, what is it?

My princess waaaaaand!!! Where iiiisssss it?!!

<<The woman goes around to the other side of the car and quickly buckles the car seat before her daughter starts to writhe in existential agony>>

I don’t know, honey.  We can call the church lost and found tomorrow to ask them to look in the balcony for it.

Mooooooooooooommmm but there is more to do in church and its LOST NOW!!  I NEED IT.

<<The woman goes around the car again, slipping once on ice, grabbing the car for support.  She gets into the drivers seat, and turns around 180 degrees to put a pacifier in the crying infants mouth.  She turns around again and starts the car, breathing deeply>>

It’s going to be ok, honey.  We are going to go home.  And spend some time with your Papa.

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