Bringing a kid to church can feel like Hell.


Everyone has the best of intentions but there are reasons why people elect to stay home on Sunday morning instead of bringing their little kids to church. Sunday mass is a hour-long test of wills for my wife and I and it usually goes something like this:

[5 minutes to start]: We arrive at the church and weigh our options as to where we should sit. The back can make for a quick escape but the front provides something for our son to look at.

[start]: A final request that our son behave and not scream at the top of his lungs while we are inside the church.

[1 min]: The boy asks for his snack — yogurt pouch

[2 min]: The boy asks for alternative snack — cereal of some kind.

[4 min]:  All snacks are gone including secret backup snack #3.

[6 min] Coloring book is out and on pew, crayons are rolling around on the floor.

[7 min] Crayons are taken away when the boy tries to write in the song book.

[10 min] The boy has stared at the people sitting behind us for 3 minutes without blinking.

[11 min] The staring that started out as cute is now making the people behind us uncomfortable.

[14 min] The boy loudly and rudely demands that everyone stop singing.

[16 min] Trying to escape, the boy has now been pulled back in from the aisle 4 times.

[23 min] I notice that snack #2 (the cereal) was not consumed, but dropped behind the back of the person in front of us, who now has cereal dust ground into their blazer.

[25 min]  I realize it has only been 25 minutes

[30 min] The boy has decided his new favorite game is picking up the kneeler and slamming it to the floor.

[32 min] Those around us are no longer smiling.

[36 min] We are all standing, allowing my son the opportunity to slither down the bench behind everyone else in our row like some sort of snake.

[37 min] The boy has now hissed at everyone in our row.

[38 min] The boy is rolling around on the floor. I try to pick him up but it seems all his bones are gone. Scooping jello off the floor would be easier than getting my blob son to stand up.

[40 min] I shake hands and say”peace be with you” to the guy with cereal crumbs on his coat. I pretend I don’t notice.

[42 min] Where are the boy’s shoes?

[44 min] I realize that I have not actually heard a single word the priest has said

[45 min] Dammit now where are the boy’s socks?

[50 min] Things are wrapping up and I now hear the faint whines and cries of  other toddlers in the church. At least 10 others.

[52 min] We apologize to all those around us. They all assure us it was fine. They are all very nice people.

[54 min] I hurry to clean up the pew around me that now resembles a war zone.

[55 min] We find 75 percent of the boy’s footwear, call that close enough and walk out as fast as we can.

[60 min] We both agree that the boy behaved better than he did the previous week.

Pat Lemieux

About Pat Lemieux

Pat has it all, family, big old house, dogs, a young son and a quarter-life crisis. He blogs about trying to be who he has always been and be who he now needs to be. He enjoys 90's grunge metal, tasty local brews and the outdoors.