yesterday jesse didn't have to do the music at church because it was the easter choir performance. so i thought, "yay! for once a chill sunday morning that we can act like normal families do and enjoy an easy church day together." hahaha not so much. i cant even attempt to capture this in narrative. so we can all just bite the bullet points together.
-arrive at church (in one car! at 10:30 am! jesse with me unstead of rehearsing with the band!) so far so good.
-attempt to drop judah in the 2 year old class because the one year old class is pretty much empty or has barely one-year old littler kids in it and all his friends are in the 2's class which gets to play outside.
-judah melts down epically due to staying up late with a babysitter the night before and being exhausted. always brings out the best in separation anxiety. we flee into the service while he cries in the arms of the teacher on the playground "DAH-DEE-DEE!"
-we actually sit together the entire time. jesse never touches a guitar or dons his britney spears mic. it is very tempting to talk to him the entire time because i never get him in this setting. i resist and we try to communicate our jokes through a series of hand squeezes and facial expressions. model-members of the congregation we are. the narrator pronounces "joseph of arimathea" as "joseph of arrhythmia." i try not to look at jesse and keep it together. then i see jesse grab his chest like he is having an actual cardiac arrhythmia out of the corner of my eye and i lose it. i snort my way to indignity. i am judged by our neighbors.
-run to get judah after the service. discover that he was demoted back down to the baby room where he is asleep on one of the nice ladies. as is layla. no sweat. we'll just go home and relax the rest of our day away.
-oh wait, someone says, today is the easter egg hunt and chicken wing lunch. there will be a bouncy castle and bouncy obstacle course. my heart quails. these are magic toddler moments. we cannot let him miss these.
-we wake him up. miraculously it is not horrible. he is excited to get candy without having to poop for it first.
-i try to hold layla, my purse, judah's coat, and take pictures while he hunts. "MEMORY CARD FULL." dear mercy, i am going to die of 100,000 tiny little slings and arrows of stress.
-a sweet lady willingly kidnaps layla when she sees the calamity i am going through to try to take a flipping photo. i throw all our remaining stuff down in the sawdust and feverishly delete old pictures to make way for the moments that are escaping before my eyes.
-judah finds a bunch of eggs but also relies heavily on poaching: seeing other kids find a good spot where lots of eggs are hiding and then running up and taking some from there.
-he about loses his mind when he see that the eggs open up and have CANDY inside.
-he eats more candy than he ever has in his life. layla wakes up and needs to eat just as we are trying to get in line, get our food, write a check for the mission trip (which the lunch is a fundraiser for), find a table, go back for extra chairs, and generally not lose our minds. my BP spikes. must keep it together. my profanity-laced invective against all things weighing me down is not considered charming in these here church-parts.
-we get a table outside in the brightest sunshine the world has ever known. aaaaaand cue instant swamp-ass. we are in sight of the bouncy house so judah will not sit still. when i tell him he needs to wait until we are finished eating he has several rage moments on me, "DDDDDDDOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWN!" "NOOOOO!" "MAH TURN!" it's preciously disgusting.
-wanna know what the worst lunch is to be eating when you have a rowdy 22 month old in a nice white shirt who won't sit still so you need to keep grabbing him and putting him back in his chair? that's right: chicken wings! with ranch dipping sauce! and no napkins!!! picture me and jesse making the standard hand-claws that you do when you have wing grease sauce and ranch all over them attempting to pick judah up and feed layla using only our elbows. my bible name is "keight of stress-induced arrhythmia" at this point.
-layla wont eat and is being fussy for the first time in her life. the sun is blinding me and my buttcrack will not stay concealed. i am not made for these moments. i die a little inside. isn't my life supposed to be magical? why cant the perfect family moments just happen while i sit back and soak them in and document them with my awesome free camera that i totally know how to use properly?
-we realize this is not a time for toddler-teaching in the midst of judah's tantrum. because this behavior is not his character but a symptom of not enough sleep and overstimulation, we opt for distraction rather than correction. i suck the condiments off my fingers, leave 75% of my meal behind and take him to the bouncy house. he loves it. i am hungry.
-i get a call from my mom. she is at our house, where are we? oh right, she was coming over today at noon. i was thinking it was a saturday when i told her we'd be home. stress. guilt. i beg her to come to the church. cue 5 new zits and 3 new wrinkles.
-judah finds the blow up obstacle course. he goes in and braves the jungle of kiddom. there are big kids flying everywhere, leaving squashed toddlers in their path. terrifying for me and thrilling for him. the course is designed so that parents can see everything but cannot actually intervene. nylon mesh keeps me from doing anything beyond screeching, "hudson! danielle! can yall please drag judah out from under that pillar/9 year old? k thanks!"
-my mom pulls up. she has an easter basket for each of the kids. toys and candy and singing choo-choo bears and hopping chicks. judah takes it all in and is delighted. i try to listen to her explanation of how she lovingly picked out each element but mostly am just thinking of stealing his animal crackers, making a run for it, and devouring them (with ranch sauce!) in the janitor's closet where no one can find me. i attempt to apologize for the mix up and making her wait at our house for 30 minutes while missed her silent calls in church. i struggle to put coherent sentences together due to my overwhelmedness.
-back into the bouncy house. i am seriously questioning how the child is upright at this point (except for the times he is on his face under some inflatable element of fun). he has got to be more tired than ever before. my sucked-clean fingers are now coated with a delicious batter of pollen residue and rented bouncy-house particles. i touch nothing and consider chopping them off.
-my brain feels like it is out of breath. this has been more than i can even process to keep my head above water. the finish line is in sight. things are winding down.
-we head home FINALLY. layla has been chilling in the shade this whole time. turns out she wasnt hungry and just wanted some alone time in her carseat smiling at people. (yes, easiest baby ever).
-i tell jesse, "wow, so much for a 'normal' relaxing church day. this is by far our new record for overstimulation EVER in judah's life. the anxiety, the meltdown, the 2 year old class, the baby class, the egg hunt, the candy, the lunch, the bouncy houes, gamma's easter delivery...he is going to need another nap like NOW. i am so glad THAT is over!"
-we are 3 miles from home and i look down on the console and notice what appears to be some kind of tickets hanging out.
me: what are those for?
jesse: oh, right! logan's mom had extra tickets for the braves game. they are field level awesome seats.
me: wow, that is so nice, we will totally use them. when is the game? next weekend?
jesse: um, it started 5 minutes ago.
me: *assumes fetal position* find a happy place. find a happy place. find a happy place.
- 50 miles, 2 bags stuffed full of enough snacks/drinks/sunscreen to survive a being cast away, a few leg gouges from shaving in 45 seconds, one candy/lemonade car-barf, and many delusions about our parenting and stress-management skills later:
i can tell you we survived. i think we may have even more than survived. point: team dukes.