Thursday, September 18, 2008


Picking a bench during church is of utmost importance. It can make or break the meeting - it's a science. You can't sit close to any light switches, fire extinguishers, or windows. Though windows are good for distractions (Wow! Just look at that neat car in the parking lot!), your beloveds may decide to throw things out of them, to the general entertainment of everyone sitting behind you.

You also can't sit near any one of your beloveds' friends. The result is dragging them out from under the bench by the seat of their nicely-pressed pants. Ain't nobody like to scrub stains outta dem suits.

You also have to be within My Man's view from the pulpit, or he complains in a rather endearing fashion. Of course, this also has its problems sometimes. (DADDY!!! I want to sit with DAAAA-DDY!!!!!)

So I thought I'd found the perfect bench: the third row back in the middle front section. We're usually surrounded by older folks who somehow think Da Boyz's antics are adorable. Bless them. I usually get a young woman - Jennifer - to help me out, and she blocks one escape route, while Mr. Squishy's stroller blocks the other. These strategies have limited the crises to only one or two a meeting.

But last Sunday.

A new family - investigators - sat behind us, apparently oblivious to the fact that that bench BELONGS TO someone else. Oh, well - they're new, they're forgiven. They consisted of a middle-age-ish woman, her husband (who I found out later is 24 - scandal!), and two teenagers (including a young women who is getting baptized today. Yeah!)

I didn't notice the very sweet-looking girl with to-die-for curls cascading down her back. She looked like a five-year-old Keri Russell from Felicity.

I attempted to engage in a quick "hello, how are you" but was interrupted by My Man stepping up to the pulpit. I flashed an apologetic smile and turned back around. It was not encouraging that no one smiled back at me. Their blank expressions didn't change in the slightest.

An opening-song-and-prayer later, I felt a very flirtatious little 'nudge' near my feet. I look down to find myself face-to-face with mini-Felicity.

"Can I have a toy?" she asks with all the mischieviousness her face allows her.

I give her a couple finger puppets and a grin and she backed away, appeased. For about two minutes. Then she half jumps over the back of our bench and rips a book away from Ouro Branco's hands. Obviously, he was not pleased.

For the next forty-five minutes, it was all out war. The best part was when Little Prince is huddled in a corner, hunched over his remaining toys, daring mini-Felicity to even THINK about taking them, Ouro Branco is crying about a recently confiscated toy and wants ME to comfort him, not Jennifer, and I'm trying to nurse a hysteric Mr. Squishy while Demon Child tries to peek under the nursing blanket and simultaneously antagonize my other two.

At this point, I gave a slightly frantic, very pleading, eyebrow raised, help-me-for-the-love-of-all-that-is-holy smile at mini-Felicity's parents.

What I got in return was a tired-eyed, pursed-lips GLARE. The mom half-heartedly reprimended, "Leave them alone," but the dad batted her hands back and said, "Let the kid play!"

No words.

But I was sooooo good, people, I really was. I just repeated to myself over and over again that if I was entertaining their daughter, at least they'd be able to listen to the speakers and feel the Spirit. (Even though *I* had no idea what the talks were about - much less who SPOKE.) They were a new family, attending church for the first time, and should be given every benefit of the doubt conceivable.

So at the end of sacrament meeting, I turned around to make friends. I figured we'd gotten off to a bad start and it was up to me to start things over - maybe invite them over to dinner or something. I cast around in my mind for a good converstation starter and landed on mini-Felicity.

"Your daughter has just about the prettiest hair I've ever seen!" Very sweet, indulging smile.

Cold look from the dad. "He's a boy." Turns on his heel and stomps out.

Oops. Strike three.


Jared said...

LOL! I have been in that boat before, so even through my chuckles I really do know what you are going through, it makes for GREAT memories and fun stories to tell some day.
I love ya

Mommadj5 said...

Sometimes you just can't win....Pam is right though - makes for a great memory! Love you, Mom P.S. I saw the updated picture of Nathan but the date is wrong!! Forgot to update the year!!!

Tamra Watson said...


Well, that's life for you!

Floyd said...

Best Story ever.

You rock.

To comment on Reva's blog:

Estou no processo de entrivstas com Apple em Austin. Eu represetaria o iphone no brasil. Nao iremos morar no brasil, mas eu vou viajar ao brasil de vez em quando (shopping lists!!). Estamos ainda pensando e orando a respeito. Teremos que mudar.