A couple of weeks ago, my husband was gone so I brought the kids by myself to church. I was looking forward to the peacefulness I would have sitting in the pews by myself. Turns out, once a month the kids' Sunday school is closed. Unfortunately for me, that was this Sunday. I had nothing with me to keep the kids entertained and nobody to help. So much for peaceful. I started off the service trying to keep the boys sitting in the seats the right way, followed by getting them off the ground, followed by getting them to stop laying down, this wasn't nap time! To make matters worse, the couple in front of me with a tween kept looking back at us. I was already sitting in the balcony, where did they want us to go?
I had kept my voice reasonably low while threatening the kids with death (aka no DSs for a week), but they were all over. During a prayer, B managed to crawl under the pew and was a few rows back. I was beyond frustrated. They tailored the sermon to be entertaining for younger kids. It was about Sampson, well, from what I could hear, I thought it was about Sampson. So why won't my kids sit still??!?!
Boys will be boys is a common phrase people tell me, but is that ok? Should I just laugh at their wild ways and shrug? Or should I try to tame them? I've spent my whole, child-rearing life trying to tame and I'm not sure it's helped. It has just caused a rift between them and me. I guarantee they think I'm a terrible mother because instead of playing, I'm telling them to be safe, be responsible, don't hit, don't kick, to quit putting underwear on their heads, to JUST LISTEN and DO IT THE FIRST TIME! Apparently, they are well behaved in school, daycare, Sunday school, so is it too much to expect them to behave for me too?
So I'm in turmoil. Should I change my ways? It would be very difficult for me to do that, but if it would help me regain a better relationship with my kids (especially my oldest, he's 8), then I would try very hard. Or do I continue beating down on them to sit still and maybe it'll sink in?
Here I sit, at the Chelsea Tree House (indoor play area), catching up on my work and watching the kids play. My main motive is to get them tired out so they will sleep tonight (my youngest was up until 9:50 last night!!), but a secondary motive is the enjoyment I get out of them playing well together (because this is rare at our house too!).