Today is my first day back to work - yay! I dropped Matt off at school, dropped Karol and Patrick off at Lori's and got into work a little bit early today to catch up on old emails and find out all the goings on since I left. However, I thought I'd recount the much more interesting events of last night, when Matt, Karol, Patrick and I all attended the 7p.m. Mass at St. Michael's.
We actually got there on time, and I was glad to see Fr. Daniel there (he's pretty much our favorite), but as it turned out he wasn't doing the homily that night; the deacon was. So here's a little itinerary of last night that is pretty standard for our weekly worship:
7:00- Arrive at Church; find a pew that's completely empty so we can take up almost all of it with our babies and baby gear; set Patrick (who's hopefully sleeping) on the pew in his car seat; kneel to pray for about 2 seconds, at which point one of us has to stop Karol from doing something; Karol makes friends with the lady sitting behind us, who she will intermittently try to talk to throughout the Mass; we stand, me holding Karol, to sing the opening hymn, Karol entertains herself with the paper program.
7:05- Karol is making too much noise with the paper program; I distract Karol and manage to hide the programs on the other side of me; I continue to use a variety of distraction methods to entertain Karol through the first two readings and responsorial, none of which I can hear or pay attention to.
7:15- Karol sees Patrick's pacifier and takes it; replaces her own pacifier in his mouth, and his in hers; she realizes they are exactly the same, so she puts his back in his mouth; Patrick basically sleeps through most of this.
7:20- Gospel reading-time to stand; I need a break so Matt holds Karol, who is showing serious signs of tiredness; she squirms, squirms, and squirms some more; the homily-sit down again; Karol wants a drink (she signs), specifically water (a more recently acquired sign); I take Karol out the back of the Church and take her on a tour of the basement of the Church to hopefully appease her appetite for adventure and go back upstairs to the water fountain. We spend at least 4 minutes going through this cycle- drink water, stick finger in water stream, water disappears (I stop pushing the button), I say 'the water is for drinking, are you all done or do you want more?'; Karol signs more; repeat cycle 5 or 6 times.
7:30- I guess that the Liturgy of the Eucharist has started; at a point where everyone is standing (the Our Father, maybe?), Karol and I return to our pew and Matt takes Karol; Karol wants water again, I tell her Daddy will take her to go get more water the next time everyone stands up; Matt tries to convince Karol she wants to sleep; Karol doesn't buy it and struggles.
7:45- Patrick is starting to stir, but stays asleep; Karol and Matt leave for more water; there is relative calm in the pew again.
7:50- Matt and Karol return just as the usher releases our pew for Communion; I carry Patrick and Matt carries Karol, both of whom behave very well for the walk down the aisle; Fr. Daniel blesses (or exorcises...?) our babies and administers Eucharist to Matt and I; we return to our seats.
7:55- Karol has reached her limit, is fighting Matt, and it looks like she's winning; I quickly pack Patrick up in his car seat and whisper to Matt 'I'm ready whenever you are.' Karol turns up the volume as we sit through the announcements.
8:00- The closing hymn begins, Matt gives me the look and we struggle out of the pew with our babies and their stuff, making it to the back just before everyone else starts clogging the aisles.
As you can see, Mass is not a smooth process just yet. We are working on a Church Kit we can bring to keep Karol occupied, but I hate to have one of those kids that crawls all over the pew with crayons and toys and food, so we're looking for Church/God related stuff for her to do. I may stop by the National Shrine's book shop for some cheap Catholic kids stuff.
Tell me, when does it get easier???