Sunday, January 27, 2013

Attention Span

To my son Tommy,

Church always challenges your attention span.  Today it was a challenge you and I lost.

We went to the 12:15 mass to hear your cousin Emma sing.  It started off as normal, as we walk in the door to church now you decide you have to go potty.  This is actually a welcomed change because I know we are going to have to do potty times in church and to get one done before we get in the pews is nice.  I am not sure how you remain regular the rest of the week but Sunday mass for you is better than a diuretic and a bran muffin.

You started acting up way before your second potty visit.  It started with the usual, which I always try to correct but tend to overlook and not make a scene about.  You go walking down the pew among other family members visiting.  You quickly lost focus and wouldn't sit down for any amount of time.  Then came the boots.  You had decided to wear your frog boots to church and couldn't decide if you wanted to keep them on or off, even though your father wanted you to keep them on.  Then during the homily, came your second bathroom request.

When we made it back up to church from the second potty break, you decided it was time to leave.  Your voice stopped using the church voice and went louder and louder.  You had decided it was time to go.  You were not going to sit, you couldn't be held or restrained, you kept talking louder and louder.  Of course it felt like the entire church was quiet and all everyone else could hear is you.  That may or may not have been the case.  Then you started doing things that I almost believe were purposely meant to piss me off.  You laid down behind me so I could no longer sit and then came the kicking of the back of my legs as I stood or kicking of my butt and back as I knelt as the mass called for.  Then came you pulling out my pants pocket and putting it back in time after time after time.

For the first time in our attending mass, I lost my patience and no amount of silent prayer request was going to give it back to me.  I had tried asking you nicely, I had tried misdirection, I had tried getting you actively involved in mass by pointing out your cousin on the altar or pointing out the cross or pointing out the priest,  I tried ignoring you, nothing was working.  You had brought me to the point that corporal punishment was seeming like a viable alternative and that perhaps I should change my position in regards to this.  But before that happened, I threw on your frog boots and pulled us out of mass.  I took you home explained how you were behaving poorly and ordered you to your room.  Surprisingly you went.  You cried and said you wanted to go back to church and be good.  I am not sure if it was because you were upset that I was upset or because I had explained how we could no longer attend the moon bounce with the rest of the family after church.  I accepted your apology and spent some time trying to explain to you that you will have to be better next week as there were no more masses today.

You are a well mannered child as I have pointed out before.  I just think that mass might be out of your attention span.  It is something we will have to work on because frankly there will be many many many more things in life that you have to sit through that are much longer and much less interesting.  Hopefully next week will be better.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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