I imagined getting to Liturgy with a newborn would be so much easier this time around, what with FOUR kids who, theoretically, can dress themselves and put on their own shoes. When they can find their shoes anyway. But this last Saturday was one for the books. Or blog, rather. I told Shane I was going to write about it. He asked why. I said to make me feel better. Which is pretty much why I write. Because as soon as I start narrating a situation to myself, in the event no one is there to hear me, the hard, messy, frustrating, disgusting, or anything else unpleasant situation suddenly feels removed and I can look at it from the outside and find entertainment in it.
We have decided to send out Christmas cards this year. Complete with an updated photo of the kids. It's been 5 or 6 years, so it seems about time. To save time and anguish we figured we'd take a picture right before leaving for church. Which turned out to be not the best way to prepare for Liturgy, unless we were looking to shine a spotlight on many personal imperfections to reflect on and things to seek forgiveness for.
Well we found them. Along with four pairs of shoes- after several modifications- some decent outfits, and I quickly decided to go with the minimal hair brushing package, just the front that would show in the picture. Some of the kids expressed their disdain for the camera by trying to sabotage every picture. I am toying with the idea of sending some of the more unflattering pictures out and seeing how they like having their scowling face looking down from peoples' mantles. But we'll see.
We made it to the car with lots of incidents. Then the baby found an empty spot and started to fuss. Then 20 minutes in we hit ridiculous mall traffic. Getting close to the bridge we saw a sea unending red lights hardly moving. I knew Malachi's polite hints that he would like a snack would soon be turning into unmistakable "I am about to die" demands. The last exit before we were at the point of no return was coming up so I asked Shane to take it and find a place to park so I could feed him.
He did. And as Malachi tanked up we both mentally weighed our options and came to the same decision. Stick it out. Luckily, liturgy is almost 2 hours and Saturday evening always starts with vespers. So that would buy us a little more room. Even so, they were just preparing for the Gospel as we walked in. But we were both glad we forged ahead. Even when Malachi did a , as Kateri called it, the most 'hunormous poop'.
It was just at the end of the homily so the rest of the congregation got to be in the know too. Cyprian, who was sitting next to me, got to be in on the stink and was madly fanning his nose with his hands while he scrunched up his face and made disgusted faces.
The dr had mentioned at his 6 week checkup that sometimes babies won't poop for a week, and that is normal. I thought, whatever. Mine poops every time he eats and then some. So when he didn't go for two days I thought hmmm, once a week would be ok. But not when I saw the backlog that just two days amounted to. He had to be completely stripped and put back together. I was glad I had whispered to Kateri to come with me to change him. Four hands were not too many. Especially when I got the new diaper under him and he decided he was no quite done and then decided to end with a flourish by peeing all over his blanket.
I was also glad that amidst the chaos of picture taking I had packed a new outfit, undershirt, and blanket in the diaper bag. Next time I might add gloves. And a mop.
The rest of Liturgy went smoothly, and Malachi being cleaned out and tanked up, the drive home did too. We felt some sort of celebration was in order so we picked up a pizza on the way and watched an episode of BBC's Merlin with the kids.
At least next week we can skip the picture taking.
P.S. If you'd like to be on the Christmas card list send a SASE to - just kidding. Just email me. And if you were at the baby shower, don't assume I still have your mailing address because I have postpartum brain- how long can I keep using that-and I am not sure where that list is. But Kateri will be thrilled to play the part of secretary and another envelope and stamp would make her day. Audrey has agreed to write up a Christmas letter, never done that before, and she is a very good writer and will offer a fresh perspective and probably more accurate account of whatever she deems noteworthy in the past year. Which means there is bound to be a horse in it.