Babies are making me crazy. I can’t talk over them in Gospel Doctrine and I can’t hear over them in Relief Society. For a Church that’s so pro-family, why is that we do nothing for the 0-17 month crowd except force their parents to spend two hours each week trying to get them to stop licking people’s shoes?
Seriously, where do you go with your little ones during Church when they won’t sit quietly? In my ward, the answer is: nowhere. You stay in class and let them scream, even if it means that no one else can hear the lesson.
I don’t want to sound like I am blaming these parents. The alternative is to walk the halls (no one needs that much exercise), or, assuming you can pry the deacons off of the only couch in the entire building, to sit in an area that offers your kid nothing to play with except a breakable lamp, an extension cord, and an outlet with no protective cover (were our church lobbies designed by the American Trial Lawyers Association?).
Every time we have a child in this age range, I become apoplectic at the continual, wearying senselessness of trying to make it through Church. I suppose there might be a lesson here on enduring to the end (‘the end’ being defined as the age when you get to send them to nursery and do the happy dance in the hallway), or perhaps good grist for a reality show (“In our next event, we’ll see who can rip more hymn books without their parents noticing, Avery or Abby.” or “Today, Brother Jones and Brother Garcia face off: which one can keep a toddler quieter with only a sacrament meeting program, pen, and a set of keys?” Or, the way I feel it plays out when I teach: “Today, we’ll see if Sister Smith can make it through the lesson in her usual peripatetic way without stepping on one of the six–count ’em, six!–babies on the front row. She’ll lose one point for every baby that crawls under her skirt.” Note: so far, that’s happened twice to me while teaching this month. Maybe I should wear shorter skirts?)
I’m venting here, but I am also dreading next year, when I’ll have another bundle of joy in the Screaming Baby catagory. What can be done about this?