Exhausting Trip To Church

Terry didn't want to go to church with William and me this week, so we went on our own. I didn't get my act together to leave in time to feed him in the parking lot before Mass, so I just threw him in the car and hoped for the best. Best-case scenario would be that he'd sleep through everything, and be on a 3-hour cycle so I could feed him AFTER mass. Worst-case scenario would be that he would want to eat after only two hours, which would be on the drive to church.

I got a close-to-worse case scenario. He did make it the 20 minutes to church sitting happily in his car seat, so it was an easy trip. And he was fine for the first 15 minutes or so of Mass. But then he got hungry during the first reading.

I decided to go ahead and feed him right there in the pew since I was in the back on an end seat, so only the woman next to me could possibly see. With the sling, I think I was pretty discreet, and William cooperated by not slurping too loudly. He was making a little noise, but it was a lot quieter than when he was fussing before I fed him.

He finished right about when the gospel reading was over, then I had to burp him. He was quiet for awhile, but then he belched VERY loudly during the homily, I chose to consider it funny instead of horrifying. The woman next to me was good natured, she raised her eyebrows and said, "that was a good one!" If that was all, it wouldn't have been so bad, but then he projectile-spit over the side of the sling onto my skirt, my purse, the pew. Thank goodness it didn't hit the nice lady next to us, it did come quite close.

I had been unable to find a burp cloth in the diaper bag (I thought I heard Terry provisioning it when he was downstairs helping to get things together before I left), but I did find a flannel receiving blanket I figured would work for that purpose. Thankfully, I had the foresight to pull that out in advance so I was able to quickly catch his second spit-up before it went very far, and it didn't take long to clean up the first mess. The lack of my regular burp cloths was a blessing in disguise, since they would have been inadequate for the task-- I needed the entire blanket to mop it up.

Once again, William was calm. But unfortunately for me, it didn't last long. When the baskets were being passed, he started fussing loudly because his diaper was wet. I took him out of there, and changed his diaper in the back hall where all the other parents of kids were hanging out. I also went ahead and changed his outfit, which was soaked from the spit-up. We were back in the pew before the Great Amen.

This time, I was able to keep William quiet by constantly rocking or bouncing him. Terry also neglected to check to make sure a pacifier was in the bag, so it was very difficult for me to get him to sleep. W chomped on my finger a little bit, but he was unable to fall asleep, even in the sling. So he was just tired and cranky the rest of the Mass, but if I rocked him he stayed quiet.

I had to change his diaper again in the car after Mass, but at least he was calm on the ride home. Unfortunately, he didn't sleep, so he was over-tired at home. Terry took him for awhile, but in his care he continued to skip naps between feedings, and by 9pm or so he had a complete meltdown. I had to go in and soothe him to sleep.

I can always get him to calm down and sleep by holding him and rocking him in the rocking chair, but Terry just doesn't seem to get that. Although he can usually calm him down by putting him over his shoulder, it wasn't working tonight. And Terry was getting very frustrated, which was why I stepped in-- I think W probably sensed that which only made him more upset.

It probably took about 30 minutes, but I got W calm, and asleep in his cradle. Terry wanted me to put W in the bed next to him to sleep, but I was having none of that. I didn't want the kid waking up crying when I got into bed hours later, I prefer it when he's in his cradle. It takes a few minutes longer for me to help him to sleep in there, but I think it's worth it. Terry usually just puts him in the bed since he doesn't have the patience to hover over the cradle until W is sleepy enough to fall asleep on his own.

All in all, a pretty exhausting time from 5pm to 9:30pm. But once W was sleeping (like a baby, I suppose) I was able to work on the diaper bag in peace for a few hours.