The Adventure of Going to Church

Nothing in the world annoys Noah as much as being forced to get washed and dressed when he is occupied doing something else. This morning he was watching Ben and Holly when I had to get him ready to go to church. The good thing (usually) about Ben and Holly is that each episode us only ten minutes long. Ten minutes before I knew I would have to get him dressed, I told him this would be the last one he was watching. When I turned it off, he went berserk. He attacked me. He bit my arm, ripped my top and threw a wooden car at me. I tried to sit him down on my lap to calm him. He slapped me straight around the face (this is new) and sank his teeth into my wrist and wouldn’t let go. I don’t know whether you have ever experienced this first hand, but when someone has their teeth imbedded in a part of your body where there isn’t much flesh, even if it is your dearly loved three year old, all you want to do is fight back. And I don’t want to go there. I pushed him off and left the room, shutting the door. He came flying after me, crying, wanting to be held.

My mother has kindly bought me the Supernanny book. I’ve read the first three chapters. Admittedly, the woman is not on my wavelength when it comes to toddlers, but Noah’s tantrums are increasingly explosive, so my husband and I will take any advice we can get. The book includes what to do if… using a range of situations and examples of naughty behaviour. But what are you supposed to do when your child does everything in the book, from getting out of bed, to ignoring instructions, to running off when we are outside? In fact, the only thing he doesn’t have issues with is eating. I read Supernanny’s food chapter smugly. So what does Supernanny suggest? The naughty step of course. If only the boy would stay there…

Back to this morning…I refused to hold him and turned away from him (I know, what a bitch!). I told him he had to sit on the naughty chair and when he was calm, we could talk about what he had done. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” he kept saying. But sorry isn’t good enough when I have bright red bite marks all up my arm. Anyway, he wouldn’t sit on the chair. I ended up sitting him down and kneeling in front of him to keep him there. According to Jo Frost (who sometimes refers to herself as Jo-Jo), a three year old should sit there for three minutes. After the three minutes(ish), we held each other as if our lives depended on it and he was reasonably calm. I have never watched Supernanny but I imagine it is full of tantrum throwing Noahs; Noah would make good TV and I would be the hopeless mother looking on uselessly!

We are always late for church. Always without exception. It didn’t help today that Noah scooted ten metres away from our front door then refused to scoot any more. Noah goes to Sunday School during the church service. There is a new woman leading it and Noah refused to answer any of her questions apart from when she asked him how old he is, he said he was three, it had been his happy birthday yesterday and he had a Peppa Pig cake. Everything that isn’t happening right now, happened yesterday for Noah. When he meets new people, one of his favourite ways of introducing himself is, “When I was a baby yesterday, I was eating sand.”

After Sunday School, we walked over to the church to receive communion. The vicar can never get his hand on Noah’s head to bless him but he says the words and the sentiment is there so, as far as I am concerned, Noah has had his blessing. We then sit in church for the last ten minutes while notices are read and the final hymn is sung. By a stroke of bad luck, someone had left a blue colouring pencil in the pew. Let’s just say the ancient pew and the board you kneel on now have blue streaks on them. I tried to get it off, but some traces remain.

God bless you, my Noah.

P.S. Rev, if you are reading this, I am so sorry! I think the blue will come off with a bit of water and a cloth! FYI, it’s the pew at the back. Also, I’m sorry you had to step over Noah who was lying across the aisle as you were making your exit. I was engrossed in the hymn: it’s one of my favourites. Here I am Lord, it is I Lord…

P.P.S. God, forgive me (and Noah) for defacing your church. Amen.

It wasn't me; it was the monster in my pocket.
It wasn’t me; it was the monster in my pocket.