After an exciting week I was looking forward to today and was keeping my fingers crossed it would be a peaceful day.
We had a lot on the agenda, baseball, church, door-to-door cookie sales, and the big treat of the day McDonald's.
As you can imagine, going to church is the children's least favorite activity. So today I had a bribe for them...behave well in church and we'll go to McDonald's for dinner (otherwise...it's leftovers).
It probably is no secret to many of you, but I was hoping they would behave because I do NOT like leftovers.
And...it may surprise you that going to church is a challenge with the four of them. (Do you sense my sarcasm?) Here is the rundown:
#1 only needs reminders to participate. You know, pick up the book and sing-a-long. She has also been known to squeeze her brother's hand a tad to strong and for a bit to long....
Number 2. He's sly like a fox this one. Not sly enough though. Let's just say that last weekend he 'earned' the privilege of going to mass twice. (Yes...my most clever consequence yet.) Since he wasn't very well behaved last weekend he was lucky enough to attend mass for a second time on Sunday with me alone. This allowed me to demonstrate one-on-one my expectations for him. I don't think he'll have too many troubles at mass any more.
Number 3. She is a bit tricky to control. Her behavior is usually in direct correlation with that of #4.
Number 4. I only try to appease her. I cross my fingers and hope that she enjoys the music and sitting in my lap long enough to make it through the homily. After that I strategically dole out treasures from my purse (a notepad, a pen to draw on a small pad, stickers, and in extreme moments...my wallet).
So this evening I bribed them all. (I am SO not above bribery.) If they were well enough behaved we could go to McDonald's for dinner.
I told them that Number 4 would not negatively affect their chances to go to McDonalds'.
Audrey scoffs at bribes. And rewards.
This evening's mass went well enough. There were a few "if you do that again I am going to make you wish you hadn't" stares but they passed the criteria.
This is my conversation with Abbey near the end of mass...you know the part where it is REAL quiet and the priest is just sitting for a moment.
Abbey: "Momma was I good?"Children sure do know how to make their parents want to crawl under a rock and hide for a moment!
Me: "Yes" (in a whisper)
Abbey: "Oh good". "Then I can have some food!"
Why yes. I am going to feed you Abbey. But only today. Not tomorrow. Ugh.
That conversation still makes me laugh. Which makes me think of the little girls at the breakfast counter this morning...
I am clapping my hands.