It has taken me a little while to sit down and document the events of Easter Sunday. I have been in recovery…from the shame.
Yep, Little Miss decided to strut, or rather scream, her stuff once more.
I have been somewhat remiss in my church attendance of late and so, being Easter Sunday, I decided to accompany my parents and the kids to mass. Not just any mass, Easter Sunday mass, the highlight of the Catholic year. It’s kind of a big deal.
Now I know that an hour can be a long time to expect the smalls to sit still and behave but my mother assured me that with some strategic snacks and a few quiet toys they actually have always behaved very well in Church when they have taken them previously…without me.
With me…WHOLE NEW BALL GAME.
Almost as soon as we took our seats, near the front of a very packed congregation, Little Miss began eyeing me sideways. This is never a good sign. Mass begins.
“Bag mummy?” she asks, not blinking.
Nervously I pass her her small rucksack filled with a few of her toys. I try to look confident. She gives me a nod. Ok, I appear to have passed the first test.
She slowly unzips the bag, shooting me the occasional sideways glance to check that she still has my attention. From the ruck sack she pulls out a small toy train. (Not the trains again *weeps*, see here.) She begins to quietly run it along the top of the pew in front. This is ok, it’s not too noisy. I relax a little. Mass continues.
She continues with this game for several minutes. Just as we reach one of the many quiet moments of the mass she stares in my direction and, without breaking eye contact once, fires said train hurtling along the pew at lightening speed which promptly crashes to the floor, way beyond our reach, smiting some poor unsuspecting boy’s cheek along the way. I mouth my apologies to the boy and mutter a very embarrassed thank you to the parishioners in front who have passed the train back along the bench towards us. Hastily, I shove it in my pocket, out of her reach.
Now it’s Granny’s turn.
She eyes Granny sideways but Granny’s having none of it. She’s praying.
“Muckel Ganny?” (Roughly translates to ‘Malt Loaf Granny?’)
“Muckel Ganny? Ganny?”
Granny relents and begins to unwrap the foil from the piece of malt loaf she has prepared in advance. Who knew that unwrapping foil sounds a MILLION times louder in Church than it does at home? And that the slower you do it, the louder it seems to become? I have since decided foil is unholy. Only clear, unadulterated cling film from now on for any church based snacks…if we ever go back.
Finally, released from it’s cacophonous wrapping, Granny begins to feed Little Miss one small mouthful of malt loaf at a time. “Why don’t you just give her the whole lot?” I whisper at Granny.
Granny raises her eyebrows, shrugs her shoulders, and hands Little Miss the whole slice.
And then I learnt why.
After shoving the whole thing in her mouth, sucking it just enough to form a thick, globular viscous substance, she then smears her face with it and allows it to dribble all the way down the front of her very best dress.
And then she demands more.
Granny’s quiet prayer sounds suspiciously like “I told you so.”
She drops some more toys, climbs on and off the bench a million times, finds me snatching her hand away from the poor boy in fronts’ back a HILARIOUS game and, eventually, we approach the end of the mass.
And now she actually looks at the altar. There she spies an altar boy lighting the Easter candle.
“Candle.” she mutters.
‘Oh, God help me’ I pray. I know what’s about to happen. So does Granny. We stare at each other, and Little Miss, helplessly.
“My Candle. Candle. MY Candle. MINE! MINE! MY CANDLE!!!” she roars.
We throw everything at it. We pass her books, food, the toy train comes back out of my pocket. She wants none of it. She only wants…
“CANNNNNNDDDDDDDLEEEE!” She weeps.
Granny looks like she wants to die. Right there.
I cuddle her to me, she flails and screams some more.
Granny frantically waggles the silver dog from her Radley bag in her face in a hopeless effort to distract her.
Thankfully mass is now finishing and I begin to bundle her, kicking and screaming into her coat. We try to leave but our way is blocked. She screams some more. I become horribly aware of the fact that the entire parish is now staring in our direction, except the kids who are patiently queuing at the door to receive their Easter chocolate from the priest and BLOCKING OUR EXIT!
Eventually one kind church warden manages to break through the queue, grabs my arm and ushers me towards the emergency exit. “She must be very tired my dear, let’s get you out of here.” she smiles sweetly whilst bundling me onto the street.
Outside I breathe deeply, place her down, and get down to her level hoping to appeal to her better nature.
She is having none of it. Instead she runs to the door and lies face down at the feet of the priest, bawling and kicking her legs.
The priest takes one look at her, one look at me and hands ME a bag of maltesers.
“Take these my child. You look like you need them.”