A children's time

All over town today it seemed as though people were talking about Phoebe's performance at church yesterday.

Let me explain.

So Kates had to play in the bell choir during yesterday's church service, which leaves me to take care of Phoebe in the pew by myself while Kates sits in the balcony with the bell choir. That factor alone makes me extremely nervous.

Then comes the children's portion of the worship service, and every Sunday is the same. At first Phoebe doesn't want to join the rest of the children at the altar, but a few minutes later she says, "I want to go." ... Kates and I have two choices: Escort her to the already-started children's time or tell her we can't go because it's already started and risk her bursting into tears. It's a no-win because either decision is going to result in half the congregation staring at us.

Yesterday, I took her to the children's time. After leading her to the altar to sit with the rest of the children, I tried to back aside to an adjacent pew, but Phoebe insisted I sit next to her. Another no-win.

As the children's sermon is continuing -- and we're sitting in front of the entire congregation -- Phoebe proceeds to crawl under the communion rail, curl up and lay down on the floor of the altar area, using her infamous blankie as a pillow.

Even as the woman leading the children's time instructed the kids to get up and follow her to another area of the sanctuary, Phoebe stayed where she was, lying on the floor.

The whole time I'm thinking, Please don't get any worse. Please don't get any worse. Please don't get any worse. And Kates, who is watching all of this unfold from the balcony, is clenching her teeth.

Finally, the children's time ended and the kids filtered back to their seats. I swooped up to the altar area and pulled Phoebe into my arms, while members of the congregation laughed at the scene.

Yes, every other person Kates and I encountered at our workplaces today, it seemed, had something to say about Phoebe's performance at church yesterday. Fortunately, they all loved it.

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