I hate being late, as a matter of fact it drives me crazy if I’m not at least 5 minutes early.
It’s taken me 20 months to admit that my schedule no longer belongs to me, it belongs to my 20 month old son. The more I hurry, the slower he gets.
This past Sunday morning we had some time before church so my wife made pancakes for breakfast. My son has only had pancakes one other time but that one time must have made an impression because when we told him we were having pancakes he squealed and danced – you’d have thought he’d just won a trip to Disney World.
After strapping him into his high chair we placed a syrup covered pancake on his plate, gave him a fork and he began to eat. It’s important you understand that most days when he eats one of two things happen, either he puts so much food in his mouth that you could mistake him for a chipmunk, or he doesn’t eat at all. There is no in-between – until this past Sunday.
He decided this past Sunday that he would savor his food. He carefully used his fork to PIERCE his pancake, SLOWLY raised the fork to his mouth, used his teeth to DELICATELY remove the pancake from the fork, CHEWED the pancake at a snail’s pace and moaned in sheer delight the entire time. First one bite, then another, then another – but no big deal we had almost an hour before church and he had a bath the night before so all we needed to do was get him dressed – plenty of time.
After 30 minutes of “fine dining” my son must have decided that he wasn’t completely satisfied with his dining experience because he ditched the fork and began using his fingers to eat his pancakes. The process did speed up a bit so I figured we were in great shape and still had plenty of time.
I left him to his food and began to clean up the kitchen. As most of you parents know, when your toddler is entertained – do something productive because you might not get another chance all day. I turned for only a second only to look back and find that my son learned to balance his fork on top of his head. I then learned a fork covered in maple syrup will balance on a toddler’s head. I also learned that a toddler can touch every square inch of his body in 2.5 seconds when his fingers are covered in maple syrup.
Now we are in desperate need of a bath and church will start in 20 minutes. We make a mad dash to the bathroom, my wife covered our son head to toe with baby shampoo, sprayed off the suds, towel dried him in route to the changing table and then began the art of dressing a toddler hopped up on carbohydrates and maple syrup.
I am witness to the fact that a mother can slide pants onto a kid when his legs are kicking so fast his feet are a blur. She can put a shirt over his head and both arms at the same time. She can comb his hair, put on his jacket, socks, and shoes while strapping him into the car seat. Good thing, because I can’t do most of those things with him lying still and we’ve only got 10 minutes to spare before church starts and a seven minute drive.
So at this point we are down to the wire but I’m confident I’ll get him to the nursery and me in a pew before the organ begins to moan. I pulled into the church parking lot on two wheels – 5 minutes to go (I may have sinned on my way to church if you consider speeding a sin). I jumped from the car and ran around to the back door on the other side to get to the car seat. I opened the door only to find that my son has kicked off both shoes and both socks.
No big deal, I’ll throw the shoes and socks in the diaper bag and the nursery attendant can put them on him – or so I thought. I found both shoes but only one sock. I looked on the floor board, I looked under the seat, I looked in the diaper bag, I even looked in my son’s pockets – no sock. Oh well, we have 2 minutes to go, he’ll just have to go without one sock.
I lifted him from the car seat only to find the missing sock. Somehow he was able to raise himself against his 5 point harness that would make any NASCAR driver claustrophobic just enough to get his sock underneath him. My anal retentive side kicked in and I was unable to overcome the impulse to put both socks and both shoes on before getting him out of the car. With socks and shoes on both feet I grabbed the diaper bag and my son and sprinted down the hallway towards the nursery.
As I ran past the nursery I “tossed” my son to the attendant, grabbed a bulletin from the greeter and sat down just as the announcements were beginning.
I’m glad the opening prayer was a long one, otherwise I would have been too out of breath to sing the first hymn!