It seems really ungrateful to be posting about things that aren’t good, but it makes for a more balanced blog, I suppose. This weekend was pretty standard, with Saturday being a slow starting, relaxing sort of day, with a nice walk over to the mall (in the rain!) and family movie night and so on. Sunday was also typical, with Church in the morning, grumpy exit to Starbucks and minor rows before lunch.
I’ve been going to church since I was very small, and while I’m sure I’ve done my share of mucking about during the service, I’m also sure I knew there was a time and a place and some kind of line you didn’t cross. I was aware there was a specific atmosphere that was being generated in church and if you were going to talk, or laugh, or tell stories, you did it really quietly.
The two younger weasels don’t get this. There could be all kinds of reasons. I was a small child in an ancient church, and it did everything the old churches were supposed to do. It made me feel small and insignificant, it exuded age and importance, it inspired awe. It was dark, and smelled of old incense and age. The church we go to now was probably built in the last twenty years. It’s light, modern and airy, and the pews are comfortable. The vicar is a smiley lady who jokes and laughs and repeatedly says she doesn’ mind the kids running around during the service. But I mind. I go to church these days to get a little clarity before plunging back into the week. I feel like I spend the weekdays with a dozen voices inside and outside my head, and I look for some time to get them straight. Plus, listening to the sermons makes me think, about what I believe and about what other people believe. I’ve had a lot of ideas for things to write because of what I think about on Sunday mornings. That may sound mercenary, but I believe that if you’re writing something like a play, it should be important to you, should mean something. Unless it’s just a sketch, in which case, who cares?
The upshot of all this is that I get cross with the Tiniest weasels because they don’t behave the way I want them to in church. Mrs Dim says I should relax, because they’re young, they’re getting better all the time (debateable) and the other people in the congregation don’t mind too much. She says it annoys her that I always come out of church in a huff because I can’t allow my kids to be kids. She also says that this is the way we spend every Sunday and she doesn’t want it to go on like that. Well, that’s fair enough: neither do I. But who should give way? I think the biggest problem for me is that I’m worried the problem is not the weasels, but me. I knew mucking about in church was wrong when I was the same age as Tiniest Weasel, so if she doesn’t, it’s because we haven’t gotten the message across as parents. That suggests I’m not doing the best job I could as a parent.
So we wrangled with these problems through Sunday, trying to have a family afternoon by forcing everyone to play Monopoly and then eat their vegetables at tea time. By Eight Thirty we were pretty relaxed. Mostly because the two tiniest weasels were in bed and we were watching The Da Vinci Code. I love a good comedy.
But to top it all off, Tiniest Weasel woke up sick this morning. We got her the H1N1 jab to prevent Swine Flu, and now she’s just got a cold. So I can’t walk the big weasels to school, take the dog out, get the new bulb I need for the car or the Carbon Monoxide alarm that might tell us if we’re tired because we’re being poisoned by our heating system. Mrs Dim would say this is the root of my problem: I want things to go the way I expect, and when that doesn’t happen, I get grumpy instead of adapting and kicking it up a gear.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.