One thing that is usually a good thing around here is the attitude the kids -both Maya and Kurt -generally have about going to church as well as attending Sunday School too. We had some really bumpy roads with each one of them at times when they were much younger but thankfully, those issues have been pretty well ironed out.
Well, most of the time that's true. However, this past Sunday -Palm Sunday -I was more than a bit upset and irritated with some of the things Maya persisted in doing off and on throughout the service!
We had to be out at church before 10 a.m. in order for the kids to be able to go to Sunday School and this Sunday, I had to be there then too because guess who had volunteered a few months ago to teach Sunday School on Palm Sunday? Yep, that would be me! And the class I had volunteered to teach? None other than Miss Maya's group!
Okay -so this past Sunday there were only three kids from her class there -Maya, a girl she's friends with in school as well as at church and a boy who is about a year older than Kurtis. That boy is also a twin but because sometimes when the two boys are in the same class (taught by their Dad) the two together can be a bit overwhelming mainly because they are both very advanced learners too!
Boy, are they ever!
The class began with Maya obsessing with a World Globe sitting on the class table and she was intent then on discussing geography. Okay -I decided I could use that curiosity to my advantage and tell the kids that the story from the Bible we would be working on was to be about Esther from the book of Esther and that her story took place in the land we know today as Iran. Well, that idea lasted maybe not quite a minute!
Sam -the twin -did get interested in geographic stuff but unfortunately, he was more into telling us various factoids he knew about places like Russia and even China too. Seems he was amazed at the information he'd learned somewhere that China has over 30 billion people. (I think he told us 30 billion. Does that sound right? I didn't check on his figures to make sure of the population there -30 billion or only a mere 30 million -a whole lot of citizens in one big old country anyway.)
Well, he was rattling off those facts and when he took a breath for a second or two after his announcement about the population, I made mention of another fact along those lines -that China has the largest population in the world!
Boy, wish you could have seen his eyes as they got as big a saucers and he said "Really?" I assured him I was right about that bit of information and he then told me -in a very astonished tone of voice -"Thank you for telling me that as I didn't know that!" Wow! You'd have sworn I'd just made his day!
But anyway, we made our way through the class and I was able to use the Biblical text to bring the discussion around to what was actually supposed to be the current day topic of Bullying. And all three of the kids made mention of some things that have happened to them at school that they felt fit the criteria to be considered bullying. (And, yes -each one of them understood how three different things would be considered bullying! That made me feel that I had at least achieved a little of the goal for the day anyway!)
After Sunday School came -of course -the Sunday Service -complete with a big processional of all those attending as we marched into the sanctuary, each carrying our own palm branches and then, made our way to our respective seats for the service to start.
As soon as we were seated, I began to hear this little bit of a tap, tap, tapping sound and to my chagrin, it was coming from Maya who was lightly tapping her toes on the floor! It wasn't a terribly loud sound, but just enough that those of us seated in and around her would hear it and it was very annoying!
So, I asked her, then told her, then demanded of her that she please cease and desist in doing that as it was bothering me and probably other congregants too but all that was to no avail as you could see by the look on her face that she was going to push this envelope just as far with me as she possibly could. She would even tap her toes when we were standing up, singing and/or saying parts of the liturgy! And I was doing a very slow burn at first once I realized she was going to push me just as far as she could!
Finally -after I had even gone so far as to step on her toes at one point -I got a hold of her arm and removed a book from her hands that she was thinking she would look at during the sermon and I whispered to her that since she hadn't listened and stopped that infernal toe tapping routine, I was taking her out to the narthex where we would then sit out the rest of the service!
Finally, that did seem to get her attention or at least redirected her actions for a while anyway!
Then, came time for the part in the service where we "share the peace" -meaning you turn to those seated around you and shake hands, murmuring "Peace be with you." Now this is something which we never know how either Maya or Kurtis is going to handle that activity from one Sunday to the next! One time they'll both be friendly, shake hands and say, "Peace" and the next week maybe neither will do that or one will but the other won't. And the one who refuses to participate -if the members of our church were not already familiar with the way either or both of these kids operate, they might be offended and consider one or both of the grandkids to be very rude. Thankfully, there are certain folks who almost always sit in our general vicinity though and are accustomed to the kids and their ways. So this Sunday, when Maya was being her somewhat normal kind of snooty self and refusing to share the peace here and there -that is, until her friend from school responded to her by extending her hand and then, after that, Maya finally shook hands then with Alex -my older grandson! Kurtis on the other hand, was being very sociable, to the extent of crawling down the pew behind me just to tap Maya's shoulder and extend his hand to her and for her to turn away from him! Typical for her to do something like that!
After that and then, the offertory, came the next step in the service -communion!
Now this, Maya is usually fine and dandy with the whole procedure but not this Sunday! Nope! When the usher pointed to our row, indicating we could approach the altar, all of a sudden Maya refused to begin walking out of our pew! Why? Well, because the young lady seated on the other side of Maya -a member of the church who is in college so not always home and when she is, she and her parents generally sit on the other side of the church from where my family always sits -and Maya -in a loud stage whisper type voice, announces to me "No! No! I don't want to kneel by some stranger!"
Oh for Pete's sake girl! Give me a break will ya?
So we then had to wait until Maya could squeeze past me and get in line behind me, between me and Alex -her cousin!
My slow fuse burning was beginning to speed up by then!
Perhaps Miss Maya best be happy that Gram hasn't yet purchased any more new life insurance policies and especially none in her name or I might have some really bad thoughts entering my mind otherwise, ya know!
No, I really wouldn't go quite to that extreme to stop her obnoxious behaviors but as probably any other parent out there would agree, I think from time to time when trying to discipline a child who is being really unruly, those thoughts or some a bit along those lines, maybe do come into our minds from time to time don't they?
Boy, she is so lucky that I do dearly love her -and her brother -and would be completely lost without either of them in my life. But she best learn to curb some of her risky behavior a good bit in the future or else! I'm not sure what the "or else" would be but she better look out!