Our Stake Conference was today. Also known as the dreaded day without Primary or nursery for those of you who speak in LDS terms. It was a double whammy for me because Derek was out of town until this afternoon, so I was going to have to brave it alone.
Imagine it if you will. Let's put it into one of those movie preview voices. You imagine the music in the background while I narrate:
Hold onto your scriptures because here it is, the most anticipated spectacle of the year! One woman...(dramatic music inserted here and flash my face without the stress zit that popped up on my chin the other day) two children under the age of five (more dramatic music and pictures of my kids running)...face the daunting task of: Stake Conference!
They said it couldn't be done... (show pictures of people mocking) this woman barely out of her youth (I'm adding that phrase to make me feel younger here, just go with it okay.) handling these two children during a conference where adults speak for TWO FULL HOURS without stopping!!! (flashes of speakers at the pulpit).
She'd have only one opening hymn, a couple of releases and sustainings and a rest hymn to help her survive (more dramatic music). Was she up to the challenge? Who would come of conquerer--the young mother or her two, fatherless children? Coming to a theater near you!
Well, I'm happy to say that we survived the entire conference and I actually did feel the Spirit while I was there. Our stake president reminds me a lot of my last stake president in his down to earth, let's be real approach which I really like. I was really blessed to have some friends of mine, who don't have any children, come in and sit right behind me and the wife pretty much served as my nanny during the whole thing.
I really do have to wonder about the whole stake conference idea...I think it's a great idea for all of us to come together as a stake, but it's really, really difficult to have your children endure that much sitting for that long. I realize Ryanna is old enough to do okay with a fair amount of coloring books and Benadryl injected straight to her veins. Owen is not able to do it (I can't seem to get the dosage right yet...) and I am not alone in this either as I saw zillions of other parents roaming the halls with their brood trying to keep them quiet. (Before someone turns me into child protective services, I am totally joking about drugging my kids up okay?)
Even harder is the Saturday night session which my husband and I have never attended since we've lived in Arizona. In our last ward, all of our friends had small children like we do, so it wasn't fair to ask them to miss stake conference so we could go. For those with family nearby, it's was no big deal. Frankly, after serving in Young Women's in the prior ward, I don't know that I would've trusted many of the youth to watch our kids.
Seriously, can you imagine the day before microphones? Can't you just see the families? Here's a probable pioneer family discussion in preparation for attending stake conference:
Mother: June!!! Do you have the gunney sack full of treats for young Henry and Eliza?
June: Indeed I do mother. I have packed some of our tastiest smoked jerky and a whole jar of raspberry preserves with a loaf of that wonderful bread that Sis. Pierce brought us a fortnight ago. (I knew I could get the word fortnight in an entry if I wrote enough of these blog things!)
Mother: Bless you June. I think you may also want to grab some sticks and rocks that they can throw at each other to keep them entertained as well.
June: I already thought of that mother. (you'll notice in corny books written in this day and age, the children always say "mother" instead of "mom.")
Mother: I do appreciate your help with all of this. I can only hope that we don't sit next to that noisy Petersen family. They are what I'd call a lively group.
June: Yes, and have you heard? The town's all a flutter with news that her husband has left her to study abroad for a time and she'll have to care for the young things all by herself.
Mother: Well, we can only hope to set a good example for young Sis. Petersen. She does try her hardest after all.
I am still thinking of creating a petition to begin an even earlier nursery than currently exists. You know how they have CTR A and CTR B or they used to anyway. It would be Nursery A. My guidelines would be:
1. Child must be mobile ('cause before that you just have to deal with them--sorry!)
2. No biting allowed (one bite and you're gone, no fair to make other parents hate your kid)
3. Run by responsible married couples without kids (this will serve two purposes: give the parents of the child a break and make the married couple running the nursery realize how much they want a baby or how they are not yet ready to be parents--bonus either way)
All joking aside, I love church even if it is difficult with kids. I know that the only way they will be able to learn to sit quietly is if I keep giving them opportunities to do it. It's just fun to poke a little fun at my own struggle to deal with it. I am grateful though that I have my husband by my side to help out. There are special blessings for all you women that have husbands sitting on the stand.