There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
We went to church today. Well, not all of us. Tiffany stayed home as she continues to recuperate while her Mom stayed with her, nursing her ailments.
For those that don't know how things work, I sit on the stand (I am in the bishopric), while my family sits in the congregation. Normally, Tiffany sits in one of the front rows so that I can watch them and, in turn, they can watch me. They know that Dad is watching them and that they better treat Mom with respect and listen to her, because if not, Dad may get up off the stand and come down there and take them out of the meeting. This is more of a threat than anything, as I have yet to do this. With Dallin now 10, Emma a week away from 8, and Logan half way through 5, they generally do great sitting in church by themselves. Not sure if they always listen, but, hey, at least they don't disturb others. I can't say the same for Porter, our terrible two year old. Don't let the cuteness fool you. He is as terrible as they come.
Don't think that he is simply playing ball here. He is really calibrating his arm strength with release accuracy in an effort to send projectiles in the general direction of a sibling. He won't cough up details, but we think he has been practicing for years.
Everybody thinks he is so cute. Yes, his smile is disarming, which is what he wants you to believe. He also wants you to believe that because he is two, he can't do anything wrong. And people buy into it. Amazing!
My question, I now pose to you, is how is it that two adult mothers (Tiffany and her mom) who have expert knowledge in the combat of children decide to send four kids to church with little ole' me? Don't mind that one of which has a deadly accurate baseball throw?
I will tell you how. Knowing that I cannot watch a two year old from the stand, and knowing that I would use my excuse of being on the stand any ways, Tiffany called up another couple in the ward to watch all the kids, specifically the youngest. Mission accomplished! Now comes the most amazing thing about our two year old. This would be assassin we call Porter, not only sits quietly being coddled by good Brother Shingleton while his wife looks on, but I honestly think I caught Porter take a glance at me out of the corner of his eye, and, I swear, I saw an upturned smirk on his face. Kind of saying, "See, Dad, I know how to get what I want." And as proof he gets what he wants, the good Brother Shingleton came later in the day bearing gifts, in the form of rice crispy treats, for the kids for acting so good. I think that was Porters idea all along.
I don't know how he does it, but he seems to get what he wants. But in all gratitude, we thank the Shingletons watching the children today while Dad sat on the stand. As well as the rice crispy treats which didn't make it to the kitchen before a hand was already taking one.
I would like to go into how each one of the kids are dealing with the situation at hand. I have decided that perhaps in other posts I will describe how each one is dealing with this in more detail, but suffice it to say, they are all aware of the situation and each have their own interpretation of what it means to have mom gone. Porter loved the attention he got from Grandma, not even knowing mom was gone. Emma did what she was supposed to do, seeming not to have any change to her daily routine. Logan was the one that seemed to miss mom the most, while Dallin thought it meant more Wii time - but quickly found out that homework and housework must still be done first.
I finish this post, again, with gratitude to our Savior who makes all things bearable, and to his angelic help that each of you are.
To that I end this night,