We're Catholic, which means our church does not offer daycare. You have to bring your kids to church with you, which -- especially when they're around two years old -- is just as exhausting as it sounds. When you tell this to parents who belong to other denominations, they gasp in horror and quietly say a little prayer for you, because they can't imagine your suffering.
However, our church offers a Sunday School program for kids ages four and up. Jay and I have been dreaming of the Sunday School program for, oh, four years now, picturing the day when we could attend church peacefully by ourselves and secretly laugh at all of the poor, unfortunate souls who had to attend church with children under four.
"Ha, ha, HA!" we would say, watching their children throw Cheerios and climb under the pews and scream, "DO WE GET TO GO HOME NOW???" right after communion. We'd watch all the little old ladies glare at other couples instead of at us, knowing those days were far, far in our past.
Last week was the first day of Sunday School. We walked WCK to the classroom, and she immediately launched into Full Freakout Mode. She was crying, shaking, and clinging to us for dear life. It was like we were casting her into the depths of Hell instead of leaving her in a cheerful-looking classroom with a very sweet teacher and a group of smiling children who were singing, "If You're Happy and You Know It." We gave up and took her to church with us.
This morning, again, we walked her to the Sunday School class. Jay was ready to waver, but I was NOT going to give up on my four-year dream of Sunday School. We told WCK that if she decided to attend Sunday School, we'd all go get a doughnut in the church basement afterwards. When we got to the classroom, however, WCK again launched into Full Freakout Mode. We gave up, apologized to the teacher, and began walking toward the church with WCK in tow.
"Do I still get a doughnut?" she asked.
"No," I said. "The doughnut was only if you went to Sunday School."
WCK instantly whirled around, marched back to the classroom, threw on her cross-shaped name tag, sat down at a little desk and began coloring pictures of Jesus. That was the last we saw of her for one very peaceful hour. When we came to pick her up, WCK reported that she LOVED Sunday School and can't wait to go back.
With doughnuts, all things are possible.