Monday, August 31, 2009

Your kid CAN go one hour without eating

This post is inspired by yesterday's church attendance. Oh, I know, I know... generally it isn't considered polite for people to gripe about church, but this has nothing to do with the doctrine or leadership. This has to do with the members. And hey, the church is perfect but the members are most definitely not.

The Scene:
We actually got the third row in an attempt to hear the speaker and maybe concentrate on the talks. Families with tiny children quickly surrounded us. During sacrament the children behind us kept complaining loudly that they wanted a treat... their mother kept saying that they would get their treat after the Sacrament. Sure enough the Deacons hadn't even been released to sit with their families when picnic time erupted and the noise of plastic wrappers, crunchy serials, and children arguing and physically abusing each other over cheerios rang throughout the building drowning out the speakers. This was not only the family sitting behind us, but on all fronts people were breaking out their food.

This is SACRAMENT MEETING people! Not a baseball game. It is symbolic of the greatest act of man and God and you are doling out gummi bears??? This really makes me livid. People with children everywhere are saying (and I can hear you, so don't deny it) "but little (insert name with a y on the end in the diminutive) needs to eat. She/He is hungry." The fact of the matter is little (insert name) does NOT need to eat. Children (even tiny ones) can go two hours without eating. And preschool age children--most of the offenders in my scenario--can go 3-4 hours without food. Imagine that. What a novelty, but not really as I am sure these parents are not stuffing their kids full of treats every 20 minutes when they are on their home turf. It is called planning, people. The LONGEST Sacrament meeting I was ever in went for an hour and forty minutes. Still not long enough for a child to need to eat.

Oh, now I find those of you who will try to convince me that these food bribes help the child behave. Oh, no. I have seen your children 'behaving' before and after the treats. The Latin Fury and Big Steve DID not bribe us with treats or food of any kind during church. It was simply not acceptable. In fact my father had the strict idea that we went to church to "worship, not to have fun" (yes, his own words). No one is going to convince me that a cheerio assists in a child's worship. In addition to not assisting it turns normally charming kids into shameless food panderers.

I beg of you, stop the insanity. Bring your quiet books if you must (though Big Steve did not approve of those either), bring your pictures of the Temple, Jesus, and family members... but do not train your child to think that Sacrament meeting is nothing more than a time to play with Mom and Dad and get graham crackers by the dozen. I realize that many people have their patterns set, but this is a promise: My hypothetical children WILL go without food during Sacrament Meeting.

9 comments:

smithfieldman said...

Maybe you should suggest they put the treats in a ziploc bag? That way they aren't trying to unwrap the plastic and making so much noise.

stewedslacker said...

Little kids are S#@%'s. I think that I am developing an unhealthy hatred of them that started when I was a life guard and culminated recently when my wife and I were called to teach six year old's in primary. I think there should we a lot more rod and a lot less spoiling going on.

Nolo and Lauren said...

Agree with you... but my question is, why are people with little kids sitting in the front (even middle) rows at church. Don't these parents know kids will need to be taken out, be loud, run around, etc. Aren't the "overflow" cultural halls and back of the chapel areas "reserved" for such occasional disturbances.

Dan and LaVon said...

Can I burst out into a multi verse version a a Hallelujah chorus. I will restrain myself but I totally agree. Maybe a 10 month old needs a FEW cheerios but a 3 year old definitely can wait. And by the way children are not broken from the bottle when you simply switch to a valve type sippy cup that accompanies them EVERYWHERE until they go to school. Yes, they too can wait to have a drink.

The Rage said...

I'm planning a Thanksgiving feast for my hypothetical children every Sunday AND we are going to sit right behind you. Better enjoy sacrament meeting while you can!

smithfieldman said...

I like the way the rage thinks.

Carolina said...

I can't wait to meet your hypothetical children. :)

Anne B. said...

When we moved to our new ward we were appalled our first week here when the bishop got up and said, "If your children start being loud, take them out, calm them down, and bring them back." (etc. etc. etc. It seemed that he went on for hours about this!) Our ward before was just the opposite (apparently more related to your ward now). Dave and I just looked at each other and thought, "WHOA!" But it's true. And now, even though we sometimes have a hard time keeping the chillens down to 0 noise, I really appreciate our ward's quietness. It promotes focus on the REAL reason we go to church. The Big Steve was right! WORSHIP not play.

Debbie said...

It's easier to stuff their mouths full of food then try to keep them contained some other way. I don't do treats but I did get in the habit of bringing things to keep them quietly entertained. I am currently rethinking that plan (not due to this post :) ). Big Steve is right. It's just sometimes hard to convince the kids of that. :)