This morning, the bear and I went to mass at our local parish church. A year ago, this hardly took any effort. The bear was just a baby then, and she’d fall asleep at the start of mass at 9 a.m. as soon as the first hymns were sung. No such luck these days.
Please don’t judge me.
I found a pew a third of the way back (but not near the exit, those are naughty pews 🙂 . We are hopefully a few months aware from there). I sat near the aisle, and placed the bear on my knees. As soon as mass begun, I felt her fidgeting. I came prepared. I opened the zip of her nappy bag, took out the bag that contained what I hoped would keep her occupied for the next 50 minutes. Rice crackers. At the risk of committing blasphemy, they were God sent. I felt eyes on the back of my head each time I offered the bear one. The treat worked. She happily munched away and sat on my lap for the duration of mass. Not a peep out of her.
We chatted to a mum after the end of mass. She praised the bear for being so good during the service. I confessed about the treats. Apparently I wasn’t the only one. There was a dad with three young kids in front of us and he had a big carrier bag on the floor. I took a peek. He had colouring books, crayons, cookies, breadsticks. Fancy lugging a picnic to mass. Our priest once said, religion is caught, not taught. He is very tolerant of young families but does urge parents to take the little ones out for a break if they got too boisterous.
Afterwards, we went to the shops to buy a few necessities – which included a brand new pack of rice crackers for next week!