Mother Doesn't Know Best
As a little girl, I was sure that a good parent would allow me to eat all the cookies in the cookie jar or buy me toys at Toys R Us. When I got a little older, I figured that a good parent would let me stay up past ten o'clock on school nights. Then I became a teenager and I felt that a good parent would buy me a car and let me be independent.
According to these definitions of a "good parent," my parents always fell short. It wasn't until I became a parent that I began to understand what a good parent really is. My two-year old daughter taught me this lesson in her simple childlike manner.
Having church at eleven o'clock is difficult for our family. Church time is play time, followed by lunch, and ending with naps. Needless to say, we always struggle during that first hour before we can deposit both Jenny Beth and Juliana into the nursery for the remaining two hours. I admit, it's crazy to expect a one-year-old and a two-year-old to sit quietly through an hour of inspirational talks that they consider boring. Nevertheless, we attend church as a family. This particular Sunday was no different.
"Mommy, look! Taylor! Taylor!" Jenny Beth said excitedly to me during the church service. She wasn't using her whispering church voice as we had rehearsed on several occasions. Needless to say, I was a bit exasperated and embarrassed. Besides, I knew that Scott and Joy Rowe, Taylor's parents, were sitting a few rows over. I had seen them enter and sit down. Their one-year-old daughter, Taylor, was in Scott's arms. I had even discreetly waved to them.
Hastily, I rummaged through the diaper bag and retrieved two tattered and torn books that were well-loved and well-gnawed by my two daughters. These were our "church books." We had taken these two particular books to church every Sunday for two years. They were the "favorites" that Jenny always selected when faced with the difficult decision of which books to include in our church bag.
I handed the books to Jenny in an effort to quiet her down. It didn't work, as I had hoped. She persisted with, "Taylor! Hi, Taylor! Play Jenny?" Her voice was considerably louder than before. Because the chapel has a high ceiling, her voice had an echo. "Taylor," was now "Taylor, aylor, aylor." I was humiliated as others appeared either disturbed or amused.
I put my finger firmly to my lips in the universal code meaning: "Be quiet, now!" Jenny didn't notice or if she did, she didn't acknowledge my command.
Grabbing my face and squeezing it with the palms of her hands, she said, "Please look, Mommy. It's Taylor." Being at the age when she thinks that the word "please" will earn her anything she desires, I turned around to appease her. I was really hoping that she would be quiet after I had done as she wished. I glanced back behind me and pretended to look in the direction she was pointing. I knew that Taylor was not sitting there. Therefore, there was no need to examine the area...