A Sunday morning for the books

by Katie on December 19, 2014

They say you win some, you lose some, right?

Well, for quite a few weeks, we were winning Sunday mornings. I mean, I wouldn’t go so far as to say Leyton was an angelic, perfectly behaved child during church services, but they were survivable. As long as I had fruit snacks and stickers, anyway. We alternated some between the nursery and having her sit with us, but it typically went well.

And then came one fateful Sunday a few weeks ago.

It started out just fine. Daddy was out of town, which meant Mama and Leyton made it out the door on time, as opposed to waiting on him to get out of the shower at the time we are supposed to depart. Leyton looked darling, of course, in the cutest Thanksgiving themed dress you ever did see. She was a bit sniffly, so I opted to bring her in to sit with me, rather than potentially spreading winter germs through the nursery.

So we found a seat, and through the opening of the service and greeting of our fellow worshipers, Leyton charmed everyone near us. She smiled, she said hello and shook hands, and sat quietly like a big girl in the seat next to me. We were winning Sunday.

But then, shortly after that, she proceeded to Lose. Her. Mind.

We spilled fruit snacks, we screamed for the bow stickers on the sheet, rather than the Minnie Mouse, we screamed when we weren’t allowed to place our stickers on the chairs, we threw down our little doodle pad, we screamed to get down in the aisle, we screamed to be picked up, we ran away into the side aisle, and we screamed some more.

Finally, I cut my losses and frantically scrambled to pick up everything we had scattered in the near vicinity of our seats, and with stickers and fruit snacks spilling out of my hands and bad, and the church bulletin getting left somewhere in the dust, and a kicking, screaming toddler under one arm, we made our not-so-graceful exit.

And promptly lost Sunday morning. Big time.

But as soon as we were out in the lobby? She turned into a charming little angel child again, chattering with the greeters, and flashing smiles to the old ladies working the donut table outside. If anyone ever doubts the fact that all toddlers are bipolar, they should have witnessed this transformation. Unreal.

I was trying to make a fairly quick exit, so as to avoid any further humiliation, when a gentlemen walking behind us on the sidewalk piped up, “What a pretty big bow you have there!”

Naturally, being the ham she is, Leyton stopped and turned sideways to flash him a grin for the attention. At this particular moment, she happened to be crossing the one foot path of sidewalk that is a metal bridge/grate-like thing where the irrigation water drains from the grassy area. Her little heels rocked back on that ledge, and in one of those seemingly slow motion instances, where you can see exactly what is about to happen, but just can’t reach them in time to save them, she fell back off the grate, slammed her face into the metal bridge, and rolled into grass.

When I picked her up, blood was pouring from her mouth. Pouring.

Between sobs, she was shrieking, “I fall down…GRASS! I fall down…GRASS! HURT mouth! HURT mouth!” It was downright pitiful.

Luckily, the kind folks working the donut table had plenty of napkins to spare, and even a cup of ice water, to get her cleaned up enough to send us on our way – finally escaping the worst attempt at church with a toddler ever. She whimpered the entire way home, still repeating her words from earlier about falling in the grass and hurting her mouth.

The next day, she had a giant blood blister right on her top lip, and a big purple bruise above her lip. It was a sight, y’all.

Naptime was much welcomed after that morning. For both of us.

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