Last night, Angelo, Ethan and myself went to the youth mass. Now this mass, “pre-Ethan”, was my usual mass. Being a musical person, the music during mass is really what makes the service so much more worthwhile for me and being in the choir, attending this mass became part of my weekend – a great way to end it and a perfect way to start the week ahead.
However, since Ethan’s birth, we’ve been attending the Sunday morning mass. Now this mass is THE most predictable mass (as far as the music goes) that I’ve ever been to. They sing THE SAME tunes for the different parts of the mass and the most upbeat song is the AMEN where they’ve managed to slot in a djembe drum to keep the constant 1, 2 rhythm. The organist tries to sometimes include a Hillsong tune, but manages to mess it up every single time. The one nice thing about this mass is that it is the “family mass” at our church so there are lots of familes with children – a downside to that however, is that there are about 100 children running a mock in the cry room and it is extremely hard to stay focused on the actual mass. So we decided that we’d give the evening mass a try for a change.
We arrived early and there was only one family in the cry chapel. Now I’ve seen this family before at the morning mass. They’re French and there are three kids, two boys and a girl. I took Ethan to say hi to the choir members and when I got back, the baby girl was laying in her pram (about two metres away from the father in the opposite corner of the room) crying while the father gazed on ahead sitting with the middle son seeming completely oblivious to the baby crying. The mother was nowhere to be seen! So mass started and from the get-go, these kids ran a mock. They were seriously worse than all 100 children that are usually in the morning mass! The baby cried persistently…I know I’ve only been a mother for 4.5months but SHE WANTED TO BE PICKED UP!!!!!!!!!!! This baby looked about 6months old or younger. The only time that the mother did pick her up, she was absolutely quiet but for some reason, she refused to pick her up afterwards and just pushed her back and forward in her pram every time she cried with her arms stretched out in the air as if wanting to get up. The older boy pushed a car along the windowsill in front of us making loud car noises and even went as far as offering another child in the cry room a smaller car to play with and then proceeded to smash the car and the child’s hand with his bigger car which of course made the other child cry. The mother said NOTHING and the father just shook his head. He kept on calling MATTEO (or whatever the child’s name was) in an irritated voice but did absolutely nothing else. The father of the “injured” boy took his child and walked out into the normal area of the church because really, what can you do – scream at somebody elses’ child. The middle child was equally as loud, pushing his smaller car along and trying to play with his older brother, but the older brother just kept on pushing him out of the way and smashing his cars and again, in all this, the father did NOTHING!!!!!!!!! The mother walked out with the screaming baby so was no help at all with the boys either.
Eventually, Angelo and I decided to leave the cry room only to find the mother sitting in the main part of the church with the crying baby STILL NOT PICKING HER UP. She eventually stormed out with the pram and the baby into the freezing cold night air and continued to push her in the pram trying to pacify her. At one stage, the older boy ran out of the cry room – the father ran after him, grabbed him by the hood of his jersey and dragged him screaming and shouting back to their spot. Slowly but surely, people started to leave the cry room and by the end of mass, the father and his two sons were the only people in the room!
Again, I know that I am a new mum but my observations from last night were as follows;-
1. The father is not involved at all in the childrens’ lives (sad, sad, sad!!) – the mother is clearly the only person running around after the kids.
2. The children are not disciplined at all (sad, sad, sad again! – I know kids will be kids but there SURELY is a line that you draw at some stage!!! and kids must know when you give them that “look” or give them a smack on the bottom that they need to stop what they’re doing)
3. Sometimes your baby just needs to be held and as so many say, they grow so quickly, so just hold them when they want to be held!!!
4. If you are not ready to have more children…DON’T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot believe that these parents have three kids.
So the question really is whether we should have more kids because after last night, I think that both Angelo and I were scarred and that scarring may take years to go away. I hope that they aren’t a traditional Catholic family who do not use contraceptives and go on having tons more kids because not only will they suffer, but their kids will too.
Thank God for our little angel Ethan…