My husband, children and I attended several church services during the Easter Holy Week. Armed with a bag full of Wet Wipes, diapers, snacks and a sippy cup, we go to church prepared.
My son, 4 , behaves pretty well in church. His usual routine is to pick out the most interesting looking activity bag provided by the church, bribe Grandma for a piece of gum and her pen, and then he typically keeps busy drawing, writing or looking at books.
The toddler, on the other hand, well, she's a little more high maintenance. I figure that if anyone is brave enough to go to the 11a.m. service, they must be prepared to be surrounded by kids. So my main goal is to keep her from crying.
My game plan has worked well for me in the past, until we got to the evening Good Friday service (no 11 a.m. option available.) The Good Friday service is very somber, as the readings, sermon and songs are all about Jesus' death. So as the pastor was telling us about meditation, looking inside ourselves and figuring out who we really are, my little girl opened up a book and yelled "puppy!" This is her favorite word after all. So when she saw a puppy in her book the excitement came over her. When she is really happy she puts words into songs and repeats the words over, and over, and over again. So her song went something like "puppy, puppy, puppy, mommy, daddy, puppy. " Now she wasn't screaming at the top of her lungs, but during this time of silence her song was plenty loud enough for us to get multiple looks from others.
So I did what every parent of a young child has done, and headed out of the sanctuary with toddler in tow. This didn't get her to stop singing but at least only the people in the far back of the church could hear her. She and I spent most of the service back there, meditating in our own way I guess, and with our own more cheery, yet less creative songs.
Note to self: add Good Friday church service to list of places to NOT bring toddler, better put funerals on that list, too.