Tuesday, September 04, 2012

I'm Not the Worst Parent in the Cry Room

My church has a cry room.  Correction.  My church has a cry loft.  I think it must have been where a choir performed once upon a time. So, yeah, amplification.  Which seems counterintuitive to the purpose of a cry room.  It used to have plexiglass to muffle the shenanigans going on among the kids and protect the delicate ears of the rest of the congregation.  Admittedly, I felt like I was in a bit of an infant terrarium, so I'm glad the plexi is gone.  Still, though, I feel compelled to keep my kids on the hush-hush.

Sequestering ourselves here is optional.  Even though it doesn't keep our noise contained, it is an option we gladly exercise because the Little Guy likes to wander around, occasionally roaring, and the older two enjoy being in the balcony-type setting.

This past week, I took the older two to Mass while the Little Guy stayed home with Super Ninja.  We parked ourselves in the last pew in the cry loft, and settled in to listen to the First Reading.  As the lector began to offer up Moses' words, a woman crept into the cry room with an adorable four-year-old girl in tow.  She also had a large shoulder bag slung over her shoulder, as do many of the parents in the cry room.

A few minutes later, another woman, also accompanied by an equally cute little girl, slunk into the room.  They sat next to the first mother-daughter duo, and I thought, "Oh, that's nice. Meeting up with friends at church.  I should do that some time."  The little girls were immediately chatty, and Big Bag Mom reached into said bag.  I thought she might withdraw, say, a coloring book, or a dollie, or possibly even a (silent) video game.


She pulled out a round object.  A ball? I thought.

Nope.  Well, yeah.

It was a hamster ball.  With a hamster in it.  For a second, I was convinced that it was a Zsu Zsu pet, but again, no. It was a real, live hamster, rockin' it out in a hamster ball.  In church.

It made me so happy, in an incredibly judgy way.  I have snuck in snacks, books, pens, games, and puzzles.  But who brings a hamster to church?  And lets it run around in a hamster ball?  In the loft?  I kept imagining it going on some cracked out power spin, ramming into the baluster, and popping open the top of the ball.  Result:  airborne rodent.  Double result:  children's tears and a furry splat in the aisle below.

Luckily, Hamtaro stayed locked in his spherical prison, and there were no pet tragedies.  But I seriously would've loved it if the hamster rolled itself up through the communion line.

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