This is our circus, these are our monkeys.

P.S. I am not calling my children monkeys. The monkeys are only a metaphor.

My twin toddlers like to go shopping–they can sit quietly in the shopping cart for quite a while and watch the shelves lined with colorful groceries. They like to go for walks in their stroller and calmly watch the scenery–so calmly that I sometimes almost forget they are there. The twins like to sit in their car seats while we run errands–they find it relaxing and often go to sleep without a fight. But apparently when we walk through the double doors leading into our church sanctuary, every modicum of quietness and calmness disappears. I think it might be easier to contain a litter of baby chimpanzees than to make even one of my toddlers sit quietly in church–and we have two of them.

We carefully pack the diaper bag with favorite plastic French fries, cheerio cups filled, and books our little ones love–only to have it all slapped out of our hands or strewn un-regarded across the bench while we hang on for all we are worth to protesting toddlers who want to do nothing except maybe crawl away under the church benches to find different parents. It’s a discipline problem, I think, or a bonding problem… Or maybe it’s because their schedules are messed up, and they don’t like crowds. Probably they are over-stimulated… Or under-stimulated? Surely this isn’t just normal one-year-old behavior?

So we discipline, and we walk floors, and we fight for half an hour of sleep. We take them to the nursery–we stress it, and we depress it. We pray. Is there hope that church may one day be more spiritually renewing than emotionally draining?

And then we remember the stories handed down from both sides of the family–stories told laughingly from memories blurred soft, acute embarrassment faded with time… And we realize that maybe our little ones come by this behavior honestly enough, and maybe it’s all a matter of time before our twins will occasionally sit quietly beside us while we fight the same battles with their younger siblings…

We are not giving up yet. Perhaps there is hope. 

Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.

Ecclesiastes 11:1

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. As their grandpa, I get joy from watching the great job you two are doing raising your children. I agree with your statement, “Perhaps there is hope,” except for one word. Let’s remove the “perhaps.” Persistent prayer and persistent training and persistent patience are effective and powerful. Lifting you up in prayer daily,

    Grandpa Dale

    1. Thanks so much for the prayers! It’s such a blessing to have encouraging parents who did not give up on us when we were one-year-olds! 🙂

  2. You are amazing parents. Please know that we love you all and we are not watching you with contempt 😊

    1. Rachel, thank you! 🤗 That means so much to us.

  3. We love you & your little twins,and it’s nice not being the only one at church with a wiggling toddler! 😁❤

    1. Thank you, Lori, we love you all too and are always grateful for nursery buddies! 😁

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