Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Last week, a friend of mine spoke about her newish, just-under-a-year-old daughter. She remarked how much she was so enjoying her girl--this girl who sits, quiet, self-entertained. So different from her oldest, a boy, who is rowdy, loud, and doesn't sit still.

"Girls are so delightfully quiet and well-behaved," she sighed.


Then where did my girls come from??

My mom likes to say, "Those girls have ants in their pants." And I can't think of a better way to say it. My daughters fidget, climb and squirm. All the time.

Grace likes to run the length of the bench during sacrament meeting begging to go to nursery. If we manage to snag her onto a seat or in our laps, she pushes against the bench in front of us. Or stands on my lap, grabbing my neck. Or hangs off the bench, blood rushing to her head.

I envy mothers whose children sit on the cushioned bench for an hour each week, drawing, or reading, or--is it even possible?--listening.

You should have seen us a month ago--on the fourth row in the chapel on the Sunday that Elder Nelson came to our stake. I don't remember anything he said. I spent part of the meeting trying to keep my children still and quiet, and the other part leaving in shame-faced, cowering embarrassment.

Might have been the worst Sunday of my life.

And, I apparently, am alone here. Since all other girls are "delightfully quiet."

Would one of you mind explaining to me what I am doing wrong?


  1. I'm with you...Girls are NOT delightfully quiet. I had a squirmy, wriggly, ornery one myself, and it was torture every Sunday. The only good news is that they eventually grow out of it. And then they just fight with their brothers on the bench over crayons, books, and who gets to sit by their dad. (They never fight over who gets to sit by ME! What's that all about??!)
    One thing we have done with our young ones though is that if they are not going to be good in the chapel, then I take them out and sit in a dark room in the church and we sit and I hold them, and it is entirely unfun for them. They'd rather go back to the chapel...usually.

  2. I agree! My son never did half of the things my daughter did (Draw with permanent markers all over the walls, climb on top of counters, cut her hair into a mullet, etc) Girls aren't always easier. Good luck Elise!!

  3. Elise... I know who you're talking about, and her daughter hasn't even reached the age of moving or caring about the world yet. You just wait a few more months and this person will be eating her words too! :) But I hear you about sacrament meeting, Grayson is officially the loud kid. I miss the Fergusons haha! He runs up the bench, He hangs over the side, He talks loudly the entire time, He screams and flails, and he runs up and down the aisles if he ever gets past us. Now, I know that I have a boy, but at least I know what you are going through! And I hope your friend is right when she says they eventually outgrow this stage!!!

  4. ummmm, have you forgetten my girls? he he. I think it is a rare child that actaully sits and listens.
    That's why we love to go play outside.

  5. I'm with you too. I have two kids, but neither of them have sat in a swing or done anything else seemingly "mindless" for any amount of time. I will continue to get that swing out of storage with each future child, just hoping...

  6. Elise, I laughed soooo hard reading this Ray came in from the yard, saying "what's going on?"

    Did you know that our sweet, talented, remarkable Sarah, yes, Sarah, had to be shut in her room because she used to SCREAM all the time?? Do you remember Kandice Carnahan from the Wollochet Ward? As young married couples we did things together alot, and she used to hate it when we would bring Sarah over, because all she would do was SCREAM!!!
    And her little darling, strawberry-blonde Audrey is just like her at that age. She just likes to SCREAM!! (Dan can atest to that).
    But, it does get better, and they turn out to be the most wonderful, independant young women and mothers.

  7. Have you ever sat close to me during church? (I guess you don't have to sit close to hear my middle child, or even be in the same room).

  8. And my favorite blog continues. I have to admit, I especially identify with this post -- because our boy is r-o-w-d-y. Church is such a struggle -- a few sundays ago Tay stayed home sick and I took Dallin to church. First mistake. I sat with our neighbors, who have a 3 year old girl and a 8 month old boy. Second mistake. During sacrament, the baby lost it. Then their little girl lost it shortly after. Leaving a whole middle bench open for Dallin to take off running towards the other end. I grabbed him. He lost it. Empty bench.

    Congrats on the family time working out -- it's so very important.