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Monday, November 10, 2014

The Last Tissue...

It's all my fault... I only had 3 tissues left in the little tissue packet in my purse. How could I be so unprepared? It IS, after all, Sunday and we are going to church...how could I not have packed more? It's a strange phenomena...The kids NEVER need tissue...UNLESS we are at church! And then...well, they all need it...and I spend my time passing out tissues...

Today was no different. The minute we get in the car, 2 out of 3 kids need a tissue. By the time we get into the church and sit down, I am down to one. Filled with (false) hope that we can make it, I open the book and try to follow along... but I am distracted...out of the corner of my eye, I can see the eldest...wiping his nose with his right hand. UGH! Not the right hand! Soon it will be the "sign of peace" and he will be shaking hands with those around him...why doesn't he remember this? "Do you need a tissue?" I mouth. He shakes his head. (He totally needs a tissue) I try to ignore him as I listen to the first reading. I feel a tug on my sleeve and look down to see the youngest staring up at me. "I need a tissue," she says. (Of course she does...) With fear and trepidation, I give away the LAST tissue...this is concerning...because usually the middle child is the tissue culprit and he hasn't asked for one at all. This is not going to end well.

The little one uses her tissue and searches her body for a pocket. She doesn't have any pockets and hands it to me. (lovely) Pretty soon, I see the eldest wiping his nose again with his hand. ARGH!! "Do you need a tissue?" I ask him. He shakes me off. I lean over..."Do not use your right hand to wipe your nose...you are going to be shaking hands with that hand." He stares at me blankly and then looks at his hand. "Go to the bathroom and get some tissues. You can take your brother." He shrugs me off and says he is fine. Oh, right....I forgot...he is 13...he knows everything....and I know nothing. The church suddenly feels very warm to me....

As the mass progresses and I struggle to keep my frustration in check...I see a sudden movement in my peripheral vision...yep...he is wiping his nose...but now he has moved from his hand, to wiping his nose in the collar of his shirt. (Does anyone else find this gross?) I shoot him a quick glare, "Go to the bathroom," I mouth with eyes blazing. "I'm fine," he mouths. (He's not going to be fine, if he doesn't listen to me) My temperature is quickly rising and my patience running thin. The husband looks at me and says, "I am taking him to the bathroom", and points to the middle child. "Get tissue for everyone," I plead. But instead of going, they sit down to listen to the sermon. ARGHHH!!! All it is going to take is one sneeze from the teenager and all bets are off.... this is soooo not good! (And I am fairly certain that we are the most irritating family in the church at the moment...)
We manage to make it through the sermon, as I just choose to ignore the sniffling and nose wiping. Finally I ask him, "where is the tissue I gave you in the car? Is it in your pocket?" He pats his pockets...and shakes his head. "Where?" I whisper. "I used it and put it in the side pocket of the car door. Oh gee thanks, I think. That's not gross...

I should probably comment... that we are in CHURCH! Church, where people do not talk aloud...where they pay attention to the priest and sit quietly. Not us...not today. We were terrible. I am embarrassed for us... And then it happened...the sneeze! He pinched his nose and suppressed it...but it wasn't good enough. I pressed my finger into his leg..."Go...to...the...bathroom...NOW!" I angrily whisper. By now I am red faced, sweating and feeling like my heart is going to beat out of my chest. So much for my peaceful time with God. "Please give me patience, Lord" I ask.
The teenager jumps up and so does Dad, and off they go...leaving me behind with the little ones. This is good...I can get my frustration in check.

By the time they return, I am calm...I am zen...all is good. They have armed themselves with lots of toilet tissue, all perfectly folded to resemble multiple tissues. I am back in business. I hand the hand sanitizer down the row, for all to use. We finish out the mass with my silent prayer to work on patience. It isn't the kids fault that he is a teenager with the attention span of a strung-out squirrel. And next week...well, next week, I will have a packet of Kleenex in my purse! Maybe two...and a roll...a whole roll...

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