Monday, April 12, 2010

Criticism at Church Part II

Funny incident yesterday; I'm sitting in Priesthood opening exercises, and a friend is struggling with his 14-month-old daughter. She and Peter are the only two pre-nursery, post-newborns in the ward. Peter is not in the room.
The kid is being a bit fussy, and her dad is trying to settle her down. I remember a previous encounter with a certain ward member who criticized me in private after Peter acted up a bit (detailed here), so I looked over to the other side of the room to see how this same man was reacting to this new disturbance.
He erupted. Loudly, and in public. Said something about how he couldn't hear and how my friend needed to take his daughter out. The whole room heard him.
There were two people acting like children in that room. One of them had an excuse.
His behavior still makes me angry. On the upside, a large portion of the ward saw that behavior yesterday. He publicly embarrassed himself.
It was then that I realized that, given what I know of this man's very structured concepts of gender roles (to put it nicely), and his church callings when his kids were small, that it's unlikely he ever dealt directly with his own pre-nursery children in church. That, and possibly some hearing loss that he's sensitive about, may contribute to his poor behavior. Given what others might think of him now, following this latest incident, I might even have a little pity for him.


JorgenMan said...

Wow, it sounds like this guy doesn't have enough real problems to worry about.

Averi just went into nursery a few weeks ago, and it's as wonderful as you hope it will be ;). My wife's in the presidency for the senior primary, so I had to watch Averi every week for both Sunday School and Priesthood. The last couple months she got to the point that she often couldn't handle being in class more than five minutes at a time. I think at that age, kids just start to realize that sitting in dad's class is boring. She's done awesome in nursery, though - not a single complaint or bit of resistance.

Jason, Becca and the four Kneefights said...

I took the kids to visit some family friends this last week for Spring Break. Sunday was, to put it mildly, the worst so far with the baby. And, of course, right during the Sacrament. Just in time for the whole wards' first impression of my sweet parenting skills. She SCREAMED. After Sacrament Meeting my friend held her for awhile while I went in search of something to calm her. One man in the ward came up to her and commented that the baby was "a little young to be coming to church, don't you think?" My friend stared him down and said, "Really? You think so?" He recanted his comment as he realized what it would actually mean to all involved if babies really didn't get to come to church for fear of a little extra noise. Bravo to my friend!

mr.brighton said...

Someone told me on Sunday that it was really very important to keep kids quiet so that the spirit could abound in the meeting. It really reminded me of that a while back when someone said that kids shouldn't be allowed there, and Jesus said, "No let the kids in, because they are more like the tenents of heaven than you are." Forgive the paraphrase...

Cougarg said...

It's been six months now since we left the singles ward and we are still getting used to the change in "ambient" noise in Sacrament Meeting. But we realize we'll be dealing with management issues soon enough. But in our ward we are bursting at the seams with kids, everyone expects it.