Sunday, August 28, 2011


So today we took the day off...sort of. We took the day off from fixing up the house. Our last bit is to decorate. All the books are on their shelves. All Hubby's board games have a place. All that's left is to decorate, to get our dvd/vhs player that we bought when it comes in installed, and to buy our kiddo a mattress. It's odds and ends really. I like having our closet organized. Now I can easily walk in it and find something. Imagine that. Our room is a little bit better, but it needs straightening. And there is that big box of quilts/blankets that needs to be gone through and all of it go under our bed. But we're done. In a way, we're done. It's all little stuff.

So I went to Mass and HB was fine until the homily. We spent the rest of the time in the church entrance. There are glass doors so you can see inside the sanctuary. Nursery is only at the 11:00 Mass. This doesn't suit me well because HB eats lunch at 11:30 and takes a nap at noon. Yet everything parish related involves the 11:00 Mass.

They had a sign-up thing for what amounts to MOPS for Catholics. I know that there's a rosary/play group (they call it pray and play isn't that cute) for moms on Mondays. I need to e-mail them asking for information. The MOPSish group won't meet until the end of September. So I won't be making any friends anytime soon unless I try and find a group that is meeting currently. The library story time doesn't meet until the beginning of September.

Father called. I let it go to the machine (we're low tech around here). We've had crazy telemarketers calling since it takes a month for the do-not-call registration to take effect. So I usually don't answer the phone. And since we were doing something, I didn't realize it was a real person speaking until Hubby said something. By that point, I just decided to call him back tomorrow after I bravely listen to the message. I hate confrontation. I really really do.

This is what I sent him in case your wondering if my all-too-often-sounding-hostile-when-I-really-don't-mean-to came across. Hubby thinks I get a little too in your face when I write than I really am in real life.

Dear Father B,

Please allow me to introduce myself to you first before explaining the situation. My name is ___. I am a cradle Catholic and have received all of the sacraments save the Sacrament of Healing and the Sacrament of Holy Orders. My husband is a recent graduate from the University and is currently employed at another University. I am a stay-at-home mom with two boys. My oldest child is a year and half. My youngest child is six months gestation. We've moved to your city within the past two weeks and attended your church for the first time last Sunday, August 14.

I'm a devout Catholic so one of the first things that I do is seek out a parish in my area and register. I found your church through the Diocese of Blah website. I also looked through your website as well and was very impressed by the number of ministries that you have.

On Thursday, August 17, I went to the parish office to register. I was told by a member of your office staff, who I assume was your secretary, that I could not register for your parish at that time. She explained that I had to wait three weeks and attend a presentation after the 11:00am Mass in September. She said that this was on your website. I asked her if I could at least fill out some paper work, and she said no. She explained that she didn't have any forms.

I felt rejected, sad, and worried. Being six months pregnant, our second son could be born prematurely, and we wouldn't have a parish we could turn to for help. I also wanted to begin the process for the Sacrament of Baptism for him, and I knew from your website that I needed to register with your parish and begin the process before his birth. I was still hopeful that I could find a solution so I decided to call the office and attempt to speak to you directly. I called the following Friday and left a message for a priest to return my call stating that the matter was personal. The secretary informed me that because I wasn't specific enough my call may not be returned for some time. I have not received a call.

I looked at your website later and have not seen where it discusses registration. There doesn't appear to be any statement explaining that registration is once a month following the 11:00am Mass. Furthermore, your website has the registration forms online, which your office staff member failed to tell me. I have filled out the forms and have attached them to this e-mail. I will also send them to you personally along with a hard copy of this letter.

I hope that these forms will fulfill the registration requirement as it does at most parishes. If you do not respond, I will assume that this matter has been resolved, and I can continue with the process for the Sacrament of Baptism.

Thank you for your time and attention. God bless you.

Pax Christi,>

That's not horrible sounding or accusatory was it? I don't think it was. So he's probably concerned about not returning my call in a timely manner. But that's okay. I understand things get really busy. I suppose my best explanation for going to him more directly is that I felt that his secretary was not being very helpful or understanding, which is why I got upset.

The parish website and bulletin does talk about a registration-get-to-know your parish thingy (I saw it just today), but it's more like a drive not a you-must-come feeling from the wording. The secretary made it seem like that was the only way you could register almost mandatory-like especially since she refused to give me forms and for whatever reason to direct me to them online. Now if that doesn't seem unhelpful and misleading, I don't know what is. Maybe she's not used to people taking the initiative to register on their own, but that's not reason enough to be unhelpful or even pleasant. She never said, "Oh, I'm sorry, but I don't happen to have any forms." She just said no. Working at a parish office at one point, you learn the art of being nice even if you can't be helpful. No is a finality word. It made me feel like I was a teenager when clearly I'm not. No, you can't do this. No, you can't do that. I use that word lightly around my child and I very rarely say that to an adult especially one I don't know because it comes out rude. It's a last resort word. But I'm over thinking things again... Who knows what thoughts were running through her head. I'd like to think she was having a bad day, but given I've worked with crazy parish staff and my mom has had her own stories to tell (remember those non-existent catechism books you paid for, Mom?), I'm probably not far from right about this whole thing.

So today we went to the library and we checked out some parenting books. It's been a point of contention since I've told Hubby over and over again that using punitive discipline doesn't work with young children, or older children (and he disagreed). Our biggest problem has been HB playing with the blinds. They are completely unavoidable since they come down near the floor. Hubby wanted to use punishment and I prefer distraction or removal. He's reading Karp's book The Happiest Toddler on the Block, which he likes because the baby one worked so well. I'm reading Positive Time-out, which is part of a series called Positive Discipline. The library carries the one for HB's age, but I guess I missed it while browsing. I'll have to check it out. So far I really like the book. We also have some other books we've checked out that I'll probably read over and review. Hubby seems to think I've changed my disciplinary stance...*evil laugh* sorry. That would be a no. I also think he thinks I've changed my thoughts about potty training. Nope. Ah, well. He listens when I research something and give him the tools. He's a scientist. I might as well produce studies before he'll trust that four years of education classes (not to mention the years of experience and regular training sessions) means I know something about discipline.

Oh, and it's official. I weight more than my husband does. Now do you believe me when I say your too skinny, Hubs? :)


  1. I think the letter sounds really good! I don't think it comes off as too confrontational at all. Now hopefully they just let you register with the forms you turn in!

  2. First off, you're pregnant, if you weren't gaining weight I'd be worried! So don't compare yourself to what I weigh.

    Since this is the second time you mentioned it, I checked my BMI. Normal is 18.5 to 24.9, so the middle of "normal" is 21.7. My BMI is 23.2. In other words, I'm on the heavier end of normal. When I was in High School, my BMI was 19.4. So if you were calling me skinny when I was in High School, that'd be fine. But calling me skinny now seems odd.


I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!