Communion Isn’t ALL He Took

Tater Tot and I had such a good time at church with my mother a couple of weeks ago that we decided to go back home this past weekend and do it all over again.  And with it being the first Sunday of the month, it was Communion Sunday in the Methodist Church.

If you’re not familiar with the way we (Methodists, that is) serve Communion, let me explain.  The preacher always extends an invitation for anyone to receive the Sacrament, regardless of your religious affiliation, for we believe that it is Christ’s table and everyone is welcome.  Guided by ushers, the congregation goes to the communion rail in groups, kneels, receives the sacrament and a blessing, and returns to their seats.

I love Communion Sundays.  But for whatever reason, our particular church (and maybe all Methodist churches) are of the belief that they have to work everything in.  I mean, they still sing the same number of hymns, they’ll still have one of the children’s choirs sing or a layperson will speak on random topic, and the preacher gives a mini-sermon.  When you add in Communion, there’s no way you’re getting out of there in an hour.

I know that we shouldn’t be eager to leave church, but as one preacher told our congregation, “Methodists like the white meat,” in reference to trying to “beat the Baptists” to the Sunday buffet.  I always thought that was a hoot.

Anyway, in true Methodist-Communion-Sunday fashion, things were running late.  Tater Tot, who had enjoyed the singing and had even made it through most of the sermon, started to get restless.  It was distracting enough that I took him out of the sanctuary and into the education building, where we walked around and climbed the stairs a few times.  

After a few minutes, I convinced him that we should go back into church to find Poopsie, which is what he calls my mother.  We were in the homestretch.  He had agreed that going back inside the sanctuary was a good idea and was walking right along with me.

And then he spotted a classroom to his left.  A classroom for two- and three-year-olds.  With toys.  Specifically, he spied a huge wooden train.  In fact, I remember playing with that very same train in that very same room when I was little and in “Miss” Helen’s Sunday School class.  It’s a great train, albeit a little beaten up, and no child can resist it. 

Tater Tot played with it for a minute and once again agreed joyfully to return to church.  On the way out the door a little basket of toys caught his eye.  In it was a toy motorcycle; white with blue and red markings and a sleek little design.  Tater Tot picked it up and said, in that awestruck little boy’s voice, “Oooooohhhhhhh……a cycle!  Thank you, Mama!”


I tried desperately to convince him that this was not a gift; that I had not led him on this little wandering so that he could stumble upon a present.  The more I tried to explain that it wasn’t his and pry it out of his hot little hands, the tighter he clutched.  Before a full-blown tantrum ensued, I decided to try and fight this battle without actually wrestling a two-year-old to the ground and risk losing the war.  So we struck a compromise.  Because you know how great kids that age are at compromise, right?

I told him that he could borrow the “cycle” for a few minutes and then we’d bring it back.  “OKAY!” he said.  Sure he did.  In toddler terms, he’d won.

We went back into the sanctuary just as our pew was about to head to the front, so we just filed right in.  I carried Tater Tot, and he carried his cycle.  Poopsie was behind us.  Bless her heart.  We knelt at the altar, and pretty soon we were being served.  Poopsie and I showed Tater how to pull off a piece of bread.  He even drank his grape juice without spilling any on his little outfit.  I wish I could say the same for the Communion rail.

We received the blessing and headed back to our pew.  That’s when Tater Tot got really interested in playing with the cycle, and it’s also the time I decided that we were going to slip out and call it a day.  I managed to grab my purse and make it to the door before we’d completely disrupted the service.  I could hear a few people giggling as we fled.  If we hadn’t been in my home church, I would have been so much more embarrassed.

We made it to the car and strapped the little man into his car seat…holding that darn cycle.

Poopsie, with her grandmotherly cleverness, eventually got the cycle and put it “out of sight, out of mind.”  She goes to a Bible study every week at the church, and she said she’ll return it for us and apologize profusely for the brief theft by our own little sticky fingers.

There you go.  Tater Tot’s first Communion and what we hope is NOT the beginning of a life of crime.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kim sue
    Oct 08, 2008 @ 13:27:56

    I’ve been there (figuratively not literally) standing with my child in the Sunday school room that I, myself had attended growing up. Except rather than a train it is puzzles – wooden puzzles of a church, choir, little boy praying, and a cross. There’s no place like home….except you know, the beach :o)


  2. noble pig
    Oct 08, 2008 @ 14:25:55

    Ha! I’ve wrestled many two year olds as well, I think I’ve only won once. That was a very cute story! Nice to meet you by the way.


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