We decided to forgo Midnight Mass this year because we didn't want to mess with Catherine's schedule. Instead, we went to the 10 AM Mass. We arrived a few moments early and ditched the coats in the Social Hall. The boys were dressed in shirt and tie or shirt and vest. I was decked out in my best suit.
We walked into Church, genuflected, and made our way to a pew. I found it hard to pray as I was holding the little princess in my arms. She was wide awake, looking at me, and smiling. She was dressed in her cute little dress and looking like a doll.
The Mass began and we began to enter into worship on this wonderful day of Jesus' birth. During the Second Reading I put my feet up on to the kneeler and placed Catherine on my lap. She smiled. Then she let loose. It smelled bad but I didn't mind. Hey, she's my only daughter.
I sat there focused on her but trying to listen to the reading. When it was over, and it was time for the Gospel I picked her off my lap to place her in my arms once again. However, I looked down and noticed some mustard or something on my right leg just above the knee. It wasn't mustard and it was all over both legs, her dress, and my hands.
You know, I really believe that nuns must go through some sort of Marine training program because they drill the movements and motions into you and you can never change. I noticed this as I stood up, grabbed the diaper bag, stepped out of the pew and genuflected.
That is the great thing about us Catholics, we never deviate from the rubrics of the laity. Child puking in your hand? Genuflect and make your way to the bathroom. Toddler have a flesh wound? Cross yourself and then continue with direct pressure. A plane crashed into the back of Church? Make your way to the nearest exit, bless yourself with Holy Water and then exit the Church.
So, I genuflected (I hope I didn't get anything on the carpet in the isle), and made my way to the bathroom to change Catherine and clean myself up. I changed her clothes and wiped my pants as best I could, washed my hands and headed back into the Church.
For many, this would have ruined their whole Mass but after five kids it's not really disturbing. I laughed at what had happened with Catherine and I laughed even more knowing that I would never be able to stop my Catholic practices even in the midst of a messy event. I also laughed at the end of Mass, during the final blessing, when I was making the Sign-of-the-Cross... with Catherine's pacifier in my hand.