A precocious child can put fun in a funeral

By Shaunna Strusel

Two weeks ago, my three year old, Sloan, my eight month old, Dodge, my parents and I traveled, by road, to attend a funeral in Omaha , Nebraska . After the funeral, there are several family members who have vowed to never speak to us again.

I should have seen the foreshadowing of doom; between the perils of potty training in every broken down truck stop along I-80 or the flocks of mosquitoes the size of condors attempting to exsanguinate me every time I cracked the car window. I should have known that taking my kids to a funeral 700 miles away, would only end in tears.

We arrived at the church late, which isn't a new experience for me or my brood, however, since my father, the former pastor (we call him Pastor Soapbox), feels a higher calling to arrive at church 20 minutes early so God gives him proper credit, he almost stroked out that we sneaked into the church after the funeral had begun to the somewhat irritated stares of the properly grieving mourners.

The festivities continued, when during a very touching eulogy, given by a obviously distraught, somewhat glib brother-in-law, Sloan, took off her dress and played, what I can only assume was “Wipe-Out” on what she genteelly describes as her “boops” and then fell face first on Nana's lap and yelled, “Tickle my back Nana!”. Please be informed that the pews in an Assemblies of God church were not created to be able to slink underneath when your child begins hammering out surfing ditties on her bare little chest.

During the funeral was a song tribute by a woman who had a truly beautiful voice, it was a little difficult to hear, however, over Sloan, standing on the pew singing along at the top of her lungs (thankfully dressed by this point) and playing the drums with complimentary pencils on the back of the pew in front of us; which was accompanied by side splitting laughter by Dodge, who up until this time had been sucking down a bottle quietly.

I typically shy away from having my child make a scene anywhere. . . but especially at a FUNERAL, so I picked up my squirming, now again only half dressed daughter, and ran to the foyer, where my little freaking dervish spun in circles, ran into a post, fell down and started crying, upon which time, she, lying on her back, pulled her dress up over her head, and slid around on her behind until she had inched her Pull-Up down and giggled as she turned over and showed her little plumber's fanny to a cranky usher.

As soon as the funeral ended, we snuck out the side door of the church and drove all the way home stopping only for a brief meal and a potty break. I haven't been contacted yet to be part of the Christmas drawing. . . I'm sure it's just an oversight.

Boise City News
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