This weekend was a big one in terms of family because we had Max baptized on Sunday. This meant My Fair Lady's family was in town (staying with us, naturally) and my family hosted lunch. It also meant that Max had to be on his best behavior in front of a large congregation while wearing a dress and getting what he might regard as a bath.
So the challenge unfolded before us. Should we continue his training in the finer arts of adult-baby interaction? Or should we instead assume that he had reached the pinnacle of his training and was ready to go forth on his own? We opted for the latter. It was just a question of how would everything turn out.
We raced about the house that morning, frantic to gather our equipment and our wits. Little Max opted to forgo sleep the night before, instead deciding it best to psych himself up for his debut on the world stage. An unfortunate by-product of this was tremendous suffering on the part of his poor, beleaguered parents who by this point should be used to him not sleeping.
When he finally decided he was finished with his bed that morning, he let us know via a steady stream of babbling to his frog. We got him ready, fed him, and proceeded to wrangle ourselves and the in-laws into our vehicles. The mad dash to the church began.
Down the Tollway we raced, our hearts beating in our throats. Would we make it in time? Would Max throw up all over the minister? Would he do worse? Would the minister throw up all over him, either through illness or retaliation?
These were the thoughts that began to drive us mad with worry.
Once we arrived, we confirmed the location of both family parties then headed to the room specifically set aside for baptism babies. There we met two other couples, one of which was in our orientation meeting the prior month. The ministers arrived, said their pieces, and we paused for a moment of prayer. Which was the exact moment Max decided he liked his daddy so much he just had to deliver a slopping wet Baby Kiss right then and there.
Normally when we say "Baby kiss!" to Max, he turns and opens his mouth wide and plops it up against our heads. Recently though he figured that wasn't demonstrative enough of the love, so he grabs our hair with both hands, opens his mouth as wide as possible, then pulls himself to our faces.
Consider yourself warned if you're ever holding him and the phrase "baby kiss" is uttered in your vicinity. You then have about a second to make your peace with God before your face is mauled by an over-enthusiastic six month old.
As everyone finished their prayers, I was struggling to free myself from Max's surprisingly strong grip. The ministers left, I wiped my face down and pulled a chunk of hair from each of his little hands, then made sure he was ready. Away we were ushered to the sanctuary. We sat in the pews to the side, and I spotted Diva and Brother G waving at me from a few pews over.
Then the worm squirmed.
Maybe it was the choice of hymns. Presbyterians have an odd assortment of hymns, and the current reigning minister of our church has eclectic tastes to put it mildly. Or maybe he took after his old man. He'd also never seen that many people in one place so he started looking around, eventually smiling at and making faces for the elderly woman sitting behind us. Then the singing started and his little head spun around to say, "Wassat?"
Then we were called up for the sacrament and the three of us followed the other families to the front of the sanctuary. The child to our left was five months, Max was six months, and the other child was closer to 10 months old. We stood in the middle and the minister began prattling on in his usual way (I'm not his most ardent fan) when an odd noise echoed through the hall.
The 10 month old picked that moment to realize moving his finger up and down rapidly on his lips produced a funny noise.
The congregation busted out laughing. The minister tried to keep a straight face but to no avail. He picked up the first child and began delivering his spiel as he baptized the child.
Next up was Max who looked at the man more curious than anything else. He seems fascinating by elderly people, I guess because their faces look so much different than ours. He's with us almost 24/7 so seeing something new is fascinating to him. He smiled a little bit as the water hit his head, and then he was officially square with the Lord.
Next up was Blabbermouth who also handled the water well. Then the minister closed with a lengthy prayer (very, very lengthy) and we were directed to our seats.
Max decided at that point that he'd had enough of sitting on our laps, so we quickly made our way out and dropped him at the day care. Fortunately, he was the only one there and a grandmother roughly 354 years old was anxious to hold him. Unlike last time, he didn't take a nap in those petrie dishes they refer to as "cribs" so illness failed to find him again. The rest of the service was perfectly fine up to the sermon, when the minister figured a mixing of several different hymns would illustrate his point. After all was said and done, I had no idea what the hell his point must have been.
After taking several pictures outside (and the weather was perfect), we headed to my parents' house for lunch and more pictures. Max was a doll through this whole ordeal, doubly funny considering his behavior the night before. We can only hope that eventually he'll get to where he can be with lots and lots of people and not get stressed out.
But since he's apparently my clone, fat chance of that happening... ever.
The extra good news from the day's events though was getting a rare picture of both our families together. My Fair Lady has moaned for years that we never did that during our wedding, but fortune smiled upon us Sunday and granted her wish.
Oh, and Diva threatened to abscond with Max back home to LA due to his increasing adorability. Yes, he's adorable and grows more so every day. No, you can't have him Diva. Steal someone else's.