I had to attend a funeral recently. As with most funerals, it came up unexpectedly and I didn't have time to find a babysitter. So we had to take the little guy with us.
I'm sure you already know it didn't go well.
We headed in to the funeral home and request a seat near a door, in case we needed to make a quick escape. The usher guy was nice, he told us all about his grand kids and was happy to seat us in the very back by a door.
People started rolling in. There were old people galore, (old people love funerals) Jon was being charming and waving to people and saying cute things like, "That grandpa up there has glasses on." And, "That nice lady has WHITE HAIR. Really, really white and poufy."
I was beginning to think it was going to be OK. Because even though he was running his yap like crazy, most of the people around us were half deaf so they couldn't hear him chirping his observations.
Then my boss walks in and sits in the pew in front of us. Jon starts getting antsy and trying to climb all over the place and my boss turns around and asks Jon if he wants to come up and sit in the pew with him. I'm sure he offered fully expecting Jon get shy all of a sudden and cling to his mom, like most 2 year-olds do when a semi-stranger tries to have a conversation with them.
Boy was he surprised.
Jon couldn't get over that pew fast enough! In his head I'm sure he was thinking "Hell yes I'll come up there and sit with you, you look a lot nicer than my mom!"
He was actually pretty good for a little while. He sat politely in his seat and answered questions quietly while my boss quizzed him on what sounds farm animals make.
The organ music started and it was time for the family of the deceased to come in . Jon's been to church enough times that he knows when organ music starts it's time for the chit-chat to stop. He let my boss know. "Quiet now. Music's starting."
The family starts filing in, it's a very somber moment, until Jon turns around and very excitedly blurts out "MOM I SEE KINZIE! HER IS UP THERE! I GO SEE HER? I SIT WITH KINZIE IN THIS CHURCH?" Kinzie sometimes babysits Jon, she is the daughter of some good friends of ours. It was Kinzie's Grandpa's funeral.
Jon did not get to go sit with her in this church.
Instead, he migrated from sitting in the pew like a big guy into my boss's lap, and began very quietly chatting about various objects in the room. "whoa, big lamp. you see that swishy red curtain? nice flowers up there, pretty ones."
And you know all the old people I mentioned earlier? One of them needed to adjust their hearing aid, it was whistling like crazy...
"I hear whistlin', " Jon informs me over my boss's shoulder. "You hear that? It goes wooooooo. It's a song. You hear that song?"
Luckily the old people couldn't hear him because they were either old and mostly deaf, or old and mostly deaf with messed up hearing aids.
I told him it was a church song and he needed to be quiet so other people could hear it and that it was time to come sit with me again. So he climbed on over and went back to naming off every single thing in the room. That's when he discovered the smoke detectors on the ceiling.
That's when things went downhill.
A few weeks earlier I had an incident in my oven involving a boiled over pie, lots of billowing smoke and a smoke alarm going off. Jon had never heard the smoke alarm before and it scared the bajeebers out of him. I explained to him that the smoke detectors would help save us if there was ever a fire and that they weren't scary. And THAT just sent him into fireman fever. Everywhere we went after that he was on the look out for smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and was just plain nuts about fires and firemen. We had pretend fires in the bathtub and sprayed them with water, pretend cats got stuck in pretend trees and we had to drive pretend fire engines to save them, it was nonstop fire and "rex-cue" action from then on.
So we're at the funeral and he spots the smoke detector and goes into full fireman mode.
First he gasps.
And people look.
Then, abandoning the quiet church voice he had returned to using after the Kinzie-spotting, he blares, "SMOKE DETECTOR! EVERYBODY PANIC!"
At that point I was thinking it was very appropriate that we were in a funeral home because I was pretty sure I was going to have a heart attack and die right there.
But I didn't die. I did however get him the hell out of there through the handy side door by which we were so conveniently seated, leaving his dad sitting there with his mouth hanging open and a sippy cup in his hand.
Jon and I spent the rest of the funeral in the bathroom.
Fortunately most people were paying attention to the minister, and the people who were in the seats near us were familiar with smoke detectors and their functions and did not panic as instructed. They were mostly amused by the whole show and told me so afterward.