A friend of mine made me feel much better recently when we mutually commiserated on the challenges of keeping several Lilliputian toddlers in line during Mass. Here’s a synopsis of her take on it (thank you Kathy T.!):
My kids are a lot of things, but bashful is not one of them. I would say most mothers of toddlers and pre-schoolers bring their kids up to communion with them, not so much to get a blessing, but because the thought of leaving a band of pirates in the pew is unwise, so mothers have learned to cleverly disguise a half-nelson as a loving embrace, which she doesn't dare let go of till the Ite Misa Est!
I spent most Masses when my kids were that age doing one or more of the following:
1. Yanking people out from under pews by their legs.
2. Shushing people who decided to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider to Jesus at the consecration.
3. Shushing people during Lent who were whisper-shouting that we forgot to sing the Gloria or the Alleluia.
4. Giving shoes back to ladies in front of us, because people had removed them from her feet while she was kneeling.
5. Keeping people from undressing in church.
6. Giving unsatisfactory answers to people who were loudly protesting that poor Jesus was wearing only a towel.
7. Hanging on tight with a hand over the mouth of a flailing, biting, kicking person, while frightening thoughts of calculating how many seconds it would take to suffocate said person unconscious, yet not kill them, began to take on the distinctive quality of a reasonable solution.
It was also during those years that my Mass attire changed dramatically. After the heel of my dress-shoe caught in the hem of my skirt when I genuflected (while holding one of the kids) and I launched myself headfirst into the side of the pew, I quit wearing heels and skirts. Pants and shirts became much more practical for the WWF rumblefest that was Our Family At Mass.
So, I know the “blessing” at communion wasn’t necessary nor even sanctioned, but it did give me hope that I might last another 15 minutes! Hang in there!