July 22, 2009

Free Baptisms


Yesterday it rained all day in Philadelphia. For religious reasons, I was glad that the community pool was closed.

Let me explain.

I spent Monday afternoon sitting on the water's edge watching my daughter go down the slide and my boys play Marco Polo in the shallow end. I got to talking with another mom and forgot all about my kids until the woman pointed to one of my sons and asked what he was doing. Cortlen was still in the shallow end, now surrounded by five or six similarly aged children. One by one, each of the kids stepped forward and made his/her way to Cortlen's side. After whispering a few words I couldn't hear, Cortlen sprinkled water onto the child's forehead or, if preferred, completely submerged him.

"It looks like he's..." the woman interjected.

I cut the woman off and jumped into the pool. I reached my son just as he was preparing the wash away the sins of one of his preschool classmates.

"Are you baptizing people?" I asked.
"No," he replied.
"It looks like you are," I stated.
"I'm not!" he insisted.

Ultimately, one of my son's followers betrayed him. "He is! He is!" the little boy shouted gleefully. "I've been baptized five times today!" he announced proudly.

I couldn't wait for the words of praise and gratitude that I knew were forthcoming from the boy's mother.

"That's very nice, " I warned, "But please keep your hands to yourself. I'm serious."

My command to abandon God's work was not well received.

"Meanie!" my son shrieked when I turned my back.

A handful of pint-sized disciples cried foul and splashed water in my direction when I told John the Baptist that he was one baptism away from a time out.

Fortunately, baptizing is not a difficult skill to acquire or perform once one learns to distinguish between dunking and drowning. By the time we left the pool, religious fervor had spread across the complex, with baptisms being performed in every corner.

Lifeguards: you can thank me later.

71 comments

My Life Through My Thoughts said...

LOL! That is too funny!!! I was giggling the whole time I read this! THe Meanest Mom strikes again.

Colleen said...

I think it's fantabulous! My twins would do stuff like that, in all my years of public baptisms I've never been corrected, but rather congratulated! Mainly because my kids knew what a baptism was and how to do it! I thought about it a lot when my kids were little, and said to myself as long as no one is being forced into baptism, i took it as little seeds being planted in these minds that their is something much greater in their lives. What do you think... should I have intervened?

Emily Heizer said...

I was so relieved to see that someone else out there suffers from insomnia as badly as i do.

Then I realized you're on east coast time.

Poop.

The Cranes said...

Honestly, I think that incident shows good parenting--he's obviously seen it in CHURCH. I would be embarrassed, too, but at the same time, proud.

Karen said...

Hilarious! When we were kids we used to play "church". My mom would give us pieces of bread that we would flatten and cut out into circles for "hosts" so we could give each other communion.

Lindy said...

I wonder if it matters if the water is chlorinated or not? Is the chlorination some kind of barrier?

Ashi and Rami's Ima said...

That is one of the funniest things I've ever read! Being a Jewish mother, I have to say(and especially in answer to Colleen) intervening was DEFINITELY the right thing to do. Thanks for respecting the choices of all the other parents at the pool - not like I ever thought you'd do anything different. :)

WILLIAM said...

For some reason I am picturing the last supper with Juice boxes and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish.

Scrapingirl said...

Oh my gosh!! Your kids crack me up!!

Mommasita said...

Excellent, too bad you can't get a healing for the molluscum...
My kids call it "bathtism".

WackyMummy said...

LOL!

He's creative and dedicated anyway! Maybe in all that religious fervor he made the pool into holy water.... =)

Michelle said...

Oh my gosh! That is too funny! He was only following Jesus's commandments.

Sara said...

You have made me laugh out loud! At least they were being "good"! It is nice when children mimic good behavior instead of bad. I was baptized a lot when I was younger. Except I had to baptize myself since I was in the tub!

beth said...

so funny!

Sarah said...

oh my gosh. too funny.

Denise @ Sunflowers, Chocolate and Little Boys said...

That is so funny....and so cute! It will be one of those cute stories you can embarrass him with when he is grown, lol

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

This is hilarious! I had to read it to my husband (he's a pastor)--he's impressed with your little disciple!

Tricia said...

I love this! I too think it's a sign of good parenting. More children should be mimicking this type of behavior.

My three kids were recently discussing my oldest baptism and whether or not they were going to heaven and if they had "prayed the prayer." My youngest (5) started to cry. When I asked him what was wrong he said, "I'm going to Hell." I couldn't convince him otherwise. He asked me to pray with him and all was well!

Foursons said...

Oh, that is so much better than what went through my mind when I read your title! I was picturing awful things happening in a sanctuary. I won't go into details....

Too Many Hats said...

ROFLOL - being of the baptism bent myself, I would have been excited to see that my child was doing that, but at the same time I can see how it would have been a bit embarrassing.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

That is SO! funny. Once my kids blessed/healed a "sick" stuffed animal.

Helen said...

LOL! Hilarious!

JAMIE said...

ROFL, sounds like he has been taught when and he is "anxiously engaged in a good cause" even at the pool. ;)

Elise said...

I laughed So hard...classic, just classic. Good thing your boy is around to "save" all the other children...jk. i probably would have been a little embarrassed too, but proud too.

Renny said...

That is amazingly funny. Ha. I don't think my siblings and I ever played "church" or anything like that. If we weren't reverent in sacrament meeting we had to sit on the couch for an hour in "Reverent Silence" when we got home. If anyone made any noise, the hour started over... I guess that killed our religious playtime fervor.

Taylor Clan said...

What entertains me is that he was using two different techniques of baptism. Brilliant 5 year old.

I'm proud to know of a 5 year old with the priesthood. He must be quite spiritually advanced...or was he channeling John the Baptist?!

MaLeah said...

I laughed till I cried at this one! Hilarious! At least he wasn't imitating Jeff's cartoon! It could be worse!

MaLeah :)

mean mom in training to a 3 month old

The K. Morgan Crawfords said...

Jana, I'm new to your post but THIS post has to be my absolute favorite so far!

Nick and Tiffany said...

Oh my gosh!! That's absolutely hilarious. I can understand being embarrassed, but I hope the other parents aren't too uptight. Their little kids.

Nikki said...

Oh my goodness gracious.. HILARIOUS!

Lin said...

ha hah...that's so funny!

Meagan and John said...

when the Jewish mom posted my only thought was luckily he wasn't jewish or there would have been a whole different story--not that there is anything wrong with jews (cause there isn't) they just have an additional step, or is that when they bless them? all I know is atleast he wasn't doing that after sprinkling water.

I don't remember playing church as a young youth--I do remember playing topless bar with a neighborhood boy when my mom would leave us in the backyard alone (maybe I should be confessing this to your son) I do though remember memorizing the sacrament prayer with a friend when we were both preteens

yes I led an interesting life

{Kiki} said...

Thanks for making me laugh out loud yet again. I really needed it today. Great story. Your kids must keep you so entertained, and on high alert. At least all the kids weren't around each other and "relieving" themselves in the water. That IS something my kid would find funny and participate in. Take care.
-Kiki

Jenglamgirl said...

OH' MAN how hilarious, what a great laugh this morning! LOVE IT and you always make it sound so much funnier!

The Mom said...

Very funny, I have caught my kids giving each other blessing. Which is actually kinda cute considering they usually are trying to kill each other...

AVONLadyinSC said...

Maybe he'll start giving sermons next? I'd just be on the lookout for a drastic increase in spare change from an offering plate :) He sounds so entertaining I love it :)

Maree said...

I LOVE it! It's good to emulate good behavior, and I'm not sure if I'd have stopped it or not. Especially since he was baptizing the kids who wanted to be baptized. Yes, funny that he utilized both forms of baptism.

When I was a kid, we'd play "sacrament" after church. We'd break the bread and pour water into bottle covers and say a prayer and the whole 9 yards. We must've taken our version of the sacrament 20 times each Sunday. But it kept us quiet and possibly focused on reverent things...

LOVED this post!

Jalene said...

This is absolutely hilarious. Haha.

Amalie said...

HAHA! awesome

Diane J. said...

Awww, what sweet boys...aside from the drowning part, but hey he was giving them the choice of sprinkling overhead or dunking, so if the kid asked for the dunking it's his own fault, right?

That's just too sweet and funny.

Jo's girl said...

gotta love the preschool judas for ratting him out. -freaking hilarious. my girls after seeing a friend recently baptized have been attempting their own in the bathtub in 5 inches of water. -very entertaining to say the least.

Bonnie said...

The funniest thing I've read all week! Sounds like you're kids are doing great, hope you are too!

Sarah said...

Well... at least he wasn't performing exorcisms!

Chad and Elizabeth said...

I must admit, I've baptized a few back in that day. We used to play baptism in between playing the little mermaid and underwater tea party... those were the good ol' days! Now if I tried playing any of those games they would think I was insane! haha

Missy said...

That is too funny! I love it!

Janille said...

At least you have never had your kids play "funeral" and "carrying the casket to the cemetery. That really freaks the moms out. :-)

Mary said...

utterly hilarious!! definitely one of my favorite posts!!

Malea said...

Way to groom a future priesthood holder! Love it.

Amanda said...

Just wait til he cracks into your liquor cabinet and starts tasting the wine!!!!

Bethany said...

Oh my gosh, I just laughed out loud-- awesome!!

Deaver6 said...

That is priceless!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love it! Go Cortlen!

marybt said...

That's freaking hilarious!

You should get him these for Christmas:

http://www.perpetualkid.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1719

(I'm in no way affiliated with that company, I just think those are a hoot.)

Deila said...

Adventures not found in grad school for sure--great story!

Lisa said...

This is hilarious and definitely brought a smile to my face! I have a 13 month old and I wonder what kind of stuff he will come up with.

noelle said...

one of your best posts ever. classic!

Sherilyn -The Dominee Huisvrouw said...

Haha! I can TOTALLY see my son doing this in a few years' iime!

Mary Ellen said...

Forbidding public baptisms performed by children, I love it!

Crystal said...

That is sooo awesome! I remember doing that as a kid, but at my GRandpa's pool....less eyes glaring at you. Did any other moms say anything to you?

Kristin said...

i just laughed so hard i woke up the baby.

got2havefaith said...

OMG that is so funny!

Emily said...

Ok, I laughed so hard that I cried AND peed my pants!!!! Maybe I should sit in during primary with my daughter this Sunday to see when it is that they are teaching the "sprinkling water" baptism :)

Kim said...

Love this post! Once I was babysitting my nieces and they were being to quiet. When I walked into the kitchen, they had found my husbands shot glass collection and were playing communion with kool-aid! Where do I begin...

Elisabeth Marie said...

ha ha!

vakadesign said...

Oh my gosh, I laughed so hard....I can just picture it!

Kim said...

What a great memory to tell and retell as your child grows up. I love family stories and I have a few whoppers myself.

Nicole Benitez, Quantico, VA said...

Jana, This is hysterical! Ok, maybe not while it was happening to [you], but I couldn;t stop laughing.

regina said...

JUDAS!! i can't believe they betrayed him!! did you see a dove? please tell me you saw a dove.

my kids only poo in the pool, leaving my husband to follow behind, putting the poo in his pocket as he tries to slink out of the pool.

oh, and the tube of sunscreen that my daughter squeezed all over the kiddie section. the bottom of the pool was not seen for awhile.

oh yeah, the pool staff know us by name.

regina said...

judas!!! i can't believe they turned on him!

did you see a dove? tell me you saw a dove.....

my kids just poo in the pool with my husband putting it in his pocket to dump it properly while trying to hide it.

please, all are invited to come to our public pool after we leave.

i will now need your son for confessional after admitting that big sin.

does he do confessionals?

Kate said...

Thanks for making me laugh! It always makes me wonder how kids come up with these kinds of things!

Rocket Ma'am said...

At least he wasn't doing the full dunkaroo like they do at my gramma's church!

Kristen and Co. said...

LOL!! I'm just curious how he convinced them all that they needed it and had them lined up for his services! You may have quite the little missionary on your hands. Too funny!