258. This is our number at church. It is the number that they use when they need us (read: me) to go to the nursery and take care of Dylan. The number is flashed on the screen (in front of the entire church) for a few seconds to alert the parent that their child has either crammed a crayon up another child's nose, barfed all over the floor, eaten something off of the floor, or is just hungry.
Let me give you the backstory. I forget to bring bottles. Well, that's a lie. I just don't like pumping (I did it exclusively for 3 months with Brendan and so help me if I look at another breast pump...) and bringing a bottle to church. Because if they fed him during the service, then my breasts would be in a ton of pain and I would need to pump (see the above to get my feelings on the topic) in the car after the service.
There is something about feeding your child discretely in the car, versus pulling out a huge breast pump and feeling like Bessie the Cow while pumping. Personally, I prefer the first one.
Anyways, Jeff and I had been going to this church for a few weeks before Dylan was born, and not once had we seen any numbers come across the screen. Not. Once.
The first week that Jeff and I put Dylan in the nursery about half way through, the number 258 flashed on the screen. Not a big deal. He was 4 weeks old and I was starting to miss him anyways.
The next week, I fed him right before the service and we actually didn't get paged. It was nice.
The next couple weeks we get paged almost every service because my child eats around the clock. That's the price you pay with an exclusively breastfed, demand fed infant (totally worth it if you ask me - but probably a nuisance to the other church goers.)
Here's the thing, up until this point, Jeff and I still have never seen any other number except 258. Seriously. Not. One. I am convinced that the entire church knows that this is our number because they have seen me get up every week for about 6 weeks straight.
So imagine my surprise when last week the number 238 flashed across the screen. It's not Dylan! There is actually another child that gives the poor nursery workers a hard time! We aren't the only annoying parents! Yay! Pastor Scott is probably thrilled to see me stay in my seat through the entire service.
Side note: I imagine that Pastor Scott doesn't see the numbers flash on the screen. All he sees is during the most important part of his sermon, during the life application section, and usually right after he says "If you hear only ONE thing this morning..." is the same woman get up and walk abruptly out of the sanctuary. Every. Week. He may think that I don't like him. He may be trying to host an intervention about my dedication to the church and my faith in general. If I know one thing it is that if this continues, I am pretty sure that he will develop a complex.
Okay, so imagine my surprise! It's not us. I can totally sit back and relax because Dylan is happy, and fed, and not needing me today.
The number disappears and Jeff and I look at each other and smile, exchanging looks that say "see, we are not the only parents who get paged!" And we continue to listen to Pastor Scott.
A few minutes later, the same number flashes across the screen. 238. Jeff and I look at each other and I think what irresponsible parents! Pay attention to the screen and go to the nursery when your child is called. Geez! Thank God that's not our number. I would hate to see our number flash twice on the screen in a matter of minutes.
Jeff and I continue to listen to the sermon. Today is the first service in 2011 and Pastor Scott is talking about our goals for 2011 and about the year that we had in 2010. I am starting to get excited because 258 has not flashed on the screen and the service is almost over!
We get up to sing and take the offering and then a friend of mine who works in the children's area during the service taps me on the shoulder and tells me that Dylan needs me. He's hungry. They paged me twice, but I didn't respond. So they came to find me.
They misread the numbers on Dylan's name tag. They thought it said 238, not 258. So all the praise that Jeff and I were giving ourselves for not getting paged, all the "Yay for us! We are not the only parents getting paged!" was all for nothing.
We are still the only parents that have ever gotten paged since Jeff and I have attended.
The good news, is that since everyone knows that our number is 258, when 238 flashed on the screen, they were all judging some other parent. And for 5 glorious minutes, they had forgotten about me and my needy child interrupting the service. For 5 minutes, Jeff and I were just like everyone else.