Baby Cages

It’s Sunday. When I was small this meant one thing; baby cage. This seems like an indictment of my mother’s parenting practices but it isn’t. Growing up, all of my friends spent part of their Sundays in baby cages too.

I had better explain before the Children’s Aid Society turns up my parents’ doorstep demanding information. My parents were members of the baby boomer generation, which meant that my sister and I were a part of the after boom. In the late eighties, church was still an institution that people attended, thus the boomers and their children came in droves. Consequently the nursery of my parent’s church was overrun with babies. The walls were lined with cribs, the middle of the room was divided by a row of cribs but there were still tiny screaming people spilling out everywhere; lying on carpets, defecating on couches and spitting up into toy baskets.

The room looked like this. But multiplied forty times over. (Photo Credit: www.dailymail.co.uk)

The room looked like this. But multiplied forty times over. (Photo Credit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk)

Something had to be done. Hence someone came up with the bright idea of stacking cribs one on top of the other. This plan sounded much better than the previous suggestion which had been to stack the infants on top of one another in a weekly game of Baby Jenga.

The end effect was kind of like a book shelf with only two sections. But the piece de resistance was of course the doors. They went from the top of the compartment to the bottom and had a heavy duty lock to prevent the infants from falling out if they happened to roll against the door. The bars were spaced so that only a tiny hand would fit through. This meant that when the babies woke up, they would grip the bars and pull themselves into a sitting position then proceed to wail like tiny convicts protesting their imprisonment. The caregivers would have to remove the babies’ tiny digits from the cage bars in order to extract the children because the doors opened outwards on a hinge. However unlike prison guards they did not use batons to do this.

The middle row was of course the primo spot. (Photo Credit: drmomma.org)

The middle row was of course the primo spot. (Photo Credit: drmomma.org)

I attempted to find a photo of baby cages on the internet but this was the closest image I could get. Admittedly the only search terms I used were “vertical crib” which the Googles changed to “convertible crib” and when that didn’t turn anything up I tried “stacked cribs”. I refrained from typing “baby cage” into the Googles for fear of what it would come up with.

Eventually, when forty some odd writhing, shrieking balls of human existence no longer filled the church nursery each Sunday, the baby cages fell into disuse. By the babies that is. Toddlers like me who had spent their formative years napping in the cages frequently asked to move to the nursery so they could sit in the baby cages. For whatever reason reliving our incarcerated infancy was an exciting part of being at church. Tragically after a time, attendance in the nursery fell so low that not even the cribs that lined the walls were filled and the utility of the baby cages came into question. The doors and locks were removed and the cages were converted into storage for the Sunday school, although the baby cages will forever live on in story and memory.

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Clothing Is Over Rated, Especially In Church

So this supposed to be the already deferred part two of the Liebster Award post but then I did something idiotic and embarrassing. And sometimes humiliating things need to be shared.

I have this shirt, my mother in law picked it out which means two things; A) It fits me nicely and B) It looks very attractive to boot.

Zippers, the anti-button. (Photo Credit : http://www.zippermanufacturers.com)

Zippers, the anti-button. (Photo Credit : http://www.zippermanufacturers.com)

However the shirt in question has twenty buttons. Twenty very small buttons, arranged in teeny, tiny, impossible-to-button pairs. Who has time for that? I mean, that’s why we invented the zipper. That being said, a shirt that zipped would not fit me nearly as well or look as dapper, so occasionally I spend five minutes buttoning this shirt and then another five minutes re-buttoning it when I realize that I’ve skipped a button or three.

For whatever reason I generally wear  this garment on Sundays, which means that I’m sitting in the pews of my church with my head bowed during the first prayer realizing that I’m looking at my naval because I’ve missed the sixth button from the bottom in my hurry to get out the door. This sounds bad but in the grand scheme of my history of being partially clothed in church it’s relatively low on the totem pole of embarrassment.

My favourite church flashing was not my fault. I was sitting in the first pew with a toddler on my lap while wearing a knee length silk skirt. I loved the feel of that skirt, as did the toddler, which was why she was still clutching the hem of it when I stood up to sing while holding her, effectively giving the choir and the ministers an unsolicited show of my pink and white “Sunday I feel fine” bikini briefs. It’s my hope that they appreciated my commitment to chronological accuracy with my days of the week underpants.

The next time I was poorly dressed for church was a combination of poor time management and dress choices. The laundry mountain on the morning of the infamous “Slutty Secretary” outfit reached nearly to the ceiling. Eschewing the nice feeling silk skirt, I pulled on an old, scratchy one to match a top that I rarely wear. After the fifth extended hug from an elderly man after the service, I realized that my shirt showed way too much cleavage. Roscoe was nice enough to point out after I arrived home that in addition to this, the skirt I had chosen was see-through. My point being that the elders seeing my belly button isn’t a big deal when viewed in the broader picture of my church nudity.

But this past week Roscoe and I were really late for church. A quarter of the way through buttoning the teeny, tiny buttons I gave up and decided I would finish in the car while Roscoe drove.

And that would have been fine had it not been raining. “It’s pouring” called Roscoe. “Noted!” I called back as I hurriedly shrugged on my poncho over my partially buttoned shirt.

I was drenched walking from the house to the car. It was still misting as we pulled up to the church so I kept my poncho on. Hence it wasn’t until I sat down in the service, directly in front of one of the ministers when I realized that my shirt still wasn’t buttoned. Please note this occurred after I hugged a church elder.

English: Hat and bikini.

If using my dress code, you can go straight from the beach to church in this outfit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Oh My God!” I stage whispered over my inadvertent nakedness. Roscoe elbowed me in the ribs and jerked his head towards the elderly minister sitting directly behind us. Frantically, giggling over my idiocy I did up the remaining sixteen buttons.

Needless to say I’m an incredible role model. A pillar of the community. And also an accidental nudist apparently.