It started with little Payton in a flouncy pink skirt, stumbling from bench to bench and giggling. I couldn't believe she was so mobile! It seems like just yesterday she was a little tiny newborn with a fuzzy mo-hawk! When Robert and I sat down at a pew, she proceeded to sneak peeks at me--and when I would look at her and smile she would giggle and quickly hide her face. That was a fun game we kept up for at least five minutes.
Then came the Holyoak kids--three of the five, along with a little blonde girl whom Robert and I refer to as The Crazy Child. Apparently her mom and dad were with their daughter who just had a baby today (Crazy Child is a tail-ender by a long way), so the Holyoaks, with their already 5 kids, got to watch her in church. Soon the rest of the Holyoak family filed in and sat two benches ahead of us. The Holyoaks consist of the oldest girl Olivia who is very sweet, calm, and gorgeous, and about 9. Then Kate, the mischievous second child who always has a sly look on her face. Next comes Russell, the only boy, with crazy cowlicks in his hair. Russell absolutely adores the new baby (about 7 months) Ella, and is constantly looking at her and playing with her and giving her kisses. It's pretty much the cutest thing I've ever seen. After Russell and before Ella is Lindsey--the Daddy's girl. She LOVES playing with her Daddy, and acts just about like any 2 1/2 year old would. That makes up the Holyoak children.
Well, it didn't take long for the Holyoak children to realize that "Crazy child" is actually crazy--and very bossy. After bossing all of the kids around, and most of the Holyoaks migrating to the other side of the bench, Crazy Child was left sitting by Kate the Mischievous. It only took a few headbutts from Crazy Child for Dad Holyoak to come to the end of the bench and sit between Crazy Child and his own children to protect them (all the while holding the 7 month old Ella in his arms). Then, of course, Crazy Child resorted to mauling Dad Holyoak's arm, and eventually tired of him and turned to the people in the bench behind her, who happen to be the parents of 3 month old Jack Danger (yes--that is actually his real name).
Crazy Child leaned over the bench and stared at Jack D, and Jack stared back. She started yelling out "Can I look at the baby?" And that seemed to entertain her.
Meanwhile, the Wells children had entered the building--and you know it because Morgan, sporting her red velvet "Santa" dress with white furry cuffs and collar, came skipping down the aisle, her big eyes bulging out of the roundest face you have ever seen on a little child, calling out with urgency "I'm FIVE!" (Mind you, sacrament meeting has already started at this point).
And it's not like Morgan is just telling you sweetly that she is five, it's as if she is trying to convince you--like you don't believe her--that she is five. She is serious about it. And loud about it. Her younger brother, Noah, is the hugging demon. He likes to squeeze the life out of his mom and dad alternately throughout the meeting. He takes a big, smiley look at them--and then comes in for the hug around the neck.
To the left of us, Sophie (about a year old) started crying. When Sophie is mad, you know it, because she gives you the "look of death." She has a rather large head (we used to refer to her as the "big head child") with very large, long eyebrows. When she is mad, she pulls those eyebrows down and together in a scary glare. It's pretty hysterical.
To our right, the Princess (4 months) was napping in her huge frills and overly-large bow. The Princess has three older, rather rambunctious brothers. The two year old brother often gets mad and starts screaming. We'll see Dad hauling him out by his belt loops, tucked under one arm, while 2 year old is completely red in the face. Anyhow, with three older brothers, this little girl (Sariah) is definitely the Princess. Every week she has a beautiful, elaborate, fluffy dress and a huge bow or flower in her hair (or rather, on her hairless head). And every week it is Daddy that holds her proudly in his arms all through the meeting, looking down at her sweetly, oblivious to the punching and wrestling of the others on the bench next to him.
Next to us on the bench sits the Beautiful Baby (8 months?)--seriously the most beautiful baby girl I have ever seen. She has huge, and I mean HUGE blue eyes with long, curly dark eyelashes. She has just a little amount of blonde hair sitting flat on her mostly bald, perfectly shaped head. But nothing beats her gorgeous smile. She looks at everyone around her and just beams at them. Every once and a while she'll stare, start smiling, and then let out a little chuckle. You can't help but just stare at her. Today, however, she spent a lot of the time licking the bench (all the while smiling at said bench), as well as grunting to hear herself speak.
Then there's "Miss Bashful," (sitting behind us today, unfortunately) who will look at you, give you half a smile, and then fold in bashfully against her mamma and tilt her head to give you a little mysterious smile. She is cute and she knows it.
And of course there are many more babies surrounding us, as well as three other babies born last week, and two more due dates coming up this week. In fact, ward choir has been cancelled until the fall, because the three most active choir member families are all expecting babies this summer.
Oh--and there were four talks today in Sacrament Meeting...I just don't remember what they were about.