Last Saturday night, at the Dave Ramsey Christmas party, I saw my friend Daniel scoping out the room as he sat down. He saw that I was looking at him and said, “We’re plotting our escape route if our baby gets crazy.”
This is a classic parent move, you always have to understand exactly which path you’ll take if your baby starts free style rhyming during an important event. In the old days at church, if your kid lost it, you had to pace the halls or sit out in your car. Now though, thanks to advanced “scream technology,” life as a parent has dramatically improved with the invention of one thing – the crying room.
The crying room is like the Ultimate Fighting Championship octagon. It is a multi-sided room where the loudest, cryingest babies enter if they can’t handle the service. (This is also where toddlers who are Calvinist go in when they ardently disagree with the free will message of the pastor.)
It’s the perfect place for a screaming kid and parent, but there are five things you need to know about the screaming room:
1. You can’t vote people into the room like Survivor.
Yeah, that kid might be going buck wild right now. He might be throwing the church/golf pencils like the “melon-pult” on Plants vs. Zombies. But you can’t get your row together and take a vote like on Survivor to send that kid to the crying room. It just doesn’t work that way.
2. You can’t send your kid by himself.
There’s really only seating for two in the crying room. You can’t just lean over to your kid and say, “Hey, that’s it. Three strikes, you’re out of here. Go to the crying room. I’ll see you after church is over.” As a parent you have to always accompany your kids.
3. Your crying room radar is always seven minutes late.
By the time you realize you need to send your kid to the crying room the rest of the church has already known for seven minutes. As parents we have “oh that’s adorable” goggles which make us see a lot of what our kids do as adorable. Other people don’t have that. They can tell it’s go time a lot faster than you can.
4. You will get a cold in there.
Unless you bust out a hazmat suit and coat yourself with a thick layer of Vick’s VapoRub, you are leaving the crying room with a cold. This is happening. Kids are like little mucus machines. The other night my kids had a nose blowing contest in the bathtub. Let me correct that, a “tissue-less nose blowing contest.” If your kid starts crying in church, you might not know what he’s yelling, but let me translate, “Mom, we’re going in the crying room. I hope you like colds!”
5. You can’t complain in there.
Once you’re in the crying room, all bets are off. You can’t complain about anyone causing a fuss. A kid could pickpocket you in the crying room and you have no recourse. It’s like the wild, wild west in there. Street justice is all that stands. Don’t ever complain about a kid crying when you’re in the crying room.
My last bit of advice is pretty simple, but critical nonetheless.
Guys, don’t ever confuse the crying room with the “nursing room.” Those two rooms are very, very different and mixing them up would be an epic fail.
Does your church have a crying room?