Actually, it's more likely that she's just never been a mother.
We were sitting in prayer meeting. I was in the back row with John on one side and Timothy on the other. Tom was in his customary place behind the podium expounding on Acts 15:36-41. You know, the passage about the dissension between Paul and Barnabas over John Mark. Tom asked, "What kind of person are you? Are you a quitter?" I have to admit to feeling more like a quitter tonight.
John and Timothy are 3 years and 19 months, respectively. They are in training, learning to sit still. I have been working with them on folding their hands and being quiet. Do you know how much mischief a little boy can get into and still keep his hands folded? Timothy managed to pull on the collar of Elizabeth's dress and unsnap the legs of his pants and untie his shoes. John kept taking off his socks and poking Sarah in the back (Sarah was sitting in front of him). I kept turning back and forth between the two of them, trying to instruct them in a better way.
Just when I felt I couldn't handle this anymore I turned back to deal with John one more time. As I turned his way, my nose told me, and my eyes confirmed it. After a whole week of being dry, John was now wet. On the padded seat of a church chair. Timothy and I escorted John to the nursery where we found a spare pair of pants in the diaper bag.
I stayed in the nursery with the boys, seating them on chairs so they could continue learning to sit still while I continued to hear about quitters and how to deal with them over the speaker. At that point, I was beginning to feel like Paul, and thought how nice it would be if a Barnabas would come along and take over with my two little boys. Not seriously, but I am tired.
When we divided according to gender for prayer time, Tom came to take John with him. Since I was one of only two adult females there tonight, and since there were five non-adult females including two or three youngsters in need of parental supervision, Tom urged me to go join them. Sarah came to second that urging just as I was getting up to come.
I confess I really wasn't much inclined to pray tonight, but I knew prayer was exactly what I needed. Since Timothy had just about had it with this sitting still business, I took my turn as soon as I could. I briefly considered asking Sarah to take Timothy out, but then I decided to take him out myself. As I was leaving the auditorium, I turned and motioned to Elizabeth to follow me. My reasoning was that she doesn't always behave for Sarah.
So there we are in the nursery. No more sitting still for Timothy. But Elizabeth, looking rather pale and tired, sat down in a chair facing me. Suddenly she choked, swallowed, and got a panicked look on her face. I accurately predicted the near future and told her to get in the bathroom and lean over the toilet.
She stood there, in the doorway between the nursery and the bathroom. Crying, she tried to describe what she felt like doing. I frantically told her to get over the toilet, which was close enough to her that she could touch it. Instead she exploded all over the nursery carpet. Trying not to raise my voice because the men were praying in the next room, I told her to get over the toilet, NOW. She moved into the bathroom and stood by the toilet and exploded all over the wall, the floor, the outside of the toilet.
Meanwhile, Timothy, terrified at the sight of all this *stuff* exploding out of Elizabeth, was screaming.
I will not go into detail about the clean-up. And when prayer time was over I still had John's wet seat to clean.
There was no change of clothes for Elizabeth. She had to go home wearing her sweater and the shorts she had on under her dress. Poor girl! It turned chilly tonight, too.
Later, as I started the van, I checked the mileage. We have to do that now, to decide when to get gas, because the gas gauge doesn't work. I called Tom over and asked if he thought I needed to get gas. We decided I could make it home. He followed in the car in case I did run out. (Normally we go two different ways trying to beat each other home.)
We were almost to our exit when Sarah says, "Wouldn't it be funny if the van stalled right now?"
Just the thought of that possibility nearly pushed me over the edge into hysterical laughter.
Josiah's word of consolation: "But it should encourage you to know that you can't quit. It's impossible. You don't even have to think about it."