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Distraction Techniques

We had Eliza’s Christmas carol service yesterday. I went along with Tilly, who enjoys a bit of a singsong (normally to the Black Keys or her own rendition of a nursery rhyme).  The church was filling up and it was reasonably easy keeping her amused with lots of “Oooh look how many people there are” or “Look at the lovely colourful windows”. But after about 10 minutes she was over that and was getting bored.  And we all know what happens when 3 year olds get bored.  I start to fill with silent panic that turns into anxiety and before long I develop a nervous twitch and my hair turns greyer with each passing second until I strike upon a decent distraction.

I started to look around for said distraction, anything would do, the kneeling cushions looked pretty good “oh look there’s a special Tilly sized cushion, lets put it on the seat” (is that sacrilegious? I’m eternally sorry if it was).

She quite liked this idea.  For about 2 minutes, at which point she decided to throw the sacred cushion into the aisle in the path of an on-coming group of proud grandparents.  I retrieved the cushion and my daughter, just in time. I ignored the tuts, I’m SO used to them. Having said that I’m sure they understood and were quite possibly not tutting at all but quietly chuckling.

At this point I’m thinking why on earth didn’t I bring something to keep her happy; pencils and paper, raisins, chocolate, vodka. Sometimes my preparedness leaves something to be desired, I was never a girl scout or guide or brownie or whatever would have given me the necessary skills to prepare for tricky situations or maybe life in general.  Who knows, maybe everything would’ve been different if I had been a girl guide.

Anyway Tilly started to create, she’d done kneeling cushions, she’d read the first few pages of the bible to herself (“once ‘pon a time, jesus was a baby…”) and she’d climbed over several pews.  Then as if by magic a friend of mine appears with her little boy, about 2, and produces raisins AND plastic dinosaurs.


This lasted about 5 minutes and then all the school children came in and we saw Eliza, she looked very happy to see us, Tilly of course wanted to go and join her, and then I was back into Finding Distractions.

So I did what all good parents do at the “how will I keep my child occupied for the next 1/2 hour” moment.  I gave her my iPhone. She played the ‘fishy game’ for a while.

And in every quiet moment after the carol and before the year 2 children gave their presentation about Jesus and light and all things good and Christmassy Tilly could be heard shouting “hahaha I got the blue fishy mummy!” or similar.

I’m not entirely sure if the other parents thought my use of technology to keep my child occupied so that I could sing Away in a Manger and crane my neck over 20 other people to see my other child not singing Away in a Manger but looking vacantly out of the lovely windows was a good idea or not.  But it served a purpose.  Tilly had a bit of a singsong and we got a bit happy clappy with some ‘modern’ carols that I’d never heard of.

It was lovely and we felt very festive.  Later that day we had some friends over with their children for some Christmassy games, then last night we had friends round for dinner.

As of last week this blog is now 3 years old.  Still considering if it will last another year, I expect so.



  1. I love your blog, it’s one of the first I read so I bloody well hope so!

    At times like the above then I take a tablet for The Boy to keep him amused (and no I don’t mean paracetomal! A technology tablet!) and it gets put on mute. God made them for exactly this situation so I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have minded ;-)

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