Camilla Kimball says that we should never suppress a generous thought and I think this is wonderful advice which I have been trying to follow lately. But I can't. I had the "generous" thought during church to go and hold this lady's baby in my ward during the sacrament because she was holding two babies. I thought, "I should never suppress a generous thought. This is generous. I will do it." So I went over and took the baby from the lady who actually wasn't really struggling at all even with two babies on her lap. But still--"This will be nice," I thought. About half way through the sacrament (which lasts about 20 minutes total) my daughter fell off her chair and started screaming. So Maggie took her out. I stayed holding the baby. "Surely I can make it for 10 more minutes," I thought. Yeah. That's what you'd think. Ellen has this new adorable habit of screaming bloody murder. She doesn't have a pacifier anymore so this is how she self-soothes. She cry/screams and cry/screams, gaining momentum and volume until she falls asleep (sobbing and sighing in her sleep) or wets her pants. It can last for an hour or more (we found this out at Legoland) and we haven't discovered how to stop it.
Many people saw Maggie taking Ellen out and felt sorry for them. Ellen's grandpa went out and offered to go home and get her a sucker. Another man went out and offered help. And a lady with a bag of giant marshmallows bought a momentary reprieve from the screams. But you see, Ellen has been building up to this tantrum for over a week of too much sun, too little sleep, and a couple of 12 hour drives. She's been honing this technique several times a day in crowded theme parks, hotel rooms, and convenience store bathrooms. It's loud. And the real miracle of our vacation is not that we actually had a pretty good time in spite of Ellen's "episodes," but that we were never questioned by Child Protective Services of San Diego. Like, seriously. I'm grateful that we weren't. Because it seemed like some serious abuse was going on. And there were times when I wanted to seriously abuse her. Bless her heart!