Before I had children of my own, I envisioned that each week for that one hour, MY children would sit quietly and listen, or read, or draw, but they would remain in their seats and not make a big fuss. I have 4 younger siblings and was good with children so I was confident I could make this "happen" when my turn rolled around.
Fast forward a decade and it appeared we were on a pogo stick with the amount of getting up and down to take Carter out that was going on. He was loud, restless, wanting to entertain those around him, and NEVER sitting in his seat. Despite our best efforts, I got to the point where I truly believed that the two of us may never be able to stay in church for the whole hour because of Mr Tarts.
But we have persisted. The expectations have remained the same, even if they weren't reached, we figured it was better to keep the goal rather than giving up:
Some time has passed since those days and today I looked at our boys and realised that for a good year or so now, we get to stay in church. There might be a toilet break, but other than that they are quiet (enough) and in their seats. They may read, or draw with a pen, but that's about it and it's enough for them. The goal was finally achieved, not by lowering the bar, but by sticking at it, week after week, year after year.
It's not perfect, but that saying "this too shall pass" rings true, provided you add a little something on the end:
"This too shall pass, with a bit of effort and patience".