My dad’s best friend from St. John Fisher College, who also happens to be my Godfather, inspired my father in many ways over the years. One of the many amusing incidents that became immortal occurred one morning many years ago when our family and the Vivacquas went out for breakfast. My sister Mary and I were pretty young at the time as were the Vivacquas’ two children, Cate and Daniel.
First I should explain where the nickname Stitch originated. Ever since my dad while slightly inebriated in college, referred to his dear friend and roommate by the name of Stitch instead of his given name, Rick, my family has always referred to him this way. Stitch always called my dad Jerry, but I’m not quite sure of how that was inspired. I’m guessing alcohol was involved.
Anyway, my mom, dad, Mary, Stitch, his wife Mary Kate, daughter Cate, and son Daniel, and I were out for breakfast. When one of their children began fussing, Stitch handed the crabby kid a full maple syrup pourer to play with in hopes to quiet the complaining. Another adult at the table immediately took it out of the child’s hands and provided a more suitable distraction.
My dad never let him live that down, though. The incident went down in history when my dad began saying that anyone who gave a child something they shouldn’t be given to play with, my dad would say that they deserved “the Stitch Vivacqua Award.” Truth be told, my dad (and basically every other person who has spent a significant time caring for children) has also warranted the award many times.
This came to mind when I was being marked up by an adorable toddler wielding an uncapped green gel pen at Mass the other day. The little one, her mom, and I all ended up with green marks on our skin as well as our clothes before we even went up for Communion.
I understand all too well the desire to avoid and/or minimize tantrums in public, especially during Mass. I do believe some of the most hilarious attempts at this are included in Susie Lloyd’s laugh out loud funny book, Please Don’t Drink the Holy Water.
What is the silliest, messiest, and/or most amusing thing you’ve given (or seen someone else give a child) to quiet them down?