Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Five Universal Laws of *Sunday* Mornings

"Mommy threatened to beat us if we didn't move our fannnies
lickety split and get in the car because she says if we're
late to church one more time, she's selling us to gypsies."
 As if it wasn't enough that mornings are such incredible time-sucks and clusterf**ks that we feel the need to threaten people with six week old tuna sandwiches if they don't get their butts in gear. And, amazingly, our mornings have become slightly easier, though it may be due to the fact that we are now 1) having the children do their homework in the car, therefore keeping all backpacks and such from ever entering our house; and 2) waking them up by dousing them with cereal and letting the dog come after them. In that way, they're awake, "bathed" and they've fed the dog. All in all, we might actually be gaining time in the morning. With any luck, when we wake up on Wednesday morning, we'll be so far ahead of ourselves, it'll still be Tuesday.

Sundays, though? Uhhh, what happened to Sunday morning? The proverbial "day of rest" is anything but. [Editor's Note: Hey, stupid, it's not proverbial, it's biblical. Dumb ass. - Lydia] And, well, it's clearly being controlled by its very own set of very whack Universal Laws.

The Nutrition Proposition: My husband looked at me on Saturday night, about .0003 seconds after I had finally had a chance to sit down, and was mercilessly bereft of a glass of wine and said the following:  "It'd be nice to have a nice big Sunday breakfast. You know, waffles and eggs and bacon and sausage and maybe, oh, you know, some cinnamon rolls... Get everyone off to a good start..."  And then wondered why my eye was twitching. A six-course breakfast? Tomorrow morning? Before church? Whuck? Do we suddenly have elves working for us? No? Then you are out of your damn skull. Unless you're dragging your patootie up at, oh let's say 5:45am to concoct this delicious display of culinary confections, you'll have to make do with a cup of hot coffee (how novel...mine is usually just this side of icy with a lovely film of -- of film on the top) and the New York Times. Or, if you prefer, I can douse you with a bowl of cereal and send the dog after you.

Mommy couldn't be in this picture because on Sunday
mornings she looks like a crazed marmoset. 
The Appearance Anomaly: Why? Why is it that I'm the first one up, the last one out the door and yet somehow the one who looks infinitely worse than everyone else? The children are in their Sunday best, my husband looks like Don Draper, what with his freshly  polished shoes and - what? - are those cufflinks? and I look like I spent my morning wandering through a mental institution and a swamp. Only if my hair were actually made of snakes would it be any worse. And then I get to church and people give me that "oh, arrrrrrrrrre yooooooouuuuuuuuuuuu?" and pat my hand and offer me tea. Which is lovely and all, but only because I later realize that my shirt was on inside out and yet I still managed to have a boobstain.

The Piety Paradox: It's a good thing we went to church, and spent those 60 minutes or so thinking pious things and asking for forgiveness and everything. Because, no matter what we did for the six previous days, nothing, nothing is worse than what happened in that last hour before we arrived at church. The level of unChristianlike behavior, threats, invective, foul thoughts about family members who brush their teeth so slow, what are you doing? brushing them one at a time? GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM! that I find myself piteously apologizing to my children later for maybe going a little whackadoodle while we were at home, that despite Mommy's scream-y voice earlier, they are not the worst children in the universe even though I'm still perplexed at why you needed to have a spitting war at that particular moment, and that while Mommy doesn't exactly know the answer to whether or not God has a last name, she's pretty sure it isn't actually "Dammit".

Dear God, Do you have
a last name? Amen.
The Behavior Mutation: These people spend all week trying to be anywhere that I'm not. I spend half my life on a search mission for their stuff, and the other have searching for them. Why is it, then, that the minute those little fannies hit the pews, that there is not enough Mom to go around. The little one is desperately trying to re-enter the womb with the fervor of a NASA pilot, the other two -- despite the fact that I still have both my left and right side available, the little one having taken up residency across my entire torso and lap -- are jockeying for a position that both gets them as close to me as possible, and yet still deny their sibling that same access. Hey! Guess what, geniuses? Unless you find King Solomon, there's no way you can simultaneously be on BOTH SIDES of me. And, frankly, I don't need you split in half. Because then I'll suddenly have five children instead of three, and we just don't have enough bedrooms. Aside from the fact that you'll never share with your other half. Please. Sit still. Please sit still. Sit. Still. GAH!

The Illumination Illusion: At some point in every service, usually right after the PleaseSitStills, and no matter how many times I beg, plead, cajole or bribe, there comes a moment when I'm forced to do the gritted-teeth-pretending-not-to-talk "if you do not cut it out, and I mean right now, I'm going to march you out of here in front of everyone -- you are not bored, you are just not listening well enough." What? When, in the history of ever, have I been able to ward off boredom just by listening harder. [Editor's Note: I had a college professor who bored me to the point that I thought he could be deployed as a nerve agent on hostile nations, and made the grand mistake once of trying to listen more intently. What did I discover? That he clicked every time he took a breath. After that, all I ever heard was the clicking. When was the battle of Thermopolis? SixClickeen Forty-Click? The Clicks won. Yeah, that was three grand well spent. -Kate]

Eight seconds after we've left the building, someone smacks someone. My husband and I look at each other, and he says, "Well, it was one second longer than last time. They're improving." An hour of prayerful thought, confession and lessons, and one-twelfth of one-sixtieth of that time later, we've forgotten all of it in favor of a well timed smack upside the head. And I'm forced to ask myself the bracelet-inspired question: What Would Jesus Do?

And then it dawns on me. I'm pretty sure he'd have a six-course breakfast lined up (probably some loaves and fishes or something).  Let's hope he remembered to hire some elves.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

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