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, hellooooooooo...how 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

24 comments:

  1. Love it. My mom always talks about how Saturday mornings we were awake 5:33 on the dot, but Sunday mornings, she would have to drag us kicking and screaming with threats of the wooden spoon just to get us out of bed at 7:30 to make it to church by 9:00.
    Then we would fight all the way there, pretend we were a totally put together family and then leave and resume fighting for the rest of the day, because that was what Sundays were all about. My mom gets a twitch when I ask her what Sundays were like in the winter, she says there are no words!

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  2. This was my life when my kids were little too. i think this is the way it is for everyone.Icame up with a few things that helped. First, I started buying muffins or a coffee cake on Saturday so there was no breakfast kerfuffle. Note I *bought* them not made. Made it easy. Second, I gave out hard candies during church and made up games such as count how many old ladies are wearing hats, how many people have earrings on, how many times does pastor say "friends" or on the way home could anyone name anything he said. Also, if possible, mom gets to ride in her own car, ALONE.

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  3. I must say, I'm a little concerned that you've been spying on me on Sunday mornings. Its a little unnerving.

    - Headmistress Yca

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  4. This is why Lionel Richie makes me so angry. "Easy like Sunday morning," has he ever had to get 4 kids ready for church? What a douchebag.

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  5. We go out for breakfast on Sunday morning, it's a nice incentive to get everyone's butts out of bed, dressed, and out the door. Though I still never manage to have lipstick, jewelry, or perfume on. At least I have shoes...

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  6. Oh, even yesser! I sing on the worship team, and my husband has no idea it is only half because I love to serve the Lord in song. The other half is avoiding what you've written---I leave earlier than the rest of them, and I don't have to sit with them during the service. Four hours of bliss. Of course, they repay me in spades for that privilege for the rest of Sunday.....

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  7. Don't your kids have a kid's service at church??? No??? Get thee to a church that doth one! Sitting in church, kidless, is one of the few quiet moments I have in my life.

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  8. One lovely service we made the mistake of sitting in front of the entire elderly contingent of the church. My lovely little children decide this is the day to crawl under the pews like we're on a commando raid and take a header over the pew in front of us like there's suddenly a mosh pit in church. I'm sure the minister says a special prayer for us.

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  9. We do not attend a service. So glad. I think that would be the one thing that finally makes my head pop off!

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  10. We sing a hymn at my church called "Home Can Be A Heaven On Earth." You can listen to it here if you like: http://lds.org/churchmusic/detailmusicPlayer/index.html?searchlanguage=1&searchcollection=1&searchseqstart=298&searchsubseqstart=%20&searchseqend=298&searchsubseqend=ZZZ

    Wow, that's a long link.

    I mention it because after spending two hours wrestling and yelling at my kids to get them to church, and then the first hour in the "everyone together" meeting for 70 minutes, you can not convincingly sing, "Parents teach and lead the way, children honor and obey," without twitching, either from guilt or mirth. Its a problem.

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  11. Love, love this post. This explains everyday of my life. Weekends to me mean nothing, since everyday melds into the next, and I'm stuck in the Groundhog Day movie with Bill Murray.

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  12. During the mass for my Grandmother's 90th birthday, my son smiled adoringly at the little old lady sitting in the pew behind us, then immediately took his small plastic dinosaur and whipped it right at her. Good times.

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  13. I go to Gateway Church in Southlake, TX and the kid church is totally amazing. So while I'm singing worship and laughing (because our pastor can be hysterical), my kids are off in their own classrooms playing games. It's so nice to be kid free in church!!!
    But the breakfast thing, yeah totally. I remember we used to have large Sunday breakfasts but I think those were the Sundays we didn't go to church. Makes sense now. We settle for a quick trip to a donut store. lol

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  14. This is exactly what my Sunday mornings are like, too. And I'm the children's minister.

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  15. Oh My Gosh! Not only do you live at my house but evidently you go to church with us too! The only difference is that once I have literally pitched the children into their respective classrooms, I then need to keep track of DH. Why you ask? Because he tends to fall asleep and I can't hear the pastor over the snoring. By the time we get home on Sundays I feel like digging a hole and crawling into it!!

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  16. So very hilarious. Thanks for the laughs! My son is only one, and I don't have any others, and we don't go to church but I know what you mean about always looking the worst out of everyone in the bunch, and people taking forever to brush their teeth.

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  17. love. love. love. every single freaking word, story of my LIFE! and i'm with perpetual mommy exhaustion, 3 hours of church and we still can't get off the property without someone snapping.

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  18. The only plus side of making it to church half-dressed and sort of on time, is that I can throw the kids into their respective classrooms and immediately go to the bathroom BY MYSELF.

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  19. Oh, that was hilarious. My favourite bit was God's last name. Oh yeah, I've belted that one out a few times before church.

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  20. Both my parents were preachers kids. Our sunday mornings were scary. Lol And the sunday breakfast thing always leaned towards dunkin donuts! :)

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  21. What about being perpetually late even though church starts later than school and both parents are there to get everyone ready? You also didn't mention the inopportune farting/burping that somehow always occurs during the most quiet moments. I must admit, this can be quite hilarious but if I snicker then it just encourages less than unintentional repetition.

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  22. I thought I was the only one! That is exactly how our Sunday mornings go.

    Of course, there was the one time where my husband had to go early and the baby rolled down the stairs while the boys were in the tub getting soap in each others eyes. . . by the time we made it there no one even dared ask me how I was doing, they just pulled my husband aside and asked if I was OK.

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  23. 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.


    ^^^^^^^^^ What a jerk!

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  24. OMG, I have to make my husband read this post. He refuses to go to church anymore because of 'Sunday mornings'. I grew up in the church so they are 'normal' to me. That being said, there isn't enough wine in the world for me to brave a 'Sunday morning' by myself, plus that is my day to sleep in(he gets Saturday). I know, I'm going to hell...

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