Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Getting Ready for Church

This is part one of (at least) a two-part post. If I tried to combine getting ready, attending, and coming home from church, it'd take so long that I'd probably miss church this week.

I should preface by saying that the scenario below isn't the rule at our house, but it's not uncommon either.

This post is a tribute to ANYONE who has EVER tried to get ready to go ANYWHERE with children, which can bring out the (not-so) best in us. I hope you can relate, because I pray that this occurs in other households, too.

Sunday morning
7:30 am (2 hours before church starts): Busy-Dad-E and -Mom-E have enjoyed "sleeping in." (Remember when you'd laugh hysterically and call someone names for suggesting that 7:30 am was sleeping-in?)

7:31 am: Busy-Dad-E ponders getting out of bed and having a few uninterrupted minutes to check email, and maybe even read the comics page in relative silence.

7:32 am: Busy-Dad-E's dreams of a few quiet moments are shattered by little brother, who is now screaming.

7:33 am: Both Busy-Dad-E and -Mom-E close eyes tightly under the delusion that this was an isolated scream, and quiet moments are still possible.

7:33 am: Little brother continues to scream. Busy-Dad-E and -Mom-E trudge out of bed to little brother's room.

7:34 am: Little brother's poopy diaper changed, and he is smiling and happy now. (You'd scream, too, if you had a poopy diaper). Little brother starts making milk sign.

7:35 am: Busy-Mom-E takes little brother out to the kitchen to get breakfast started, while -Dad-E goes to wake up big brother.

7:36 am: "No," screams big brother, who is now a ball of covers. "I don't want to get up." Here we go.

7:37 am: Busy-Dad-E heads outside first to get the paper. The paper will now live on the counter until we get back from church.

7:38 am: Busy-Mom-E and -Dad-E finish making breakfast.

7:39 am: "Big brother, I've got your chocolate juice. Your toaster waffle's getting cold."

7:40 am: Everyone, including big brother (who is now smiling), makes it to the table. We sit down together.

7:41 am: Big brother gets up from the table the moment his bottom hits the chair. "I've got to go potty." Off he goes. A split-second later, the dog scratches on the back door, requesting to go outside. Busy-Dad-E lets him out.

7:42 am: The whole family sits down again.

7:43 am: The dog already wants back inside. This time, it's Busy-Mom-E's turn to go get him.

7:44 - 8:00 am: Enjoyable breakfast conversation and the usual morning silliness. Life is good.

8:00 am (90 minutes before church starts): Both Busy-Dad-E and -Mom-E realize the time. We draw straws. Busy-Mom-E goes to shower and get dressed (ladies first). Busy-Dad-E will start to get the boys dressed.

8:01 am: "I don't want to go to church. Church is MEAN!" exclaims big brother when I tell him we need to get dressed (anything big brother doesn't like is either "mean" or a "bad word." Calmly, I repeat (for the umpteeth time) that it's important to go to church, give thanks and praise to God... "But you like to go to special (children's) church." I say. "No I don't," he says. "Special church is a BAD WORD." (Big brother really does get excited about going to special church.) You get the idea.

8:02 - 8:45 am: The three-ring circus starts to kick up into gear. Little brother gets dressed relatively easily, though his shoes fall off a few times. The dog has to go outside at least two more times. Busy-Dad-E is able to restock the diaper bag, get some snacks together, and even locate the offering envelope. After much protest (and running around the house naked), big brother is finally dressed.

8:45 am (45 minutes until church): Busy-Mom-E is showered and dressed, with only hair and make-up left to do. Time for Busy-Dad-E to run through the shower.

8:46 am: Big brother decides he's dirty and wants to shower, too. In 20 seconds, he undoes 45 minutes worth of effort, and is now naked again. He yells and protests when Busy-Mom-E tires to keep him from getting into the shower.

8:47 am: Busy-Mom-E and -Dad-E make a concession and let big brother watch a Sprout TV program in our room, which quells the screams and keeps him out of the shower. Busy-Mom-E does hair and make-up with one eye, while the other eye makes sure the brothers' big and little are not getting into anything that could cause bleeding or require a head CT. Big brother distracted enough by TV that he can be reclothed.

9:10 am (20 minutes until church): Busy-Dad-E is now showered and dressed. Time to start moving towards the car. "But I want to finish my show," protests big brother.

9:11 am: "Did you brush either of their teeth?" Busy-Mom-E and -Dad-E ask each other, knowing the answer. "No." All hopes of leaving on time are dashed.

9:12 - 9:15 am: A few more screams and flailing limbs while trying to brush big brother's teeth. It doesn't matter which parent assists with brushing, big brother wants the other one of us.

9:16 am: Big brother refuses to wear his brown shoes to church. "I want to wear my Lightning McQueen sandals." "No way," we reply.

9:17 - 9:22 am: The boys are strapped into their carseats amidst a variable amount of screams, protests, and shoes that have fallen off.

9:23 am: Car engine turns over. "Did you pick up the offering envelope on the counter?" Busy-Mom-E gives a harsh sigh and goes back inside.

9:25 am (5 minutes until church starts): The car backs out of the driveway. Yay we're (finally)off. Thank you, God, that church isn't that far away.

9:26 am (4 minutes until church): We're less than 2 miles from church, but are stuck behind a truck doing 42 in a 55. Busy-Dad-E is quietly reminding himself that we're going to church, though he'd like to beep the horn and beat the steering wheel out of frustration.

9:29 am (1 minute until church): We pull into the parking lot after what seems like an eternity. We start the process of getting the boys out of their car seats, putting on shoes again, etc.

9:31 am (1 minute AFTER church has started): We're walking in the front door. Late again.


Rate this post (1 is lowest, 5 is highest)
5 free polls


  1. Sadly this is a very accurate tale. Don't forget about the fact that 5 minutes after Little Brother got dressed, his pants and shoes and socks ALL fell off. Then, when Mom-E tried to redress him, he shouted out "NO" (the first time he used that word). HA HA HA

  2. you mean you could find their shoes???? That is what kept us from church MANY times. We could never find their shoes!

    And this is why older people DO NOT HAVE BABIES!

    Aunt K in St. Louis

  3. haha this is so funny. Its a good thing church doesn't start any earlier than that!

  4. I am laughing my head off. As the mother of busy Mom-E and her sisters, I can say that we had plenty of mornings like this before church. Wait until they become teenagers. You would think that when they can dress themselves it will be easier and faster...not necessarily so. And yes, Aunt K in St. Louis...this is why older people do not have babies!!! hahahahaaa Can't wait for part 2. This was hilarious!!!