Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Fabled Day of Rest

"Ex 20:11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."
We believe in Sundays being a day of rest. A rest from work, shopping, and "cares of the world." How odd then, that by this time every Sunday, I am exhausted.
Mornings have never been my favorite time of day. The first thought that goes through my mind upon waking is not "Yea, another day!," but rather, "How long before I absolutely have to get up." Pregnancy has not made it any easier. Before lunch time I have a big problem with dizziness. Eating actually exacerbates the problem. The blood all goes down to the digestive system and away from my head for a time. Taking a shower in the morning will put me out of commission for at least an hour. So I have to plan very carefully for Sunday mornings, with church starting at 9 am.
Preparation for church begins Saturday night. I shower, try to remember to find appropriate church shoes for the kids and round up various items to put in the diaper bag for (hopefully) quiet entertainment during sacrament meeting.
And then Sunday morning rolls around. Ryan's alarm goes off at 6:15. He has to be at church for his pre-church meetings at 7 am. He isn't a whole lot better than me first thing in the morning, and hits the different buttons on our alarm clock about 15 times attempting to shut off the alarm. I groggily tell him what time to reset our alarm for me, which is usually about 7:30. However, he has generally reset the time, so really, who knows what time I will actually be reawakened. One time it was pretty close to 8 am (and of course that is the morning the girls sleep in, so we were a little rushed that morning).
And sometime in the vicinity of 7:30, my alarm goes off. I roll out of bed to the sounds of the girls stirring in their room. I grab something from the closet to wear (hmm, not too many wrinkles because I am not ironing) and shuffle off to the bathroom to tame my hair and put on makeup. That done, I get the girls and myself some breakfast. I scarf my bowl of cheerios down and head down to the girl's closet for dresses. The girls usually follow me down, as whatever Mommy picks out to wear is not suitable to their tastes for that particular day.
Then we grab an assortment of rubber bands and barrettes, a hair brush and detangler spray. This is a process. Trying to decide how we want our hair, and what color pretties we need is a massive undertaking. Sometimes (like today) we want to be exactly like our sister, and other times we want something different. The girls have very different hair, as far as thickness and texture goes, so we cannot have exactly the same pretties in our hair. And we don't always understand this concept.
Ok, we are breakfasted, dressed and hair is done. I ask (nicely!) the girls to put their shoes on while I grab a the last few things for the diaper bag. Instead, the girls follow me out to the toy room and tell me which books and toys they absolutely need to take to church. Again, I ask the girls to put their shoes on while I grab a sippy cup for Elizabeth. Do they listen? Ha!
Diaper bag is ready. I look at my watch and look! it's time to go if we want to say hi to Daddy before church begins. This time I tell (not very nicely and kind of loudly) the girls to put their shoes on already! Emma whines, "Don't yell at me," and I reply: I've asked you two times already and you didn't listen. Do you like it when I yell? ("No") Then why don't you listen when I ask nicely? By this time, the dizziness from having eaten breakfast has set in and I want nothing more than to be sitting, or better yet-laying down, which probably contributes to my grumpiness.
Ok, mommy, children, diaper bag, wallet and keys make it into the car. We have a traditional Going To Church talk about good and bad things to do during sacrament meeting. (Mommy-Do we stand on the seats? Kids-No!, Mommy- Do we whisper when we talk? Kids- Yes!) We have this conversation every single week. I hope someday all of it will sink in.
We pull into the church parking lot and unload. As we walk into the church, I try to evaluate my appearance in the reflection of the glass door. There are three reasons for this: A- we no longer have a full length mirror, B- even if we did, I generally don't get a chance to look at myself before leaving and C-Ryan isn't home to say I look ok. So, I make sure my slip isn't showing and my hair isn't sticking out anywhere. We pass people in the hall, and we exchange the "How are you? question. Frankly, some days I (gulp) lie (yes, even in the church building) and say we are doing fine, even when we are not. Then we find Daddy, give hugs and kisses and exchange an extremely short evaluation of our morning. Such as any major catastrophes that happened during the course of that morning. And then it is 9 am and church begins.
I won't go into a detailed description of Sacrament meeting. I think any parent of small children knows the kind of effort that goes into trying to keep their children quiet and semi-still for 70 minutes. I think we all realize that attendance is more about showing our children the importance of attending church and taking the sacrament than actually getting much from the talks. I will just say this, the toys that were oh so important to take to church take a backseat to how cool the toys are of the people sitting next to you.
We make it to the end of church. Today a new rule is implemented, and I can't go in the nursery room to pick up Elizabeth so I have to wait until Elizabeth is good and ready to come to the door. (Who made up this rule?) Sis. B is standing in the way, calling the kids to come to do the door. These are 1-3 year olds. Good grief, don't you know they run away when they are wanted? Elizabeth finally became ready to come see Mom. We didn't see Daddy anywhere to tell him we were going home, so we just left. ("Ow, my seat is hot. I can't buckle my seat belt." etc. etc.)
Then comes lunch time. Sundays I make a nice lunch and today's selection was corn fritters. The girls feel obliged to help make them, so who's to say how accurate our measurement of the ingredients are. I do know that flour and baking powder ended up on the floor, and who's knows how many shakes of the nutmeg it ended up being? I get the first round of fritters made and on the table, buttered, syrupped and cut. Prayer said, next round on the stove and then Elizabeth says she needs to poop. I try to take her, but she wants to do it "all myself." Heaven forgive me, I let her. A minute later the deed is done in her underwear because she was playing and not sitting where she should have. AAAAGGGGHHH. As I clean that up, a round of fritters burn. (Why me? This is not the picture I had of motherhood. Can I change my mind?) And then I hear Emma, "Mommy, I need another corn pancake!" *sigh*


Danae said...

This entry ended up being a bit over long, so I apologize. Ryan did mention that the nutmeg in the corn fritters was more than usual...

The A Team Mom said...

Thanks for the laugh! Athough it is a laugh at your misery sort of but I have my own three kids of misery. We have 9:00 church well you know that and it is pretty aweful. We never make it on time so I think you are GREAT if you get there in time to say hi to Ryan first! I love your new background and all your Hawaii pictures!

Becky said...

My mom always told me growing up that she absolutely hated 9:00 church . . . and that when my dad was in med school and gone a lot when we were all little, she rarely made it for the sacrament. As a teen I thought- that will never be me! 15 years later- I understand my mom . . . last sunday Jon was gone working and we barely made it to 11:00 church let alone 9:00. After leaving sacrament meeting for the 10th time (mostly it was Lillian- it's her nap time after all, but the last straw was Marcus and Cynthia fist fighting) and totally disrupting our section of the chapel (around people I don't know well yet!) I decided the lobby would have to do. One kindly brother said "Are you OK?" and I practicly ran away because I was about to cry and didn't want him to see! Like you said- it's just important that we try!!! It's worth it, right???

Sorry you had a bad day! You are a survivor! By the way- I love reading your posts (even when they are "over long") because you do such a good job of putting the challenges (and wonders) of being a parent of young children into words. I wish I could write as well as you! You should write a book someday . . .

Natalie said...

You are Super Woman! Thanks for being so candid and honest. I feel a lot more "normal" knowing that I'm not alone.