Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Adventures in Mothering, Sunday Edition

Sundays are an adventure.
Brad has Church meetings beginning at 6 am, running until at least early afternoon.  So I'm on my own to get six kids out the door, in Sunday attire, by 8:45.
Luckily, my older kids have been conditioned to help get the younger kids ready for Church.  Not without a little "persuasion," but they do help.  My big boys iron their own shirts and pants, Lily gets herself completely ready, then they are each given an assignment--get the diaper bag ready or help feed and dress a younger brother (whoever dresses Hyrum is awarded the bronze star for valor in battle).
Valentine's Day was just like any other Sunday morning, with an added complication--I teach the Relief Society lesson once a month.  I had prepared the lesson during the week and knew what I needed to take.  This lesson was slightly complicated by the fact that I needed to take my laptop, the projector, and a few extension cords for part of the presentation. (For those of you who have taught women, you realize that this isn't that unusual.  Tucker, who was my trusty A/V assistant, couldn't quite appreciate the necessity of such things.  But he did help me.)  So, I needed to be at the Church no later than 8:30 to set everything up.  After a bonus trip home for a few extra cords, all was set up and ready.  Now for Sacrament Meeting.
It's always a fight to see which families sit by us--no one wants to, I'd venture, except for the MacDonalds.  Larry enjoys riling up my little boys and then see how long it takes me to get them back in control.  Since Brad is on the stand doing his thing and Tucker and Ben help with the sacrament, it's up to me to silence the four little ones.  This isn't too hard, until Tuck and  Ben make it back to our pew, then the baby has to be taken out and fed (nursing cover, again!), Hyrum always has to come with me and jump on the couches and flick the lights in the mothers' lounge, then it's back to the chapel where three fights have broken out in my absence over who wanted to look at the book about babies or who was touching who.  A few pregnant snaps of the fingers usually get everyone back in line fairly quickly--these snaps can be heard all the way on the stand by Bishop, but it's much quicker than talking, and, frankly, way more effective.  As the final speaker was tying up their talk, Hyrum started doing the potty dance, whispering loudly that he needed to go potty.  I was busy with the burping and puking baby, so I assigned potty duty to Ben, who was more than happy to leave the meeting for the latrine.  The closing song was about over and the person giving the prayer was approaching the pulpit when the boys made it back.  Hyrum refused to be quiet, so what could a mother do?  I clamped my hand over his protesting mouth, attempting to keep him quiet for the last 24 seconds of the meeting.  As I did so, my hand brushed his backside, and I felt the telltale signs that the bathroom experience had been less than successful.  Great.  Wet pants.  Now what?
It wasn't an "I-was-too-late-for-the-toilet" problem. It was an "I-overshot-the-toilet-and-landed-on-my-pants" problem.  Either way he was soaked.  Either way, I was in a pickle--wet toddler and Relief Society lesson in 4 minutes. I handed my baby off to a good friend who had had the misfortune of sitting in front of us, sent the rest off to their quorums and classes, and I sped home to help Hyrum change.  I must admit that I was less than kind about this whole predicament--rushing him in the house, rushing to find a pull-up, rushing to find a second pair of Sunday appropriate pants.  As I changed him, I blurted out, "I'm so mad I think I'm going to cry."  My little son with the tenderest heart and purest intentions, set his lip to quivering and pleaded, "Pweese don't cry, Mommy.  Pweeese."  And we were back at the Church.
Relief Society had started, and I hadn't had two minutes to check my computer, review my material or even sit still and enjoy the peace of the meeting.  Heck, I didn't even know where Eve was.  I stood up, still crazed from the trial of the last few minutes.  I relayed to the women what had just transpired and then I tried to compose myself enough to talk about Christ.  My mind was racing for the first 5 minutes or so, then I think everything went okay.
After Church, I took a nap.  A nap so deep that when our home teacher stopped by for a quick lesson, Brad couldn't rouse me.
I wonder why.
Am I the only one who has Sundays like this?  Sometimes it feels like it. . . .


  1. I SO hear you. We had to speak in church on Sunday. Oh, the stress. Luckily, I didn't have to conduct or do much in RS that day, but on days that I teach, I feel extra frazzled. I'm glad you got your coveted nap.

  2. makes me a little less disappointed I didn't have a big family, but I could feel your stress just the same. You gotta love a well timed snap of the fingers... It is sort of awe inspiring the effectiveness of it.

  3. Oh, Jen, I'm so sorry it was "one of those" Sundays. I can't imagine Ty in the Bishopric with all 5 of my kids. He was in a BYU Bishopric when we just had our oldest 2 and that was hard enough. Then when I had Macy, it was impossible. When she had to nurse, I would have to haul all 3 of them out because Kinsie & Kamryn were 3 & 4. Can't leave them alone. We were always reverant and quiet as we left, HA!HA! Macy was usually crying because it took so long getting the other 2 to put down their coloring, etc. and head out and then usually Kinsie or Kamryn would be upset because they had to leave their coloring, etc.

    Read the latest post on this blog: It was good for me today, to remember. I heard about this story a few days ago and it has truly touched my heart and reminded me of what's important. I was going to try and explain the story, but can't seem to find the right words. If you have a chance go back and read what they have gone through.

  4. Hats of to you, Jen. My Sacrament meeting experiences are on a much smaller scale, since I have Derek by my side, but still our family can be a side show. I wish I could've been there for your lesson. I'm sure it was amazing.

  5. Oh the joy! Things are a little settled down now that our youngest is almost 4. I think I might miss those crazy times. Love it while you can :)

  6. Okay, that was a nightmare! I have palpitations just reading about it.


  7. Ah, I remember when Jeff was in the Bishopric and we had 3 boys (4,3, and 1) I got to wrestle with in the pews. I feel your pain. I did love last Sunday when a new Sister asked if the Bishop was your husband because of the eye he was giving the kids in your row everytime a noise was made. That made me laugh. And don't worry, it always seems much louder to you than it really is.

  8. Oh Jen you are sooo not the only one. I can't believe you get 6 kids out the door by 8:45...we struggle to get only 4 out for the 10:00 Mass! Love the picture of the kids at Christmas and LOVE the "Pweese!"

  9. I remember my MIL telling me that while her husband was bishop she tried to keep 8 kids in line. She had ladies come up to her and tell her how relieved they were when they found out that she was the bishop's wife because they had thought that she was a single mom.

  10. Mostly, I've given up on Sacrament meeting, or getting anything out of it anyway. And since church is at 1:00 now, PHEW! We're lucky to get through sacrament and then we take the kids home for naps. It's all nightmarish, so HUGE kudos to you for all you accomplish/accomplished! Now, to just be able to have a deep nap, that'd be great.