Option 1: Saturday is a special day …
Prep time: 24 hours
9 a.m. Saturday: Start gathering dress clothes for Sunday. Find dress, bloomers, shoes and headband for daughter. Although daughter has more clothing and accessories than rest of family put together, still can’t find single combination in which all components match. Is no problem because can simply go to the store and buy cheap headband for daughter to rip off and lose immediately upon entering church.
Make boys try on clothes. Oldest son’s pants are getting tight. Wonder if new pants are cheaper than therapy he’ll need when his pants split in Sunday School. Six-year-old’s clothes fit perfectly, except he insists on hiking pants up in Steve Urkel manner, which makes pants appear very, very short. Make him watch episode of “Family Matters” on YouTube as cautionary tale.
Spend hour unsuccessfully looking under furniture for baby’s missing shoe. Is no problem because can simply go to store and buy pair of shoes for baby to rip off and lose immediately upon entering church.
11 a.m. Saturday: Iron everything. Clean out diaper bag, discard disgusting, smashed Cheerios in Ziploc bag, and broken pen leaking ink. Realize have no light-colored, non-greasy, non-staining snacks for baby. Is no problem as can just go to store to find snacks for baby to mash into foyer carpet.
7 p.m. Saturday: Skip date night to instead go to grocery store for hair bows, baby shoes and non-staining snacks. Come home, bathe all children, practice complicated Barbie-princess-waterfall hairdo found on Pinterest for daughter. Pick out own outfit. Go to bed early to prepare for morning. As they say at Home Depot, “Let’s do this.”
6 a.m. Sunday: Out of bed with first alarm. Shower, read scriptures, start doing own hair and makeup because is like putting on own oxygen mask first in event of cabin-pressure change.
7:30 a.m. Sunday: Wake husband to shower, and then have him get children dressed. Is only fair as have a lot longer hair than husband. And husband is naturally beautiful and doesn’t need truckload of makeup to be allowed in public.
8 a.m. Sunday: Slight disaster when realize outfit picked out night before actually makes self look much fatter than really am, and is also covered in baby spit up. Blind panic ensues. Try on every clothing combination in closet before giving up and wearing outfit wore two weeks ago. Does anyone notice these things?
8:45 a.m. Sunday: Where is husband? Sitting in car looking at phone. (Do they teach this in priesthood meeting?)
Load kids, arrive five minutes early and secretly hope for well-deserved high five from teenage usher at chapel door. Instead, am handed a program without congratulation.
Option 2: The mad dash
Prep time: 40 minutes
10:30 p.m. Saturday: Home from date night. Should really lay out everyone’s church clothes, but forgot to do it earlier. Am so tired. Is better idea to go to bed and set alarm for super-early. Will be refreshed and better able to handle hair-bow drama in morning.
6 a.m. Sunday: Alarm goes off. Am so tired. Will just go back to sleep for 5 minutes.
8:15 a.m.: Aaaaaaaaah! Have overslept, along with every other family member. (Why does this only happen on Sunday mornings?)
Wake husband and children in hysterical manner. Skip showers completely, instead using lots of deodorant, and baby powder on self to disguise greasy roots. Husband gets boys dressed. Coax daughter’s Medusa-like hair into ponytail. (How do moms with more than one girl do it?) Curse self for not picking out own outfit night before. Try on every combination of clothing in closet, leaving foot-deep pile of debris in wake.
Load kids in car, dispensing smashed snacks from diaper bag because no one has had breakfast. Realize diaper bag is misnomer because has no actual diapers.
Apply new mascara over yesterday’s mascara, poking self in eye when car hits a bump. Try to apply lipstick but end up looking like Joker from Batman movies.
8:59 a.m. Arrive at church. Cringe at children’s outfits. Six-year-old is wearing ratty Nikes with his khakis. Eight-year-old looks like he has slept in his clothes — for a month. Daughter’s dress is too small, and hair elastic has broken and freed Medusa curls. Baby is missing shoe.
Still, have made it to church with one minute to spare. Is nothing short of miraculous. Am some kind of a Supermom. Secretly hope for a high five from usher at chapel door. Instead, am handed a program without congratulation.
Sit family on back row metal chairs, relax and enjoy prelude music. Have made it! Love Sunday mornings! Am awesome at being prepared and arriving on time!
Suddenly, 6-year-old leans over and whispers:
“Mom, I forgot to tell you I have a talk today.”