SHE’S COME UNDONE!

“Mommy, mommy, wake up!”

 I groan roll over and look at the alarm clock: 7:30

 I’m late!

 No, it’s Sunday! How can they wake up EARLIER today than on a weekday?  I usually have to PULL them out of bed at this time on Monday!

 “It’s not time go get up yet! Go back to bed!”

But they jump into my bed instead and there is no going back to sleep – we are too busy laughing and playing.  And lazing around, in our own way!  Plenty of time for the six of us to relax and ease into the day, right?  But before we know it, it is time to get ready for church.

NO! It is PAST time to get ready for Church! 

I scramble out of bed, run to the kitchen, at least two hungry children trailing behind.  Quickly I slice the nut bread I made for breakfast the night before (I am on a health kick!) and the two eat it on the way back to their rooms to get dressed.  Assembling bagels and beverages to go, and more slices of nut bread, I field wardrobe and temperature questions.

My husband is in the bathroom shaving. 

I find shoes under the couch.  I retrieve sweaters from drawers.

“Ma, where’s my favorite pants?” asks my four-year-old son.

This stops my frenzied motion, “Which ones are your favorite?”  I am curious.

“My one-pocket longs!” he announces.  I giggle and rush into his room to find his ‘longs’ (as opposed to shorts, of course!) in a pile at the bottom of his closet. 

Dressing the baby is a little trickier.  She is just starting to crawl, so no cute baby dresses!  My seven-year-old daughter picks a cute pants outfit and I struggle to stuff the baby’s legs in!  Boy is she hard to keep in one place for all the snaps, without anyone losing their sense of humor.

The two big girls look beautiful, and I try to nip the bubbling altercation over hair ribbons in the bud.

My husband walks out of our bedroom, impeccably dressed.

“Almost ready?” he smiles.

I look down and realize I am still in my pajamas.  But at least the baby’s bottle is ready.

“Start loading them in the car, I will be right there,” I assure him, digging a jacket out of the hall closet and finding a hat under yesterday’s newspapers.

I throw water on my face and try to pull on tights as I brush my teeth.  Any of you who have tried this already know it is risky business.  I scrape myself off the floor, and jam my head into a turtleneck, leaving a streak of toothpaste running down the inside, cold-ing up my neck.  I do accomplish the dual task of stuffing my feet into my high heels as I pull on my corduroy jumper over my turtleneck, which probably saved me all of two seconds.  I pull my coat off the stair railing as I sail down the stairs and into the garage.

My husband has all the kids strapped into their seats.  For once there is no running back upstairs for something forgotten; I luckily remembered to grab the rest of the breakfast and the bottle on the way out.  And my car has an already messy bag, filled with crayons, coloring books and some little toys that I can bring into church to ensure good conduct. So we are in high spirits and cruising.

Of course, the whole mangy lot of us have to walk down the aisle, spewing crayons and cheerios, to find seats after the Mass has already begun.  But there is space for all of us in the front row and we settle in.  I wriggle out of my jacket and concentrate on my spirituality as I monitor the behavior in our pew.

We stand for the Gospel.

Suddenly I feel hands on my back and then a head-snapping tug.

ZZZZZZIPPP!

My full-length zipper on my corduroy jumper has just been pulled UP!

I turn around quickly in surprise.  Another young mother smiles back at me. 

“Don’t worry,” she said, “all we could see was your turtleneck shirt.  But I couldn’t let you stand there like that!”

“Oh, thank you,” I whispered humbly, completely undone by being zipped in church.

Copyright janefcollen March 2012

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