Sunday, February 05, 2012

A confession

Well it is Sunday after all.  And since I was not able to stay at church long enough to leave my sins at the altar, I'm going to confess here, publicly.  Plus, I know that some of y'all want to feel better about your parenting skills, so maybe this will serve the added purpose of increasing your confidence, or at least causing you to believe that you are not the worst parent on earth -- because your friend me, is way, way worse.

Taking pictures of his busted lip (I was not involved)
I almost always have a meltdown on Sunday mornings trying to get to church.  Once we arrive, I am always glad we are there, but getting from the door to the car feels like such a monumental task that I question its worth every single week.  

Today was no exception.  We were running really late, as usual, because I decided to cook a crustless quiche, choose a new mortgage company, and wash my hair all in the one hour I had to get ready.

It had been a morning of difficulty for John, who either hasn't been getting enough exercise or is sneaking crack-filled food dye into his diet.  In fact, the entire weekend has been a rough for John.  He just cannot seem to maintain expected behavior standards.  His Kindle Fire has been taken away (speaking of crack), and to get it back he has to get seven good behavior stickers on his chart, at a maximum of one per day.  

So, the kids were outside playing and I sing-songed, "Go get in the car boys!" They were in the front yard playing on the rope swing.

As I walked outside, John flew by me saying, "Hold on -- I have to ask Dad something really important!"  

I answered, "No, you'll have to ask him later.  We are late.  Get in the car."
Up close of the busted lip
He kept walking.  

I said it louder: "ASK DAD LATER PLEASE."

He kept going.

So I took a deep breath, trying to will my hair back into hair (it had turned into snakes) and bellowed"GET!OVER!HERE!NOW!AND!TELL! ME! WHAT'S! SO! IMPORTANT! WE! ARE! LATE! FOR! CHURCH! We are ALWAYS late for church and YOU need to get there on time so that you can pray for help with HONORING! YOUR! MOTHER!!!"

John calmly stopped, walked over to me, and pointed to a large burly 30-something man standing in our yard smoking a cigarette and holding a huge, box with HOT WHEELS printed on the front.    

I quietly slipped my hand into my purse and dialed 9-1-1.  The whole story was already worked out in my head.  I could even see the newspaper headline: Mother Mows Down Child Molester with Pontiac.  I had it all figured out except for the part about how to get the car over the brick wall separating our driveway from the yard.

John says, "Mom, that man is Mr. Billy's son.  He just cleaned out the attic and found his old hot wheels.  He told me to go ask Dad if I could keep them."  (Mr. Billy is our sweet, elderly neighbor.)

Burly is standing there puffing away, smirking a bit, and holding out the suitcase of hot wheels as proof.

I sat down in the car and started the engine.  I told the 9-1-1 operator that I had dialed by mistake.  John runs over -- "Mom! Please!  Can I please ask Dad about the hot wheels before we go to church?!?!?"


Ten seconds later, John was back, skipping across the driveway, accepting the gift, thanking Burly.  He took the suitcase to the porch.  Then he skipped back to the car, got in, fastened his seatbelt, and said, "Cool, huh?  But don't worry Mom, I decided not to bring even one of the new cars to church because church is not about playing with cars.  I brought my pocket knife instead!"

 And off we sped.

Somewhere there is a burly man praying for my soul.  Somebody needs to.

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