Friday, July 27, 2012


Am I stubborn? Is that trait genetically passed down? You be the judge.

Two years ago in July, with the weather hovering somewhere between inferno and hell’s furnace I woke up on a blistering Sunday morning as a woman on a mission. That day was Branch conference and the entire Stake Presidency as well as the Stake Young Men’s and Young Women’s Presidencies, the Stake Sunday School President, Stake Relief Society Presidency, and Stake Primary Presidency were all going to be in attendance at church that day. With Buns as the Branch Young Men’s leader and me as the adult Sunday School teacher I knew that our family was going to be on display for nearly the entire 3 hour service. With that thought on my mind I decided that come hell or high water we were going to be on time, well behaved, and have our very best faces on.

My 6 year old daughter Bella who is normally a sweet and wonderful kid had other plans. She woke up in a terrible mood and announced that she wasn’t going to church that day. One thing to note is that when Bella makes up her mind it takes an act of Congress to get her to change it.  I was not a kind and patient mother that morning and after a little foot stomping on both sides of that conversation I lost my temper and put her Sunday clothes on her and carried her out the door to the car. While this was going on my husband had managed to lose his Sunday shoes and was searching in vain for them. Being the helpful spouse I am I decided to peel out and leave him in the dust because I WAS NOT GOING TO BE LATE!!!! He could come in the other car right behind us.

Upon arriving in the parking lot with my unhappy carload of kids I ordered my two teenage boys to take Sam to nursery and then go to class. I then opened the back door to get Bella out of her booster seat. She was scowling quite impressively and when I reached in to pick her up she made a sound like an angry cat. She refused to walk and so I threw her over my shoulder and carried her into the building. By the time we reached the Primary Room door she was kicking and screaming as if someone were single handedly breaking every bone in her body.

Unruffled, I shoved her through the door into the arms of my sister Evonne who had the pleasure of being the branch Primary President. I began to march back down the hall to Relief Society and was stopped by our Branch President who asked in a nervous voice where Jon was. Dang it, I had left him looking for shoes. I said “Oh he’s right behind me.”  I was then told that the Stake Young Men’s President had been waiting for the last 15 minutes to meet with him. Awesome.

I went in and sat down in Relief Society and about 10 minutes later I heard some growling and stomping out in the hall, followed by a commotion. About 30 seconds later Evonne’s face appeared in the door and she motioned frantically for me to come out into the hall. As I stepped out to talk to her I saw Bella disappear out the front door of the building. Arghh. Apparently she had not settled down in Primary and was wrecking havoc all while under the gaze of the Stake. Awesome times 2.

I raced out the door of the church and ordered Bella back inside. She refused. I then strode towards her and she took off in a six-year old blur of pink ruffles. I followed in hot, and I mean really hot it was over 100 degrees, pursuit. Unbeknownst to me the Branch President and a few others had followed me out to ask again where Buns was. They then watched in horror as Bella and I raced around the building, sweat pouring down my face and me getting angrier by the second. With each threat of loss of T.V. and video games that I yelled it just spurred her to more speed. Finally we stopped in front of a rather large crowd in a standoff. 

Buns drove up at that exact moment and saved the day. He ushered us both back inside just in time for me to go teach Sunday School in front of the afore mentioned dignitaries. I arrived in my class, soaked in sweat and wild eyed and began the lesson. The class looked at me in the same way that you would while observing a lunatic. Nobody make any sudden movements.

Toward the end of teaching the lesson I began to be lulled into a sense that maybe all would be ok. It was just at that moment that I noticed a pink ruffled Bella carefully sneaking in the side door. She crept across the room and got up behind the table where they bless the sacrament. There was a microphone back there and she began to blow into the mic and then broke into a comedy routine. “Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide!” Har har.

I reached her at the punch line and tried to pick her up to drag her out of the meeting. She managed to hold onto the side of the table with an inhuman amount of strength for a girl of six. Finally I pried her loose and in front of my entire class, once again took her kicking and screaming out the door.

It was an auspicious day for my family. By the time church was over I’m pretty sure the entire leadership of the Abilene Stake believed I was the worst mother on the planet, bar none. This is the result when my stubborn streak and my daughter’s are running in opposite directions. Looking back I realize that Bella was feeding off of my impatience and stubborn attitude and that it might have all gone very differently if I had just chilled out a little bit. Can I learn from my mistakes? I suppose time will tell. Anyway…

Moral of this story- pray for us she will soon be a teenager.


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