Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Dress Code

When my babies were, respectively, 2, 1, and newborn, I used to fantasize about what it would be like to wear "real" clothes to church on Sundays once again. Clothes that weren't chosen based on their ability to disguise spit up stains, mashed fruit snacks, and crushed cheerios. Clothes that could double as facial tissue or napkins (gross, I know, but if you've had kids, you know what I mean. I drew the line at subbing for toilet paper. Though a good diaper blowout was close enough).

Naively, I thought I was a year or two away from Real-Clothes Sundays.


The darlings are now, respectively, 7, 6, 5, and 5, and I'm pretty sure I'll be back in "real" Sunday clothes POSSIBLY in twenty years or so, though by that time I'll probably be meeting grandkids, so my years of Real Sunday Clothes have likely already passed for good.

As a favor to those of you who were/are like me, and innocently thought that only the first couple years of childhood need impact parental costuming, I present my list of fashion choices to avoid if you have young children (and by young I mean anything under legal drinking age. After legal drinking age you'll have a whole new set of issues).

Things Not to Wear to Church:
  • Pantyhose. I began today with a brand new pair. Temporary insanity. The first snag, so to speak, occurred 15 minutes later, in the church parking lot, when child no. 4 slammed the car door into my leg. Five minutes later, child no. 2 stepped on my foot as she tried to climb over child no. 3 to get the most desirable spot on the pew. Halfway through the meeting child no. 4 tried to push child no. 2 off my lap, rubbing his foot up my leg in the process, specifically, the part of the shoe with the velcro closures. The stockings were past gone, but child no. 3 decided to make sure by using her finger to show me how she could poke a hole through the nylon toward the end of the meeting.
  • Anything white. Or light. Or dark. Unless you want to see what they look like with permanent marker, crayon, FD&C Red 40, bubble gum, or cherry lip gloss across the front. I wore my new wool coat to church today. Why do I have a new coat, you ask? Children who shall remain nameless melted crayon into my old coat, and crayon just doesn't come out of wool fibers. After a year of wearing bright blue wax on my sleeves, I finally bought a new coat. Today in church I looked down to see child no. 3 intently running a yellow crayon up and down my new black coat. She is still alive, and forget anything else you've heard--that right there is evidence of my eternal love for that child and the reason I'm going to heaven when I die.
  • Anything with a neckline lower than the collar bone. Ditto for buttons up the front of the bodice. Unless you like flashing the bishopric sitting up front. I generally consider myself a modest dresser who doesn't push the envelope on what is revealing. Yet in the years since I've had kids the people in pews near me have been entertained by these comments: "Oh Mommy, what big breasts you have!" Or "But I LIKE grabbing your boobs when I climb on your lap!" Or "Hey, if I open all these buttons like this I can see your underwear!"
  • In that same vein, avoid hem lines any higher than the ankle. Since I prefer long skirts this usually isn't an issue. However, today I forgot. I wore a fun little dress that went just below my knees. Problem one, it gave me kids far greater access to pantyhose than usual. Problem two, by the time all four had jockeyed for position on my lap, I looked down to see my skirt up around my hips. I'm not joking.
  • Loose waistbands. With four kids literally hanging on my skirts, this one is a no-brainer.
  • High heels. In reality, this really shouldn't matter much. In real life, however, child no. 4 will remove said shoe and use it as a weapon against child no. 1, who will spend half of Sacrament Meeting whining about how she IS old enough for 3-inch heels, and while we're at it, everybody who is anybody wears eyeshadow in second grade, and it's not fair that Mommy gets to wear both the heels and the eyeshadow and she is relegated to cherry lip gloss and ribbed tights.
  • Makeup. By the time four kids have spent 1.25 hours fighting over your lap, you won't have any left, anyway.
  • Styled hair. Save yourself the effort & pull it back in a ponytail to begin with. After going through all of the above sweat will have destroyed those careful curls or straightened tresses you spent a half hour creating.
You may be wondering, after this huge list of Don'ts, what is left to wear.

I'll simply point out that there may be a reason long, heavy, indestructibly denim jumpers are the preferred outfit of choice for many a Mormon mom. Hold your judgement--it may be less of a choice than you realize.


Jen said...

Amen to all of those! I was laughing at the boob and underwear comments. Lately Liam likes to grab and sometime look and when I tell him they are my private parts he tells me that he LIKES my private parts...oh mercy he's gonna be a fun one. Thankfully that one hasn't come out anywhere other than home.

Megan B ♥ said...

Do you hear that sound? It's the air being sucked out of my sails. I had EXPECTATIONS, Wendy. Thanks. a. lot.