I don't know about your house, but at our home getting my toddler ready for church on Sunday mornings is an athletic feat of Olympic proportions. It requires precise timing, endurance, preparation, and skill. I have even been known to work up a sweat, wrestling clothes or shoes on a two year old and then needed to change clothes myself.
I have always been a punctual person. But I am being stretched to the limit with Ry-guy. Chad has to be at the church by 6:30am, so I am on my own, (like most of you), to get the 3 kiddos ready. Being the control freak I am, I try and plan for all contingencies. I give baths, pack our church bag, and lay out Sunday clothes the night before. I get up a full hour before the kids and get myself completely ready. I have breakfast on the table for them before I go and wake them up. That leaves me a complete hour to get the three fed and dressed. In theory, it is plenty of time to do those two simple things. Andrew eats what is there and dresses himself with 30 minutes to spare. He just needs help with his hair and tying his shoes. Molly is only 10 months old, and allows me to get her dressed with no fussing. It is my dear, sweet INDEPENDENT 2 year old who makes the 1 hour time limit a challenge.
Ryan is really going through his "do it myself" phase, which I usually appreciate and want to encourage. You see, I want him to turn into a 5 year old who gets himself ready for church. But I struggle with patience for his independence when I have a time schedule. I HATE to be late. Letting a two year old do things himself and at the same time not allowing that 2 year old to get his way by tantruming takes TIME. Time I don't have on Sunday mornings. Take this morning for instance. I had cereal and fruit out on the table. Ryan did not want any cereal. So he had a meltdown. When he calmed down he decided he only wanted bananas and strawberries. I offered him the fruit that I had pre-sliced. But no, he wanted to get a plate out himself, get his own banana and his own "vewy big stwawbewwy" and cut them in very tiny pieces with a silver knife... not a blue one. Then he insisted on pouring milk on top, by himself, and then eating it with "not a spoon" which he had to get by himself.
After all of this we only had 20 minutes to get dressed (yes, for those of you doing the math, it did take 40 minutes to cut up fruit and eat it and throw 4 or 5 tantrums). The other 2 munchkins were ready, so surely this was plenty of time to throw on some pants, sweater, and shoes...right? No. Ry-guy "needed" to wear underwear and not a pull up. This was a non-negotiable point. He is not quite ready, and I didn't want to clean a pew in the middle of sacrament meeting. Next he "needed" to button his shirt himself. Which he can do, but it takes a LONG time. Then his brand new shoes that I bought a size too big were "too tight." He was finally dressed and I had miraculously not lost my cool. I looked at the clock and was excited to see that it was exactly 8am. I got us all out to the van, and on the road and to church on time. I was pretty excited and feeling pretty proud.
We sat down on our usual bench in the chapel. I looked over lovingly at my kids and I realized that Ryan had strawberries and dried banana all over his face. I had also not brushed either boys' hair. They both had huge cowlicks sticking up in the back.
Like Olympic sports, there is a lot of luck involved when you are trying to get anywhere with kids. An athlete's ski might break, the ice might be rough, the snow too powdery, it might rain. Andrew could have had a nosebleed, Molly a blow out, Ryan could have peed all over the playroom floor and his Sunday clothes while we were getting dressed, or I could have locked the keys in the van. (All reasons we have been late before on other Sundays). Even with all of my preparations, one little event could change the entire outcome and we would be rushing out the door, late for church.
So I think that if you are able to get your 2 year old to church on time, fed, dressed, milk mustache free, and with his hair brushed, you deserve an Olympic gold medal. I believe it is truly an almost impossible feat. One I am sure I have NEVER accomplished.