Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Look...

Notice Jake's shirt before...

And a few hours later...

So goes life in the parsonage. My children are always dirty. I gave up trying to keep them clean a long, long time ago. In fact, I'm just so used to them being dirty, I hardly even notice it anymore.

Until the other day that is...I happened to take all of them to run some errands (very bad idea.) Our last stop was the grocery store. They were bugging each other and fighting over who got to ride in the "school bus cart"...I was trying to maintain my composure, and then I met her in the frozen food aisle.

She was cute, young and pregnant, probably with her first baby. She was strolling the aisles in peace and quiet (alone)...well, until she came upon us.

She gave me the look. I know this look...I too, once gave it to mothers with rowdy, dirty kids. It was the look of idealism. The look that says, "honestly, is it so hard to clean your kids up before you leave the house!?!"

I smiled and her...and I smiled all the way home...because someday, that cute little thing may have three little boys, that 5 minutes after a bath are somehow dirty again...because I know first hand, that's what happens to young ladies who give the look. *smiles*


  1. Oh, she has NO idea the messes in her future... LOL
    Glad to know I am not the only one who has grocery store drama. I think every time we go the whole store knows that our family is back... LOL
    On a trip a couple of months ago, my oldest darling decided to pull the lever on the coffee bean dispenser... and watched in amazement as they kept coming and coming and coming... can we say "cleanup on aisle 5!"
    Have a good one!

  2. Oh that is so true!!!
    She'll learn that it doesn't matter if your kids have their lunch all over their faces when you decide to run some errands, what will matter is that you actually remember to get everything you went to the store for in the 1st place!!!!!

  3. gave up too, and on matching clothes. oli has wore green rainboots on the wrong feet since the flood.
    i love the family picture, it is so sweet. you have such a beautiful family!

  4. Oh my, I am SO with you on that! I only have two boys, but for the past THREE Sundays, The Manimal (my 2 yr. old) has "decorated" his shorts-clad legs with marker...just before we leave for church. Last week it was red marker. I just changed his shirt so he matched his legs.

  5. Too funny! That gal will be in for a big surprise...she'll learn soon.

  6. I know "the look" very well. The other day my sister and I went grocery shopping together and she stepped away to go find something a few aisles down. The kids (her two & my two) were hanging off the cart and singing (or was it crying) all in unison. In the short few minutes I could not believe the comments and looks, it was hilarious. But, then I started Mom had five kids, I wonder what she experienced when we went out!

  7. I'm glad I read this today. Last night I got a few (dozen) 'looks' and I wasn't smiling about it. Nice to read of your laid back reaction. :) Smiling and laughing, knowing she will have her turn.
    We went to Dave's softball game not knowing that the entire spectator area was 95% mud. Deep sticky gross kind. I had to keep an eye on three boys in the midst of this. They picked last night to be extremely dissobedient. It just was not pretty. At all. I had to pick Noe up at one point and was covered in the sludge. SO many looks came my way.

  8. Oh, that's funny! You are so cute!
    As the old saying goes "...until you walk a mile in 'her' shoes...".
    Keep smiling :)

  9. She'll learn. She'll learn.

    I honestly think that's why mothers (and mommy bloggers, if I can use that term without air quotes) are some of my favorite people. The self-importance and self-righteousness has been bled right out of us.

  10. HA! I used to give mommy's "the look" when I saw them with a baby in a cart or in the mall or wherever in only a onsie. WELL, I learned quickly when my daughter puked all over herself in her carseat and all I had was an extra onsie why that DID NOT deserve "the look". We all learn in our own time, eh?

    I unfortunately do still give "the look" when i see a child wearing sandals, shorts, short sleaves in COLD weather and the parents are bundled. In the words of my Whirlwiind Niece: that "drives me to the nuts".

    But puke, food, no shoes, no socks, eating the cart, eating food off the floor...yep, no judgement here b/c it's a daily occurence. Oh, and if anyone sees a white sandal in's Tulip's.

  11. SO TRUE!!

    I love your post today!! I have finally come to realize keeping my kids "squeeky clean" is just so much work!! I never wanted to be that Mom at the store with dirty kids, getting stares and glares from others............:=) and Now, I've jsut had to let go!! And with Girls, it's not just keeping them tidy, but having their clothes look cute, and their hair combed and done nice.......even nails painted!! I'm stressing out just typing this!! LOL

    Thanks for you post!! As always, I LOVE to read it!!


  12. Hilarious and so TRUE! One of these days...

    As a little girl, I was always jealous of my sister's beautiful blonde hair. Like our Mom, I was blessed with red hair, which at the time, I hated. She teased me mercilessly "Ha, ha, you have red hair!" Well, God in his infinite sweetness gave her two (adorable) little girls with flaming red hair!(lol!) Talk about sweetness!

    LOVE that beautiful family photo!

    Tracy = )

  13. A few weeks ago I was taking the kids to get fathers day pictures taken and I had bathed and dressed them and was trying to get them to the mall clean and cute... it was EXHAUSTING. I thought to myself, I am SO glad I don't care most of the time b/c this is no fun worrying about making sure everyone looked nice. I did not like myself one bit. It is refreshing to know I am not the only one out in public with kids with dirty faces, disheveled hair, and no shoes (my girls do NOT keep their shoes on at all... most of the time, i don't even bother putting them on them)

  14. I love your new blog really looks great!

    I'm scared I'm reaping the many looks I used to give!

    I even gave them as a mom of one...that changed when #2 came along!

  15. I just wante to say AMEN sister!
    Clean children? Maybe we should just tell these peopple to "Wait til you have three and see how happy you are just to get OUT of the house."

  16. I hope you run into her again in 5 years. We'll see then how things have changed. :)

    I used to be SO careful about Savannah's appearance before I would take her anywhere. Now she's lucky if she's not wearing her jammies. Combed hair? Clean shirt? What's that?

  17. I was that girl once too---ok, maybe i was not cute when i was pregnant ( she is ADORABLE pregnant) me...more blobish with freakishly swollen ankles and eyelids..ok, I digress.. anywhoo, I am now the mom to the kid that wore bright orange sweatpants and black worn out cowboy boots to the doctor's office...the kid that when we got into the grocery store the other day i noticed his boxers hanging out of the BOTTOM of his shorts about 4 inches (he is 6...) no tucking that in...oh, also the mother to the child that got excited about a free pair of cheapo flipflops in a bag with a razor and shave gel and wore them 3 sizes too big--and nasty dirty even though her closet was filled to the brim with cute summer sandals in HER SIZE AND NOT FILTHY.. so no more looks from me! only smiles of understanding and "good for you mom, they are kids after all!!"

  18. I LOVE your new look. I'm catching up on your stories. I've missed reading them. Oh, and about that look...from experience, I will never ever again say those infamous words that later wind up lodged in my throat..."I'd never let my child do that..."

  19. First of all, I LOVE your hair! As in, I want it! Bad! I love the wavy little curls. I talked to my hair dresser (do they still call them that) yesterday when I took Sarah in ~ She told me to put hot rollers it ~ I'll look like a big poofy poodle for sure. I have VERY straight, flat hair, that I have to tease and spray, then tease and spray some more. Then it doesn't want to move because of all the hairspray.

    You have a beautiful family! Love the picture. And are your boys already spoken for? I have three little girls about the same age ya know.

    I hate the look! What makes it even worse is when you get it from someone who has kids too!

  20. I traveled with a ministry for 1 year and thus stayed in many homes. I cringe when I think of my critical spirit as I assessed homes, kids and the wardrobe of the ladies who got up early to make our breakfast and sack lunch, then brought us to the church...."I will never let my self look like that in the morning..." Somehow I've noticed (thankfully) priorities change and one learns to be comfy in one's own skin, house, clothes, messy kids.... Contentment!

  21. Your family is just Adorable!!

  22. I'm pretty sure I was guilty of the "look" before my boys were born... now I just grin like you too! :)

  23. so true. I once was the owner of that I can say I have been the receiver...smiles

  24. She has no idea does she??? YET!! But I love every minute!!! Wouldn't have it any other way!

  25. Love your blog! I love the look and all. Of course I don't know what it looked like before because i didn't see it.

    You have a beautiful family!

  26. OH! We have friends who used to give us "the look". Anytime we were at their house with our oldest daughter they always looked worried that she was going to touch something or the Good Lord forbid, ACTUALLY PICK SOMETHING UP AND PLACE IT BACK IN IT'S PROPER PLACE!!!
    My daughter was very well trained. :) AT THE TIME... I don't know what has happened over the past few years... I must have gotten lazy!!

    Anyway... since then they have had children of their own. The other day the husband actually admitted to me that their son is BAD! That he is uncontrollable and they are at a loss for what to do about it.
    I sympathize... I know that must be frustrating, but really the first thing I told my husband was, "Remember how they used to act when we can over to their house?" We both just sat in silence and smiled. :)

  27. Oh no! I think I'm in denial as well! : ) haha!

  28. What the ...? 30 COMMENTS?!! I'm gonna have to repent later for my jealousy. Thanks for causing me to stumble with your awesomeness. And about dirty kids too.

  29. Hey Sarah,

    This is my first time to your awesome blog!

    What a funny post...

    Now you know I can relate, I raised 5 dirty little boys! Now they are all almost grown, and I have 3 messy grand-daughters!!

    Life, always interesting.

    I'm a former pastor's wife too. Oh, honey, I'll keep you and yours in prayer!!


  30. Both pictures are precious! I'm raising a bunch of boys too and also once gave "the look" and lived to pay for it. However, I can testify that personal hygiene does in fact become a priority, oh around thirteen or so. Then they start taking like two or three showers a day, each accompanied by its own change of clothes!

    Enjoy these days!!!!

  31. Linked over from Lisa Writes' place.

    I recently walked out of a fast food restaurant carrying my wailing 1 year old and dragging my 3 year old behind me hollering "I don't wanna spanking!". At the door I met a young couple reverently carrying a new baby in an infant carrier. I took one look at the look they gave me and started laughing. "Just wait" I thought. "Just wait".

    This post was great!

  32. Ain't that the truth? The Bible says it like this, (I read it this morning), at whatever point you judge [someone else], you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. I believe that we do the same things BECAUSE we passed judgment. We curse ourselves.

    You speak the truth, sista. ;)


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