My friend Mandy and I were on our way to our weekly Bible study.
The kids were all buckled into their seats, quietly enjoying our little ride.
"Mommy. I think Piper just threw up," Bergen said.
"No, I don't think so Berg."
"Yeah. I think she did," he said.
"I throw up," Piper announced.
Mandy turned around to verify the facts.
"Uh. Yes. She did throw up."
We were almost at church so we kept heading in that direction so we could clean her up there.
Not to get too graphic, but it was pretty much a pure strawberry yogurt type of throw up. More than likely brought on by the quick downing of an unshaken yogurt drink and a new curvy road driven at speeds slightly too fast for the conditions caused by a sincere desire to not be late AGAIN to Bible study.
As we reached the stoplight, Piper said, "I throw up again Mom."
"Are you sure?" I asked.
What's my problem? Why do I keep doubting the validity of my children's claims?
Mandy and I both look back this time.
Oh yeah. She's throwing up again.
Mandy searches the floorboard for a blanket or any piece of material to help contain the overflow.
(Which is incredibly kind of her since she is like me and has a complete aversion to throw up in any form, particularly in the form of someone else's child. Oh, and she's pregnant, which we all know multiplies that sensitivity level enormously.)
Of course, there was nothing to be found on the floorboard - an absolute anomaly in our Suburban but Riley had just cleaned out the car the day before. Normally you could clothe the Duggar family with the contents located between the seats.
So here we go.
We arrive at church and Mandy escorts the other kids to class while I escort my sweet little stinky yogurt girl to the bathroom. But there's no recovering this outfit. It's a gross bile-strawberry mess.
The most pleasant and efficient nursery attendant offered me a change of clothes that the church keeps on hand for such occasions. I gratefully accepted.
And that is where this story really starts.
The outfit that I was graciously loaned was . . . . . well, it was a look I would have never willingly draped on my daughter's body.
The clothes weren't that awful, I guess.
And they did cover her nakedness.
And they were a marked improvement over the cute dress whose current primary decoration was yogurt vomit.
But the pink and turquoise printed turtleneck and matching turquoise thick corduroy jumper did make my sweet Willow look as if she was the eighteenth child of a homesteader who hand-fashioned her children's clothing from the scraps of Grandma's quilt. Not to mention that both the bulk and the cut of the material added enough weight to make Piper look like a tiny human weeble wobble.
(Don't think for a minute that I don't know how shallow and petty this sounds. I do. And now you know how shallow and petty I can be sometimes, okay?)
We made it through Bible study, but I was desperate to change this kid's clothes.
But then we decided to stop at the lodge for lunch.
I wanted to tell everyone why Piper was dressed like she was. I wanted to clear my throat and make a general announcement. I think if I could have made a sign to put around her neck explaining the entire scenario, I would have.
To compound the situation (and probably for God to prove His point to me) we had plans to head to art class directly after lunch, with no time for even a speedy clothes change. But I pulled into the house anyway and grabbed an outfit, tossing it in the car and telling myself that I would change Piper when we reached the art class or even the museum where she and Bergen would be playing while the girls attended their class.
When we reached the parking lot and I began trying to wrangle a two year old out of clothes she had no problem with in the back of car filled with five car seats while trying not to be late to our first art class, I finally realized how ludicrous I was being. How foolish and vain. How ridiculous.
Piper was dressed. She was not naked.
Piper was clean. Her clothes did not reek of stomach acids and sour yogurt.
Piper was content. Her attire in no way hindered her ability to run or to jump and play.
And that is all that was important to her.
So why wasn't that all that was important to me?
What was my problem, exactly?
I don't know.
Fear of man?
Pride? (That's my go-to sin apparently, in its many subtle and less-than-subtle forms.)
All of the above.