When I was 8 years old, I decided I didn't want to go to Sunday School. I'd rather stay home. Every Sunday, Mom nagged me to get ready, and every Sunday we ran up the church steps so we wouldn't be late.
Because Mom spent more time and energy getting me ready for Sunday School than she spent on herself and my two sisters, I figured she would get tired of having to keep after me to get up and dressed, and she would leave me home with Dad.
One Sunday, it appeared my plan had worked. Mom didn't wake me up, she didn't nag me to get ready. She just gave me my cereal and told my sisters to get dressed. When it was time to leave for church and Sunday School, I couldn't believe my good fortune. I wasn't ready. I was still in my pajamas.
But then Mom said to me: "Time to go to church."
"I can't go. I'm not dressed," I answered.
Mom smiled and said, "That's OK, just put your coat on over your pajamas. We are leaving now."
I knew better than to argue with Mom because Dad would back her up even though he rarely went to church with us. I put on my coat. Mom went to church. I went to my Sunday School class. The teacher said nothing about me keeping my coat on, but one of the boys kept asking: "Why don't you take your coat off? It's not cold in here."
I finally hissed back in a low voice, "I am still in my pajamas." The boy didn't ask again. The teacher didn't indicate that she had heard me.
I was too embarrassed to say a word on the ride home. But the next week, I was dressed and ready when it was time to go to Sunday School. While I'd been planning on how I could stay home on Sundays, it was evident that Mom had been trying to figure out a plan to make sure I was ready to go without a major confrontation.
Her plan worked better than mine.