July 27, 2010

The truth of the matter

We try, you know? We really do try.

And if I may, with your permission of course, boast of one small thing before I offer up to you, in humble humiliation, the uncensored truth of the matter.

K, here it goes. We have family prayer every night without fail.

*insert super hero image with chest puffed out and fists on hips*

Yes indeed. But before images from the primary lessons form in your minds of families kneeling in a perfect circle, arms folded, heads bowed, reverently listening, allow me to correct your assumption and paint a proper picture.

Usually, by the end of the day, I am done. I am ready! Ready for bed, for peace, quiet, a chance to actually get some work done, for chocolate... again. So I confess I get somewhat aggravated at times when I've been sitting on my knees for ten minutes waiting for everyone to gather for prayer.

As a few fights erupt because one child beat the other one to the floor but the other one wanted to be first, I end up growling and scowling,"Shhhhhhh!!! It's time to be reverent!"

Yea, way to bring the spirit.

In an effort to get their attention, we ask them "how do we pray guys? Show us how to pray!"

They respond, "be wevewent, cwose your eyes, hold stiw.... as they bounce on their knees, bury their head into the carpet with their bum sticking up in the air, or close there eyes and peek so they can keep playing.

Now, we take turns saying prayers so each night someone else gets a turn, even the kids. But before we can ever get that far, there is usually an argument over who's turn it its.

It's my turn!
No It's my turn!
Uh uh! I get to say opening prayer, you get to say closing prayer! (can you tell we attend church?)
No I want to say opening prayer.
No! Grrrrrr aahhhhh *whack* It's my turn!
*clentched teeth* No it's my turn! *poke*

Oh ya, its lovely.

And since we don't condone tackling or playing tag during prayer, it is often the case that my husband is holding one squirmy, hyper child, while I hold another.

It just so happens that my children loathe being manhandled. No truly, I've witnessed them beat up a poor old lady who decided to "save their lives" from an automatic door by grabbing their arms and pulling them away. You know, the ones with a sensor on it so it won't squish you? As horrified as I was, I secretly felt a twinge of guilt at thinking she kind of deserved it. I was standing right there after all and I just chalked that one up to stranger danger kicking in and all that. Savannah was only three and Joseph was two at the time.

Yes, I am a good mother like that.

Needless to say, I've received my fair share of head butts and cut lips as they try to wriggle and squirm their way out of my arms.

Of course, since they hate being held down so much, there is often quite a bit of  screaming and crying. Sometimes if the screaming is too loud, the one praying comes close to shout volume and on occasion, the child trying to pray will start to cry because they "tan't hear!" and "its too woud to pway!"

Oh, did I forget to mention they like to pray in silly voices too?

And as soon as the "Amen" is heard, everyone leaps to their feet and scampers off.


*sigh again*

But hey, at least we have family prayer every night... er, right?

*insert super hero image with chest puffed out and fists on hips*

24 super cool people speak:

Amy said...

Go Supermom!!
Consistency... isn't that what Elder Bednar said? Someday these little ragamuffins will remember family prayer every night.
And don't forget, someday they'll be parents too. And then comes the sweetest part of being a grandparent:

I think my mom giggles fiendishly to herself every time one of her grandkids acts exactly like we did.

Jocelyn Christensen said...

Oh yeah, my kids fight over who will say the prayer all the time. We usually say about 3 every time we pray instead of one...insert super hero image of my own! LOL

Gina said...

"Way to bring the spirit..." I love it.
One night, my 4 year old was being silly and using a robotic, yelling voice to say prayers. It was the end of one of THOSE days, and my husband snapped, "Say it right or I will swat your mouth!"

I lost it. I could not stop laughing! Right, that's the way to invoke the spirit, "say your prayers right or I'll swat you!"

I feel your pain.

MommyJ said...

I am so with you on this one. Every. Single. Word.

annie said...

If there is a family with toddlers who don't do this, I want to meet them and know their secret!

the fowlers said...

i think it only gets worse. sorry.
when they are older they will be fighting so they don't have to say the prayer and you'll be trying to keep them from farting or making otherwise crude sounds.
at least, that was my family experience.

Kristina P. said...

That is actually amazing. I can't say this for just the two of us. We usually have some type of pillow fight or something.

T said...

This is so familiar... WAY too familiar... only without the pinching eachother. I've gotten to the point that I have to place the children in specific areas to keep them from hurting one another!

iamwoman said...

I feel so bad for saying that every night our family prayer is a horrendous experience. We take turns too and the kids to say it--totally unwilling so it is often a force session.

But then there was that one time when Kai said his prayer and I knew I must be doing SOMETHING right so there is hope!...

Thank you for playing
Thank you for video games
Thank you for popsicles.

It's all about the principle, you know?

Sue said...

I have a feeling your experience is more the norm than the exception, and FHE likewise.


Wonder Woman said...

Sounds JUST. LIKE. our house.

But at least we're praying! We even had FHE last night an acted out the story of Nephi breaking his bow! Double high five!

Jessica said...

Whatever it takes. Just the act of doing it will provide blessings in your home. Even if it's through tears and shouting.

iamwoman said...

I hope that my comment was recognized as complete sarcasm. Pretty mortified that my son is only thankful for things that show how awesome (NOT) I am at motherhood.

M-Cat said...

Your doing it and that's all that matters.

Now adays, our prayers tend to be loooonnngggg and include things like help the Yankees win tonight. Bless that Mom and Dad will follow the same rules they make us......

I have very sarcastic irreverent sons

Cluttered Brain said...

I LUV your superhero puffy chest..I can so see it!!
YEAH prayer mommy!

Yeah, our family prayers are always spent in gathering for 10 minutes first too...

ldsjaneite said...

Funny how the brethren will talk about children not remembering what happened, but they will remember that you held prayer and FHE and such. I guess they forgot to mention that the parents will remember!! (At least, for a few years.)

Stacy said...

I am so there with you.

But you forgot to mention when you sit down and the kids get the giggles so its impossible to get anyone to stop laughing long enough to say anything comprehensible.

Or when the baby pulls something over on his head and the prayer has to be cut short because of bleeding. (I'm not going to tell you how many times this has happened at our house or Kristina P from DCFS will come take my kids away...)

Doran & Jody said...

You a better man than me....er...you know what I mean.

At our house when our kids were puppies sometimes someone (all girls cept dad) starts to giggle....well you know what happens when one girl starts to giggle..the rest TRY to resist but then gives in. Pretty soon dad gets up and says he is having his own prayers in the other room while the rest of us roll on the floor laughing. I know Heavenly Father HAS to have a sense of humor. I just KNOW he does!

Cherie said...

I loved reading this post - Your Kids Are TOTALLY Normal!!! Yayyyyy
Those will be some sweet memories one day, especially the voices.
The point is you get it done everynight and that is HUGE!!
Good job and you do deserve the Superwoman image!!!

The Kooky Queen--Rachel said...

TOTALLY!!! We are the same, family prayer every night without fail but I feel guilty that family scripture study is only on and off when we're not totally fried with the kids---eeek!

Marie said...

That is so awesome that you do that! Even with how difficult it is! Way to go....a great example to me and my little family :)

Garden of Egan said...

Hilarious! Ya, I'm feeling the "spirit".
You so rock.

Who's turn is it tonight?

Larsen said...

What? Our family prayers go off with out a hitch.

*Insert a major laugh here.*

thanks again for watching them while I ran to wally world.

Evelyn @ Hanging by a Silver Lining said...

Our problem is that we have one child that ALWAYS wants to pray and one that never wants to. I have resorted to bribery with quarters for every prayer said. Now that doesn't seem quite right either...Something about money changers at the temple...? ;)

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