Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Prayer for a decent prayer

My wife and I have been trying to get our girls into the habit of praying before bed. The results have mostly been … disappointing. And strange. Granted, prayer isn’t an easy thing for even a mature adult to grasp, and we certainly don’t expect a 4- and almost 5-year-old to fully understand what they’re doing. But we thought it’d better than this:

Me: OK, girls, time to pray. Kneel by your beds.

Girl 1: Mommy lets us lay down.

Me: (looks at wife)

Wife: ONE time I let you do that. Just do what Dad tells you to do, OK?

Girl 2: Daddy, look at my boo-boo. It looks like a castle-farm.

Me: A what? Just—girls, focus. And kneel, please. Now who wants to go first?

Girls: (in unison) Me me me me me me me!

Me: (to girl 2) Why don’t you go first tonight, OK?

Girl 1: (panicked) I never go first and she went first the other time and you promised me I could go first and you guys are so rude!

Wife: (to girl 1) PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER AND KNEEL DOWN AND PAY ATTENTION.

Girl 1: (covers head with arms defiantly, whimpers)

Me: (to girl 2) Go ahead.

Girl 2: In da name a da Fadda, anofda Son, anofda Holy Spirit, amen. Dear God, thank you for my … uhhh … (looking around room) … Dora light, and my … blue wall, and my … (looking) … Mommy’s glasses, and-

Me: Honey, we’ve talked about this. Don’t just look around the room and start naming things. Try and think about what you’re really thankful for, OK?

Girl 2: In da name a da Fadd-

Me: Honey, you don’t have to start over again.

Girl 2: Oh. Thank you God for … my teachers … and my playground, and … (dog saunters into room) … Mac’s treats, but I can’t give them to him because I throw them and they go under the door and he can’t find them.

Girl 1: Ugh, that’s so weird.

Wife: GIRLS, focus.

Girl 2: And Casey at school has an owl shirt.

Me: OK, I think you’re done. Thank you. That was … something. Alright (looks to girl 1), you’re up.

Girl 1: Thank you God for my Mommy and Daddy, and sister, and brother Mac … (looks at dog, who his licking himself) … Ewwww! Do you see what Mac is doing? He’s licking his-

Wife: GIRLS.

Girl 1: Ugh, this is too hard. (slumps down and lies on floor)

Me: Get up – you’re being disrespectful to God.

Girl 1: (laying)

Me: Get up NOW.

Girl 1: (laying)

Wife: YOU HAVE ONE SECOND TO GET UP OR YOU CAN SAY GOODBYE TO STORY AND CUDDLE TIME.

Girl 1: (springs up) I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry, no Mommy, no, you promised us you’d read Purplicious you promised, you promised!

Me: Just calm down and finish your prayers.

Girl 1: And thank you God for my beautiful Mommy who always tells us stories and cuddles us and we love her, the end. I mean, inthenameoftheFather-Son-HolySpiritAmen.

Wife: Hmpf.

Me: Good night, girls, love you.

Girl 2: DAD …

Me: Yeeees?

Girl 2: Tomorrow for prayers I’m gonna thank God for … you have cooties.

Girls: (laugh hysterically)

Me: Thank you. But tomorrow we’re going to go over what “reverence” means again.

Girl 1: He said “frevince.” Doesn’t make any sense, Dad, that’s weird.

Girl 2: You’re weird.

Girls: (laugh hysterically)

Wife: GIRLS, lay down. (to me) I’ll see you downstairs. We’re watching “The Soup,” right?

Me: Amen.

Note: This column appears in the 8/7 issue of The Glendale Star and the 8/8 issue of the Peoria Times.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome story. Love those girls, they keep us laughing.