Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It ain't always pretty: the religious education edition

I usually have the cutest stories about how my boys grasp some theological concept, or do something sweet and inspiring. I have promised myself years ago that I would try to always give a true picture of motherhood though, and religious education is not without it's pitfalls. Or funny moments. Or both. Yesterday we hit a hattrick in 'Oh God!' moments, and well, most of them were not of the type you see in church.

The christian children's cd we often play in the car.

I guess it started shortly after noon. I had taken Joseph home from preschool where he had a very good day. Apparently all his good juices had been used up though, because he became a severely disobedient boy. He needed to go to time out. Time out has been in place as a practice for a long time. He needs to sit on a little chair, in the corner for three minutes. Afterwards, we talk about why he had to go to time out, what was wrong and what he can do better next time. It's a system that works for us. Only this time, Joseph was not having it. He tried to get out. Now I was not having that. Each time he went off that little chair, I put him back on and added 30 seconds to the clock. It took over fifteen minutes for it to sink in that he was not going to get away with it. And then he just seemed to accept it. I went to the kitchen to put some things away and all of a sudden I heard him sing from his little time out chair:

"In het heetst van de strijd
in het holst van de nacht
in het hol van de leeuw
ben ik sterk in Jezus' macht."

(in the heat of the battle,
in the deep of the night,
in the den of the lion,
I am strong in Jesus' might.)

hmmmmm... does he KNOW what he is singing???

Later that afternoon, I had to intervene after Michael had managed to get into the bathroom and flushed the toilet. I ran up, always afraid that he will have some cars jammed in that will flood our bathroom, but no such thing. Pfieuw! Lucky! I removed Michael from the bathroom and life went on.
Half an hour later Joseph needed to go potty. For some reason, recently, he wants to to on the toilet instead of the small potty. Okay by me, but all of a sudden Joseph stopped and refused to go on. He pointed at something. I sighed and expected to see a small speck of dirt or a shred of toilet paper that had been left behind. Instead, I clearly saw a small object that I must have overlooked earlier at the bottom of the toilet. I reached in. (Yes... I am a mom. I reached in) and retrieved a two inch, very heavy bronzed statue of Our Lady from the bottom of our toilet. In the category of things-you-never-thought-you-would-say "Michael, we do not flush the Virgin Mary." ranks definitely high on the list.

I am never certain if this is a guardian angel with a baby
or Our Lady in a shrine: are those wings or not?

Because we are an undeterred family and had made some resolutions after our last vacation in Hilton Head, after all of this it still seemed like the right day to start an official moment of family prayer. Now we pray often in short bursts through the day: before dinner, before naptime, before bedtime... and whenever something just comes up that allows for an opportunity to learn about faith, and kindness and living for others. But we wanted a moment as a family where we can pray all together.
We decided, for now, on a decade of the rosary. Two parents, two children. Two rosaries. One big chunky kids one for mommy and the children, a normal one for daddy. We were just a few moments into the prayer when Michael wiggled off my lap (not unexpected) then decided to get the "Holy Baby ball' out and try it as a soccer ball.

Holy Baby: we bought the ball for Joseph, not knowing who Holy Baby was.
Years later, Michael got the Holy Baby doll, because he loves the little cartoon.

Well, hey.. at least he got some of the idea. Joseph, almost four, should be able to sit still for the five minutes this would take. After he started to run around like a crazy mustang hyped up on a few gallons of starbucks, he was coralled on dada's lap. He sat quiet for a few moments, then decided to consider it a rock climbing adventure, with dada, not Peter, being the rock. We got to the end of the decade, though most of the prayers were said upon a half chuckle. Today: round two. Are we crazy, or what?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah, parenting! It isn't for the faint of heart, is it? And a sense of humor is oh-so-important =D