The other day we sat down for dinner and looked around at each other. We used to have an awesome system where either Andrew or I would say morning and evening family prayers and the other person would bless the food and say our evening “couple prayer.” Now that Rachel’s started taking more and more turns, both with blessing the food and with saying family prayer, it’s harder for us to remember whose turn is when. We definitely need to develop a new system.
Andrew: We need to say the prayer.
Me: Whose turn is it?
Rachel: Dear Fodder...
Me: Okay. We're thankful for the food.
Rachel: Tay-tu food.
Me: Please bless it.
Rachel: Peas basset.
Me: In the name…
Rachel: Inna name…
Usually when we ask whose turn it is to pray Rachel will volunteer by saying, "Dachurl turn!" and then waiting for us to prompt her. This is the first time she dove right in by herself without any prompting. For some reason she still refuses to say "Heavenly" but she gets mostly everything else right, at least for the food prayers. When it's her turn for family prayer she usually just lists everything that she's thankful for. We prompt her by saying, "What else?"
Her list usually contains:
Food (first, always first)
After we let her list a few things that she's grateful for we prompt her to say some more things, like being grateful for the gospel or asking for special blessings.
She really isn’t very reverent for prayers when we say them at home. Sometimes she’ll sit on my lap when I kneel down, but she’s always goofing off. She thinks walking around on her knees counts as “kneeling” and somehow learned to bury her head in her arms, leaning on the floor or the table or the couch. I don’t know how children learn these things.
I remember doing them myself, but I also remember my older siblings goofing off during prayers. I always assumed that I had learned these behaviors from them. Rachel is the oldest child, though, and somehow she comes up with the exact same ways to be irreverent that Andrew and I did when we were little. She certainly didn’t learn it from us so it must be innate.
Once when we were babysitting the Lewises and were having family prayer, Rachel went around and leaned against each child until they lost their balance and had to unfold their arms to catch themselves. As soon as she was within arm’s reach I pulled her onto my lap (which she wasn’t happy about) and held her there, but she had already disturbed 4/5ths of the other children. Oddly enough, she didn’t try leaning on either Andrew or I. Andrew didn’t even know she was the cause of all the giggling, noise, and movement because he didn’t open his eyes to see what was going on.
As obnoxious as she can be during family prayers, she’s really quite an angel during sacrament meeting. She sits nice and still, folds her arms when she should fold her arms, sings when she should be singing, and is, overall, a model child. That is, until we get to the actual sacrament prayers.
Any other prayer during the meeting she can handle, but the sacrament prayers are too exciting. She’ll sit reverently on my lap, arms folded, eyes closed, and then the prayer closes.
“Amen,” she says sincerely and then belts out, “BREAD!!”
I whisper to her in response, “Yes, the bread is coming. What does the bread mean?”
“Bread! Jesus! Body!” she says, much too loudly.
“That’s right, shhh…shhhh…shhhhh!” I shush her.
After she gets her bread she’s fine until the blessing on the water has been offered. And then…
“Amen. WAWA!! Wawa! Jesus! Bleeding! Need band-aid!”
*Sigh.* She understands so much and yet so little. This could all be solved, perhaps, by sitting on the front row so the wait time is shorter, thereby giving her less time to yell. At least what she blurts out during sacrament meeting is somewhat relevant (except for the band-aid part).
Not like in the middle of Sister Hall’s talk last week when Rachel suddenly shouted, “SWIMMING POOL!”
I think I looked at her like she had turrets syndrome. My theory is that all two-year-olds do. I can’t control what comes out of her mouth and sometimes I’m not so sure she can, either.