Saturday, July 15, 2017

Benjamin's prayers

With the promise of being able to watch an episode of How to Train Your Dragon before bed, Benjamin's behaviour after dinner was on point. He cleared his dishes, he picked up the books in his room, he played dominoes and trains with Zoë while the rest of us played "Ticket to Ride," he ate his ice cream and then ran himself a bath. He got dressed and hung up his towel.

Perhaps most miraculously of all, he managed to sit still through scriptures!

"We'll have Benjamin say the prayer," Andrew said when we'd put the scriptures away. "Because he sat so nicely. But it's going to be a nice prayer, slow enough for everyone to understand."

"Okay," said Benjamin.

"And only one 'good day,'" Rachel added.

"No!" Benjamin wailed. "Seven!"

"Just one will do," Andrew said.

"Okay, okay," Benjamin agreed, and he started to pray.

"Dear Heavenly Father," he said. "We're thankful for this day. We're thankful for the good day that we could have today..."

A few snickers escaped our facade of relative reverence.

"...Please help us to have a good day tomorrow..." he continued.

Those snickers turned to snorts.

"And bless that we can have a good sleep and good dreams. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!" he finished and then grabbed Miriam's arm. "Let's go!"

He was quite anxious to get settled into his show before he could do anything that might tip the scales out of his favour.

One day, I'm sure, he'll say something in his prayers beyond "good day" stuff. This habit of his all began when he was three years old and we had a family night lesson on prayer and challenged the kids to use their age as a guide to determine how many things to ask for and how many things to be thankful for. Benjamin was three so he needed to say three things he was thankful for, which was a significant increase from his usual one—to have a good day, of course.

Children always find a way of working around, well, everything. And this challenge was no different because Benjamin said three different sentences...they were just all the same thing. He now twists this idea into any number of sentences to increase or decrease the length of his prayer at will.

He's always thankful...
1) For this day
2) For the good day that we could have today
3) For the good times we had today
4) That we could have a good day
5) And so forth

Then he always asks that...
1) We can have a good day tomorrow
2) Tomorrow can be a good day
3) Any sort of future good-day-ness you could think of

Oh, he's also obsessed with food. So if he happens to move beyond talking vaguely about our good days, he will start mentioning past and future meals (you know, because we skip feeding him so often):

1) We're thankful we could eat today.
2) Please bless that we can have breakfast in the morning.
3) Bless that we can have a good lunch tomorrow.
4) And so forth, up to and including, "When it's Thanksgiving, bless that we can have a Thanksgiving dinner."

It's the most ridiculous thing. But I just can't get him to think about what he's saying (not that he thinks about what he's saying when he's not praying...because I'm pretty sure he doesn't do that either). I can be sitting there coaching him, like, "We're thankful that we could be safe while we were driving home from the beach," or "Please help our baby to grow healthy and strong."

And he'll acknowledge me, like, "Good one!" But then he'll fall back on his "good day" lines anyway! Quirky kid!

At least we don't have to worry about running out of good days or good food in the near future, thanks to Benjamin's constant petitions to heaven...

1 comment:

  1. I am just sitting here chortling! Please thank Benjamin for me, for giving me a good laugh on this good day!