Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dueling Pray-ers

I guess it's natural for two boys - 17 months apart in age - to turn everything into a competition. That is totally the dynamic we're facing right now. Everything is a competition. Today's "competitions" included... who could get dressed the fastest, who could do the most pages of school work, who had the most legos, who could swim the fastest in the pool at the Y, who could count the highest and fastest, who got the bigger bowl of snacks, who could jump the farthest, and who could pray the loudest.

That's right.... who could pray the loudest.

We have a series of prayers we pray together at bedtime. I told them I wanted them to say their prayers really nicely and then we could read one more book. When I said "nicely" they somehow translated that into "loudly." They were both sitting very still, with their hands folded, trying to look very holy.... and practically screaming the words. They were also very expressive. It was ridiculous. I was angry at their irreverence, but I was also trying not to laugh. I wish I had it on video tape. Thankfully, we did manage to calm down and complete our prayers reverently.

As I reflect on it I must admit that I have fostered this competitive spirit. So often I tell them things like, "Whoever gets in the car first gets to choose the music" or "Whoever cleans up the most legos gets to pick a snack first." Maybe my incentives and strategies are having detrimental side effects. This parenting thing is a constantly evolving challenge!

Speaking of prayers, please say some for Jon. Until yesterday he seemed to be rolling with the tax season craziness remarkably well. Things are really piling up and wearing him down now. He is working MONSTER hours and feeling the effects of the stress. He has three more weeks until our favorite day of the year, April 15th. I find it so hard not to be able to help him more. Please pray for him. Thanks!


  1. Hi! Found your blog off Catholic Mothers online and wanted to say that your post is so cute! I love that your boys were trying to see who could pray the loudest! I only have one 4 year old right now, but boy there sure are nights when I am angry at her irreverence, yet about to burst out laughing at whatever she is doing! Kids sure are precious! :) Sending prayers your way for your husband.

  2. I'm sure the prayers were LOUD so God could hear them better! We'll say an extra prayer for Jon. You and Jon need to plan a "date night" sometime after April 15 and Andy and I will watch the boys. We're getting pretty lonely, you know, being empty nesters and all, and the boys would be a treat to watch! It would also be another way to say "thanks" to you and Jon, too! So think about it and let me know when you are going out! ~ Mitzi