Owen has become more serious about his prayers lately. He wants to “pray like an adult” more often and though he keeps them brief, he seems to sincerely ask for, or thank God for what is important to him. Usually at meal time it’s something like, “Dear God, we thank you for this food and for our family and for our blessings, in Jesus name, Amen.”
At bedtime it’s very similar but he thanks God for his favorite happening of the day, or his favorite new object of the day. I usually try to get him to pray for a good night’s rest but he is insistent on praying for what he wants or likes and rest isn’t usually at the top of his list.
The other day as we all sat down to eat dinner he volunteered to pray for our meal and I had to smile as he said, “Dear God, thanks for the food and for our family and thanks for your good wisdom and for the blessings. In Jesus Name, Amen.”
I don’t know if he knows what wisdom is but obviously he’s heard us use the term. I love to hear his prayers.
Yesterday, Owen did something he’s never done before and my shock and personal exhaustion combined with total embarrassment left me stripped of knowledge on what to do. He had asked so sweetly if we could go to the bookstore that has a “B” (Books A Million) and I needed to go to Target (in the same shopping center) that I said we would as long as he was good. I wasn’t real specific however, as to what good meant, so after constant reminders to get up off the floor and leave Ivan alone I told him that we probably wouldn’t be going to the bookstore.
I had not found what I wanted at Target, only what I didn’t know I wanted, so I decided to try JC Penney’s which was also in the shopping center. He didn’t want to go. I decided to give him another chance and said that if he could be “happy and keep Ivan happy” while we were in the store we could go to the bookstore. He obliged me beautifully. I need to learn to be so specific all the time.
After hunting fruitlessly in Penney’s we headed to the bookstore. He and Ivan played in the children’s book section for a good 30 minutes but when it was time to go something happened that I’ve never seen or heard from him before. He first began to cry and when I became a little more insistent about getting out of the little crowd that had accumulated in the area, he let out a horrifying scream. I was shocked. He wouldn’t stop. I cupped my hand over his mouth as quickly as possible and said “we don’t do that!” All I wanted to do was snap my fingers and disappear. He acted like I had mercilessly beat him or something, as if he were afraid of me. We got to the restroom as quickly as possible but with the two of them, the stroller and the belly it took us a while, and I didn’t feel like I could spank him in my shock and bewilderment. I probably should have…I know I should have. I can’t believe he did that. We talked and he was crying and upset and I was confused and Ivan was giggling at the funny room we were all having conference in. I got them home and he was fine the rest of the night. He didn’t have a nap yesterday and combined with an active morning with friends I guess he just lost it for a moment. I don’t want another moment like that. It’s one thing when a kid who is prone to outbursts has a little fit, but for Owen, it was weird. He just doesn’t react that way…he whines, but he doesn’t scream normally. I need to remember that between the two of us…we must recognize our limits.