Book club


This morning was one of those about which I prefer not to write in great detail, as I would like to forget it as quickly as possible.  Suffice it to say that nothing sets me off like a highly intelligent person of any age pretending to be unintelligent and thinking it’s cute.  I had multiple occurrences of this before 10 a.m. involving people ranging in age from 3 to 50.

Once I had reassembled the shrapnel from the resultant cranial detonation, fed the tribe (the rare day when each child got a different thing for lunch because I just couldn’t take any more whining or complaining), and enforced naptime for all four of the tiny people, it was time to get everyone ready to go run a couple of essential errands and head over to Nonno and Deedaw’s for a couple of hours.  Four cute little cherubs were attired for the warmest day of the year to date, and Baby Guy was nestled in the crook of my arm happily drinking his bottle, when Mr. Man decided it was time for a story.

We are very pleased to have such a literary bunch of children, but have had to teach each child in turn that just because a person who is able to read a story is seated does not mean said person is free to read you a story.  Baby Guy also loves stories, and if I try to read to Mr. Man while Baby Guy is eating, the bottle goes sailing across the room and Baby Guy fusses because he’s hungry, but there’s something more interesting than his food nearby.  Trying to head off a wrestling match involving myself, the boys, and a board book, I asked Mr. Man, “Why don’t you see if Bugaboo will read this to you?”

I did not have high hopes for this, as Bugaboo had one of her more defiant days today.  However, I was pleasantly surprised when she plopped down on the floor and invited her little brother to come sit with her, took the book from him, and began to read it.  Mr. Man was nearly as surprised as I was, but after a page or two, he parked next to her and stared avidly at the pages as she read his little book to him.  When she finished, she tried to hand it back to him, but he clapped his hands, smiled hugely, and asked, “Again?”

Bugaboo read that book at least five times more in response to Mr. Man’s delighted query, delivered each time she read the last word on the last page.  When he finally stopped asking, she poked him in the arm, which provoked a cascade of giggles from the big guy and his favorite question — again.  She eventually tired of the book, and the two of them headed for the bookshelf to see if there might be another, mutually agreeable volume.  Unfortunately, they were not able to reach an agreement before Baby Guy finished eating, which indicated it was time for us to head out.

Today’s prayer:  Lord, I often ask you to have as much patience with Your blessings as You have with me.  I didn’t do a very good job of that today, Lord, and that means You’ve given me the opportunity to show them that an apology isn’t just a two-word phrase, it’s a change in thoughts, words, and deeds.  Please grant me the grace of repentance for harsh words spoken in anger, and a gentle voice and mien.  Lord, people who know me, look to me to see how those who follow You act.   If I shout and use ugly words, those people will see you as a vengeful instead of a loving God.  I would have none gain that false impression of You, especially these beautiful blessings You have entrusted to my care.

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4 thoughts on “Book club

    • Thanks, Nate. This morning felt like an exercise in parenting fail. It’s tough to teach kids how to respond to anger and frustration, both of which I had in spades this morning — maybe the saving grace will be that they’ll remember how it feels to have it directed at them, so they’ll choose their own words more carefully.

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