We’ve been trying really hard the past few months to be diligent about having Family Home Evening every Monday night. Hahaha. It’s funny because our one child is 2.5 years old and the other one doesn’t even know he has feet. Hilarity ensues. I’m thinking about taking a page out of the book of a family in my home ward back in Bountiful and keeping minutes for FHE, just so we can look back and laugh until we cry. Here is a sample of gems from recent FHEs, all of them having to do with Son #1.
1. Most lessons consist of a short story, altered to include a little boy name Simon. We then ask a series of questions, each one ignored by the little boy named Simon and each more pointed and specific. Meanwhile, the boy rolls around on the floor, jumps off the couch, or otherwise occupies himself, entirely oblivious to his parents voices. Finally, a slightly frazzled mother gives up with the lesson and suggests singing a song, at which point the little boy finally makes eye contact and asks earnestly if it is time for the Family Home Evening treat. At which point the slightly frazzled mother bangs her head against the wall and the little boy laughs and says, “Do that again. Do that again,” with such delight that the mother just can’t refuse.
2. We had a lesson on gratitude as we have been trying to encourage the boy to be polite and say “please” and “thank you” without any prompting from us. Micah helped him say the closing prayer, but somehow, “We’re thankful for gratitude,” became, “We’re thankful for Ratatouille,” which happens to be his favorite movie. Yes, son, I suppose we are thankful for Ratatouille, but I think you missed the point of the lesson.
3. After an extremely difficult evening (brought on, we believe, by an excess of sugar consumed earlier in the afternoon), we put together a quick lesson, scavenged for a “treat” and rushed the boy to bed. He managed to say the prayer all by himself, which was for the best considering that both his parents totally lost control when he said, “Thankful for family home evening treat, a topato (tomato) . . .” What? If you think we were going to give him more sugar, you’re crazy. Since then he has been careful to request that we not have tomatoes for FHE treats.
Still, I know that our efforts have been somewhat effective if only because since we had our lesson on choices the boy can gleefully identify whether he is making a good choice or a bad choice. Somehow, when he knows he is making a bad choice, he is possibly more excited about being able to tell that it is a bad choice than he is about having made a good choice.
But I’m grateful we are making the effort. I’m grateful that Simon is somewhat responsive and at least gets excited about the treat. And I’m really grateful that we can laugh at the situation, and ourselves, even while we’re still in the thick of it.