Friday, November 14, 2008

Why You Should Not Spell "Stop" In Church

Ok - Those of you who have been reading will already know that my daughter does not have the best reputation in church. Actually, she is a nice kid, and she listens in church. In fact, her first three sermons "sitting in" church, she listened to with great enthusiasm. The first was about Abraham mourning Sarah's death. She drew a picture of Sarah lying on the ground with her tongue stuck out - "See, like this (she stuck her tongue out sideways and closed her eyes in a grimace), she's dead."

The next week was no better. It was about Nabal and Abigail. One more dead guy drawn into her church notebook. A fat dead guy. Mouth open, tongue out, fat belly sticking up.

Then we had a visiting pastor and I thought, "Surely we will get better." Nope. Another dead guy sermon. I forget which one. When our pastor returned, I sent him an e-mail. "Please don't preach about a dead person this week. My daughter's church notebook is all drawings of dead people so far!"

He didn't. He preached about something else. Since then, my daughter has lost her rapt attention in church. In fact, without dead guys, church has become much more boring. So she began to work on copying letters from the bulletin, and then moved on into interest in spelling words.

We've spelled "God" and "Mom" and "Dad" and "cat". But, let me pass on a piece of advice - If your child asks you to spell "stop" in church - DON'T!

She carefully worked her way through the letters, writing it big in her notebook. I looked out the corner of my eye pleased with her concentration and dedicated effort to learn to write and spell. Then she carefully ripped it out of her little notebook.....

and held it up and waved it at the pastor!!!

(did I mention we always sit in the second row from the front?)

So... well... I'm not too surprised that the pastor's wife said something about her reading in church... who knows what she might do next!


Cindy said...

That is great...out of the mouths of babes :)

I would like to borrow her 'sign' sometime!!

giggling away.....

junglewife said...

Ha ha! That is so funny. Thanks for sharing that story - made me laugh :-)

It's also great that you and your husband are talking - really communicating. Wonderful!

Shan in Japan said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! I look forward to reading more from you. Although I don't have any kids of my own, this is a good lesson to remember for nieces and nephews:)

Becky Aguirre said...

That's so funny! ROTFL! Everyone just needs to lighten up...enjoy the kids while they are little. :)

Alan & Beth McManus said...

Just imagine if we both went to the same church! Your daughter and my youngest would keep us all laughing.

Dayton was so bad about church when we got here that I had to take him out at least once a Sunday to spank him. It got to be a joke between Alan and me. One morning I heard him say to Dayton, "Do you want your Sunday Spankins now, or do you want to wait till we get to church?" Dayton got the point and was "good" that day.

One thing that has helped me a LOT is to get really hard Dot-to-Dot books from Rainbow Resource Center (a homeschool on-line resource company). I allow him to do one or two pages during the sermon. It keeps him busy and quiet. Also, there are great Bible activity books that will keep them quiet too.

It's nice, if the speaker is interesting, to have them draw what he is talking about, but the only preacher I've been able to do that to is my Dad. He was good about teaching to everybody. Our speakers here ramble all around the world and even I have a time following them, let alone a seven year old who barely speaks Spanish.

Just remember YOU are the Mom, not your pastor's wife! Her approval or disapproval is not important! Ok? I had an older missionary our first year who vocally disapproved of Dayton. I let her get under my skin and spent the entire first 6 months stressed out, until I finally decided that if she didn't like him, too bad. I do! He's my kid and I love him and she can just go jump in a lake! After that it wasn't so bad! I just didn't let her get under my skin. (We also didn't spend anymore time than necessary with them, so as not to cause more stress on either side.)

Ellie said...

Thanks, Beth. I try not to let her bother me. I sit behind her kids - and they are not perfect! They're unbearably cute, and I love them. But I see them when she is playing piano, and they are not perfectly behaved either. They make me laugh because they are just being kids, and cute ones.

No, most people who know my daughter absolutely love her. She is well-behaved (for a six year old), intelligent, curious, and friendly. I had no problems finding someone to take her for a day if I needed to work since several moms would just take her along while they ran errands or did whatever. she is so easy going and enjoys just being with and talking to people.

She is outspoken, and her ability to express herself by waving a stop sign at the pastor when she has had enough of sitting still listening to a long sermon delights me. I grew up as a child who was never able to stick up for myself and say no because of my childhood. My daughter knows her boundaries - which in a sermon are about 40 minutes - and is quite comfortable saying so. It makes me smile... yeah, we need to work on appropriate means of communication, but hey, she will express herself, and that makes me happy.

Grammy said...

After church one day my husband was introducing our son to another church goer, there was alot of noise and the man couldn't undrerstand my son's name.So our son decided to spell his name for the man. M -I- T- C- for some reason the church got quiet but not my son's voice as he continued
H-E-L-L..that go a few looks our way!!!

Ellie said...

Grammy - I was cutting up a graduation cake at the school and serving it. One mother had carefully put all the kid's names on the cake. It was beautiful.

Then I cut Rachel's name in half to serve... and realized I can't just give the last half of that name to just anyone!

Life is just so much more fun if you have a good sense of humor and enjoy the funny in the middle of everything.

This morning went better. My daughter borrowed my watch and studiously watched the numbers change, quietly cheering every time the ten's place changed. He whole body language got all excited when it hit 11:40 and she realized she only has five minutes to go.

She still ends every sermon the same:

"Is it over, mommy?"


So she raises her hands and cheers, "Yay! I made it!"

People sitting near me just know by now to expect her cheer. I figure any six year old who has sat still for an hour deserves a cheer, and I'm glad she has learned to cheer her small victories!

Becky Aguirre said...

Got a kick out of reading the stories! :) I'm still giggling...

Brian said...

I love your daughter. My daughter needs to be around your daughter more because my daughter needs a mouthpiece for her thoughts. She decided to do her own science experiment, for no apparent reason, last week. She took blue food coloring in a cup of water, dropped in a piece of yarn, and dyed the yarn. But she wanted to tell the family about it, so she did at dinner. She half hid under the table and half hid her face as she told us about what she did. I don't know whose child she is!