We pray before each meal and before bedtime and naptime. She folds her little hands and fills in the blanks for me.
“Dear God, thank you for my _______.”
Her answers range from the commonplace (“food”) to the sweet (“Daddy”) to the silly (“tutu”). Sometimes she has to think for a few seconds before she has an answer. Often her naptime prayers include everything she ate at lunch, and a few things she didn’t.
If we ask her to pray at a meal she gets silly and makes faces at her Daddy.
She usually says “cheese” after I’ve said “In Jesus’ name,” because she always wants to be thankful for cheese, I guess.
Over the last month, she has been thankful for dozens, if not hundreds of things, including
*her friend Juddson (he was the first thing on the list for many weeks, but has slipped below “food” now)
*her bear, her dolly, and her blankets
*Daddy, Mommy, and her brothers
*cheese, apples, sandwiches, pizza (she pronounces it “seepa,” which is cute), milk, water, cookies, and pancakes
*shoes, scarves, socks, bloomers, pants, dresses, skirts, and of course, her tutu
*books, baths, blocks
*hair, glasses, eyes, fingers, and toes
*the number five (As in, I’m thankful for five. I guess she thinks we’re counting.)
She is as sweet as can be, there, tucked in her little pink bed, surrounded by stuffed animals, her little chubby arms clutched tight around Bear and a dolly or snowman or bunny or some other small soft friend. I cover her with cozy blankets and give her a kiss and she says “pway?” in her cute little voice.
We pray, and I say “In Jesus’ name,” and she says “AMEN!” very heartily, and then as I walk away she remembers a few more things and says them to my back– “cheese.” “Shoes.” “Bunny.” I say okay and tell her I love her and close the door.
A few minutes later she is out of bed, naughty little thing, and I am back in her room firmly instructing her to stay in her bed and putting her pants back on her and tucking her back into bed with a kiss and a reminder to stay put. And as I turn to leave, her innocent, precious little girl voice asks, “pway?”
And I realize that my daughter, not yet two, is using prayer as a stall tactic.
We’re in trouble, here, people. Big, big trouble.