Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Mom Bomb Part 1

I've been a total bomb with my kids lately.  I wish I was a "bomb" in that ultra-cool way where, you know, you have donuts for breakfast or you let them watch back to back Thomas the Tank Engine episodes.  And you're kids clap and cheer and say, "You're the bomb, Mom!"  I think "the bomb" ran parallel to being "a bag of chips."

But I'm not the bomb in that way.

Because, we're not in the 90s anymore. 

Bomb #1

I've taken it upon myself as the matriarch to induce a little spirituality via Family Home Evening into my home.  Growing up Bradley... puts an enormously high standard on FHE.  The meetings are meetings of The Church.  With a program, a podium, and assignments to be taken very seriously.  So I wasn't about to shirk my mantle and say "We'll just spend 15 minutes together chatting on the couch."  Eh-uh.  I would conduct the meeting, there would be a review of the calendar for the week, singing time, a lesson, and refreshments.  While the kiddos were napping I went online and got a lesson out of the Nursery manual.  On Prayer.  I made visual aids, highlighted main points, tabbed my scriptures, and typed out a rough... oh who am I kidding... extremely detailed outline. I was pumped.  I was ready.  And so so excited to start this.

I made dinner that night too so there would be no dilly dallying when Ken got home.  Dinner.  FHE.  That whip was getting cracked.  By me. To me.

Interjection:  My children are 2 and 11 months.

Dinner went well and I corralled everyone into the living room.  Where they sat... on the floor.  Bad move boys.

Patty:  Hey!  This is a meeting.  Get on the couch.  Sit up, you lazies.
Ken: Patty.  They're kids.  This is good.

I felt uneasy.  But talked myself out of it.  Come on, babe.  It's their first time.  They don't know.  They can sit on the floor.  No biggie.

The night continued.  I stood at the front of the room and with a big smile on my face said:

I'd like to welcome everyone out to Family Home Evening.  I'm Mom, and I'll be conducting.  We're going to start with an opening prayer.  (kicking myself for not assigning someone) Can I get a volunteer for the opening prayer?

No hands.  Not one.  Not.  Even.  Ken.
He was just trying not to laugh at me.

I will not be defeated!
"I'll say it," I said as I thought of maybe turning around or something to make it seem like a different person.  But just awkwardly stumbled around and then shook my head and started the prayer.  Which Kole talked through. 

After the prayer I moved onto calendar review.  I expected it to take a little longer.  In the Bradley Home it was at least 20 minutes.  House rule was:  "If it's not on the calendar it's not happening."  So!  I took out my calendar and started in:

"Okaaaay.  This week... tss tsss tsss.... I have... Story time at 10: 30 at the library.  Ken?"
"I'm going to work everyday."
"Nothing else?"
"Nope.  Nothing else."
"Because if it's not on the calendar now, it's not happening."
He kinda stared me down after that.

Calendar wrapped up in 30 seconds.  I was starting to sweat a little.  I sweat more than other humans naturally but I was getting like beady around my face.  This meeting was really zooming.  And not in a "It is so good you don't even realize time is passing" way.  In the other... way.

Singing time was such an embarrassment.  I planned 3 songs.  All ones that Kole (and presumably Ken) knew.  "Popcorn Popping," "Once There Was a Snowman," and "I Am a Child of God."  No one volunteered to conduct the music so I suggested they just try following the natural rhythm of the music as I made my way over to the piano.
I sat down.  Got to the pre-tabbed page.  Played the intro.  Paused to cue the song beginning and played my heart out for one whole line before realizing I was putting on a real one man show.
A comedy act, apparently.
I kept my spirits up through "Popcorn Popping" but they fizzled significantly when "Once There Was a Snowman" turned into a dance party.  I tried taking the room down a level with "I Am A  Child of God" but Kole was just running around the couch as many times as he could by then and Ken was throwing Joey up in the air trying to make him laugh.

Welcome, Holy Spirit.  To my home.

My well-planned lesson got cut from 10-15 minutes to 2.
No one (again... not even Ken) answered my questions.  And they were eeeeeeasy.
Like what do you say at the beginning of a prayer?

Blank.  Stares.

I answered all my own questions with a big, cheery grin on my face.  I took out my visual aids at the appropriate time, but Joey snagged them and started chewing on them.  I planned to do some prayer role playing but when I knelt down in demonstration Kole jumped on my back and yelled, "Piggyback!"
Here's the real kicker (in case you thought it was way back at the calendar planning):  The lesson suggested ending with a song "Pray in Faith." Aaaaand, you know me.

I begin by saying Dear Heav-en-ly Father
Ken started smiling.  Joey starts crying.  Koley stares at me.
I thank him for blessings he seeeeeends
Ken's eyebrows are way way up.  My voice is getting the pre-cry shakes.  Joey is full on crying now.
Then humbly I ask him.... Kole tells me this song is a bad one.  Ken starts laughing.  Joey is red in the face crying.
for things that I need.  InthenameofJesusChristAw-men.

I thanked everyone for coming.  Said the closing prayer.  And made sure I blessed the stinkin' refreshments.

Andi, Me, Julie.  The reaction I was hoping for.

Pretty close to the reaction I got.  Certainly felt if not expressed.
Mom Bomb.

There's more instances like this one.  I'm finding I kinda excel at this.  Mom Bomb Part #2 tomorrow.


Victoria Bradley-Morris said...

This made me laugh and cry :) You ARE the bomb mom (in a really good way). Excellent first official Family Home Evening. Now, make a wheel, and give out assignments for the next one ;)

Julia [Chris Loves Julia] said...

So, so, so, so, so, SO!!! Funny. I was hysterical laughing first thing in the morning. On a good note, you've inspired me to get serious about fhe. You're all that and a bag of chips!

Ginger Bradley said...

try try again...good for you..and your family will be blessed! (Too bad your favorite store isn't near by....we always liked it when you got treats from DeStefano's).
love you! mom

Kar said...

Hey, good try, Pats. Keep with it. You and the kids may not feel the spirit now, but they'll always remember that they had family home evening and what a special time it was for them.

Beth Willmore said...

Ok I'm sorry about this, but that made me laugh SO hard since that's exactly what happens to us when I do FHE once a quarter! Then it goes like yours did, and I give up for another few months! Pretty soon my whole familiy will be burning in hell because I don't have FHE!
You've inspired me to try again though and try harder!
PS, you should punch Ken in the throat for not being supportive. C'mon, he could answer the question, "how do we start our prayers!" and if not, then maybe he needs to go back to seminary! (or primary)! :)

Juli said...

Well, you tried. If it makes you feel better, I have bombed so many times I can't even remember them all.

Our Family said...

Ok Patty - I LOVE LOVE your blog! I read one and then keep on going. This one is awesome - we try so hard for our kids to "feel the spirit" and usually at the end we are just like - well that was a.w.e.s.o.m.e. You are great!