Friday, July 29, 2011

I should write a book on how to convert kids to atheism...

First of all, let me give you a little background. This is what a typical meal time is like at our house when everyone has finished eating:

Eric: Oh, no! We forgot to say grace!

Me: Ok. Well, do you want to pray, or do you want Mommy to pray?

Eric: I'll pray. [pause] dadaaddaa mamumum mummmm...

Me: In Jesus' name...

Eric: No! I'm not done yet. Mummma dadada baba. Amen.

Flashback to yesterday:
We're leaving the Chick-Fil-A and a nice employee is handing out balloons. After saying thank you, the kids each pick a color. Eric immediately picks yellow. He's gravitated to that color since infancy. Rachel chooses orange... no wait, green! No wait... So, yeah: orange it is.

Eric was proud of how he got the balloon string around his wrist and arm. I had no idea how well that would hold up, but when you have a diaper bag on your back, a kid in one arm (with balloon), and the other kid holding onto your hand while traversing a crazy parking lot, you can't watch everything. Sure enough...

Eric: Oh no! My balloon!

I look up and see a yellow oval slowly ascending into the sky. Crap.

Eric: I want another balloon!

Ok, so at this point I have a choice: drag everyone and everything back into the restaurant, beg for another bloody balloon and hope that they have enough, or simply use this as a teaching tool for how to hold onto your balloon for future outings. In short, I choose option 2. Yes, he'll tantrum for a few minutes, but he'll forget about it just as quick. Maybe.

Me: Eric, I'm sorry you lost your balloon. You did a good job of holding onto it, but sometimes balloons get away.

Eric: I want another balloon! Waaaaaaahhh!!!!

Me: [sigh] Honey, everyone only gets 1 balloon. I'm sorry...

So we get into the car, and I think this is the end of it because Rachel doesn't mind sharing hers. But no.

We get home, and Eric starts crying again. I get the kids inside the house, then I decide to tell Eric a story about how I lost a balloon when I was a child. He gets quiet, and asks where the balloon went.

Me: Well... [thinking fast] balloons fly up to heaven to be with Jesus and make children there happy.

Eric promptly bursts into tears.

Eric 1, Mommy 0.

Later at night when John gets home, Eric runs up to him and says, "Daddy, my balloon flew up to the sky."

John smiled empathetically at him. "I'm sorry, Eric."

"Jesus has my balloon." Then Eric got very quiet and said, "I just want Jesus to give it back..."

Great. Jesus: Messiah. Savior. Balloon Thief.
I can see Sunday school now:
"Class, does anyone know what Jesus did for us?"
"Yes. He steals my balloons!"

Eric 2, Mommy-0.

P.S. Laurie just translated Eric's prayer: "Dear Jesus, forget everything Mommy says. I want my balloon back. Amen."

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