We'll just say that they're hot commodities in church.
Usually the Young Women (girls 12 to 17) and even some of the Relief Society (18 and up) are begging to hold them. When I walk in the door, sometimes I don't see Mr. Squishy until it's time to go home.
So you can imagine the fight that ensues when it comes time to pick a baby-sitter for Friday Date Night. (A holy, holy night, bytheway.)
Little do they know the caveats that accompany this blessed privilege.
Their eyes inevitably grow rounder as we tick off the most sacred of routines.
- The boys must eat all of their dinner before dessert.
- ONE dessert. Not two. Not three. Four is right out. Just ONE.
- After dinner, play time is strictly observed.
- No hitting.
- No saying "shut up."
- No bikes in the house.
- No throwing rocks in the pool.
- No movies or TV.
- No climbing out the window even if it's "just to see the other side."
- They love playing horse. They love playing with chalk. They love jumping on the mattresses or hide and go seek or tag. They love to just PLAY.
- At 7:30, warn them that bedtime is arriving. They need ample time to prepare mentally for this drastic occurence.
- At 7:45, head towards the general direction of the bedroom.
- Brush teeth. Little Prince brushes his own teeth but Ouro Branco needs help. You HAVE to sing the "Grandpa Gum" song. You HAVE to spit after every line. You HAVE to get a drink of water and THEN swish with flouride (do not swish, and THEN drink. Very important. The world may collapse if done out of order.)
- Sing the "scripture power song" while getting on pajamas. LP puts on his own pajamas because his body is special and we can't see it. Unless he feels like playing in the sprinklers some morning when my visiting teachers are over - but sorry, that's a different list.
- OB likes the CARS pajamas and only the CARS pajamas. Do not under any circumstances attempt to put on his dinosaur pajamas. All outer darkness will break loose.
- Read scriptures. OB sits on the LEFT. LP sits on the RIGHT. THE SCRIPTURES SIT ON THE LAP AND THAT IS ALL.
- Say prayer. You must be on your knees. You must fold your arms. You must bow your head. You can't lay your head down because that is not what Jesus looks like in the picture.
- Kisses all around. OB usually needs approximately 392472947 kisses before he is satisfied. And kiss the monkey too.
- LP wants the door just a LITTLE cracked. Just a LITTLE. Not too much because it's too bright. Not too little because then it's too dark. JUST RIGHT CRACKED AND THAT IS ALL.
- And most importantly, tell them I miss them and love them and I'll be back before they wake up. If you have any questions or concerns AT ALL - call me.
There is also endless instruction about how to work the TV, the location and use of emergency supplies, and a "situation tree" of any possible deviation from normal behavior. I have never gotten mad when a baby-sitter calls with a question. Ever. But I do get frustrated when a baby-sitter doesn't follow The List.
And it makes me wonder.
What kind of list did Heavenly Father leave for us before giving us His precious children?
- They must be obedient before the blessing.
- They date at 16 years old. Not 15. Not 14. Thirteen is RIGHT OUT. They date at 16.
- After teaching, loving is strictly observed.
- No hitting.
- No demeaning.
- No shouting.
- No losing your temper.
- No questioning whether this is really want I want you to do.
- They like to play. It's okay to let them blow bubbles in their chocolate milk. It's okay to let them splash at bathtime. It's okay to let them run around in the mud. THE WORLD WILL NOT COLLAPSE IF YOU LET THEM.
- At 7 (or even much, much earlier!), advise them that baptism is quickly approaching. They need time to prepare mentally for this covenant.
- This child really needs physical affection. He doesn't like to be nagged. Show him lovingly how to do something and let him do it himself. Let me show you how to do it.
- That child struggles with self worth. Build him up and praise him and never tear him down. Let me show you how to do it.
- This child loves to play with you. He doesn't like to be told to go play with his toys by himself. He loves YOU to play with him.
- That child is having a hard time with peer pressure. Reinforce his testimony of whose son he is. Tell stories of when YOU had a hard time with peer pressure at his age.
- And most importantly, tell them I miss them and love them and I'll be back before they know it. If you have any questions or concerns AT ALL - call me.
Do you think He ever gets frustrated when we don't follow The List?