Last week we had a special missions conference at our church. On Tuesday we had a potluck dinner and the whole family went. Chris, Abigail, and I sat with, thankfully, the owners of the elephant figurines decorating the table. And they didn't mind that Abigail couldn't keep her hands off of them even feeding them some of her pizza. We did bring cars for her to play with during the missionary's presentation time.
She did a great job, playing quietly and using me as a jungle gym for the presentation. Afterward though it was time for a prayer. She doesn't sit well during our pastor's prayers for some reason. I think it is the length of time she can't bear. But anyway, the prayer started. She moved to her seat and drove a car an arm's length on the table. Louder than I thought possible. I leaned over stopped the drive and told her that she couldn't touch the cars till the prayer was over. Simple enough don't you think.
Then one little pointer finger stuck out from a little fist while two little eyes dared me to demand obedience. What are you going to do about it here? was practically screamed at me. I dare you to spank me during a prayer at CHURCH, Momma? I know I heard it. She didn't actually speak it but I know I heard it louder than the prayer I was beginning to pray was over. The little hand moved slowly across the emptiness of table and poised above the car.
Abigail, no car. I whispered.
She paused. I breathed a sigh of relief. . .
. . . too soon!
The little finger dropped and the arm pushed that little car across the table. The little eyes asked Who do you think you are? You're not the boss of me!
So there I was in the middle of a prayer in a fellowship hall/church gym being called out. Not my plan for a nice missionary supporting evening getting to know people in a new church. What was I to do! I can't tell you it was following the rule of good parenting--be consistent, follow-through--or if it was my pride smarting, but we exited the room quickly and quietly. I found an empty room where the results of a spanking would not interrupt the pastor's prayer. And we started our pre-spank talk she in a little chair and I on the floor in front of her,
Me: Abigail, Mommy told you not to touch the car. Did you obey, Mommy?
Abigail: Well. . . uhhmm. . . actuawy. . . I sorry, Mommy. . . .
She leaned forward with her arms open for a hug. All done. . . OK. . . Hugs.
What's a Momma to do? I ask you! I smiled at my little one.
We agreed to no more cars and no more sitting alone. And went back to the hall. This momma got wise and waited till the prayer, still the same prayer and no it wasn't popcorn, ended.