Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Incredible Adventures of Rat-Shack (or how my boy snagged himself a Drumstick)

Hubs and I have been growing increasingly frustrated with an occurrence that seems to be happening with increasingly regularity at Potter Place. I've labeled it "The Saturday Night Brain Drain."

It goes something like this:

On the way home from church, we routinely ask the children to tell us what they learned in their class that evening.

Rachel (oldest child, Type A personality, always eager to impress) takes a deep breath. Exhales the following: "We-learned-about-Moses-and-Pharaoh-and-how-he-wouldn't-let-the-Israelites-leave-Egypt-to-go-to-the-Promised-Land-even-after-God-sent-terrible-plagues-on-the-land-what-an-idiot-he-was!"

Very good.

Sara (middle child, so very NOT Type A) yawns, looks around the car as if waiting for someone to help her out: "Ummm, I'm not sure. I really don't think we had a story tonight."

Good try, except for two things. First, I am 110% certain that the leaders of our children's ministry would NEVER plan a lesson that did not include something from God's Word. Second, they send home a "Ride Home Recap" card each week that summarizes the main points of the lesson with discussion questions and suggestions for home activities to further reinforce the principles taught.

So, even if she can't tell me the first thing about what she learned, I have it all right there in front of me, something one would imagine that she would figure out over time.

So we try again with Gavin (baby of the family, a class clown in the making).

"What did you learn tonight, honey?" I gently probe.

"Nothing," he replies in a tone that lets me know he is hoping that will be the end of discusson. Which, of course, it is not. But, alas, more gentle mama probing gets me nowhere with these two tight lips. If they remember something, anything at all,from their time at church, they certainly aren't about to let on.

So, last weekend I announced a new Saturday Night incentive program. Any child who could give us a suitable synopsis of that week's lesson would be rewarded upon returning home with a scrumptious ice cream treat. That sounded reasonable, I thought, and was sure to motivate all three to put on their listening ears at church.

Eager to see the first week's result, I picked them up last weekend and began asking questions on the way to the car. Take note of that last statement. I did NOT wait until we got home. I did NOT wait until the next morning. They were given the opportunity to tell me what they had learned as quickly as I retrieved them from their classes.

And still, neither of the younger two could even tell me the main character's name. It broke my heart to serve up their older sister's ice cream treat while they looked on in shock, yelling about the unfairness of it all and how-in-the-world-could-I-expect-them-to-remember-anything-for-THAT-LONG?????

(Umm, maybe because when I promise to take you to the park, you remember that for HOURS?)

Fast forward to tonight. I mentioned to the children several times today that there were Drumsticks in the freezer for everyone who listened quietly at church and could tell me about their story afterward. I hoped that the result would be better than last week but definitely wasn't holding my breath.

And so it was with great joy and surprise when Gavin and Sara jumped into the car this evening that I heard my little man burst forth with, "I LISTENED TO MY STORY TONIGHT AND IT WAS ABOUT ME-SHACH, RAT-SHACK AND A-BEN-DI-GO AND HOW THEY WOULDN'T BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP THE STATUE."

It has never thrilled me more to give a kid a Drumstick.

And yes, both of his sisters got one, too. It was a mighty fine night at Potter Place as our four-year-old regaled us with stories about Rat-Shack and his friends.

Man, I love this age.


Carrie said...

Rat-shack- LOVE it!!!

Thanks for your advice and comments on my blog- I really appreciate it.

Lisa said...

Awww, i love little boys!!!

oh, may a say what a strong momma you are to withhold the icecream scope from the two non-talkers!!!