LJ has been struggling a bit with being obedient at church. I’ve heard 3 years old is worse than 2 and he seems to be getting a month head start. (Does that mean he’ll finish early as well?) Three weeks in a row we have taken him out of sacrament meeting. After many, many months, (dare I say, a year or more) of it not being a common occurrence, it has been a bit frustrating for us. He is pushing his limits and doing the opposite of whatever we ask him to do.
When we get home, he demonstrates that he definitely gets what he is doing. He says things like, “I wasn’t quiet in church. I didn’t listen to Mom and Dad. Makes Mom, Dad and Jesus sad.” The first week that he said that I was a bit sad about him being heartbroken and remorseful. That sadness quickly dissipated when, the following week, the remorse did not lead to a change in behavior. (I’ll admit that I thought, “Bring on the remorse!”)
At the end of July, LJ kept requesting to watch the Bible Video where Christ is baptized. He was just mesmerized watching it. He kept asking to be baptized and we explained he needed to be 8. Then, when we started asking him how old he will be at his birthday, he kept saying, “Eight! Baptized!” Knowing that there would be some youth baptisms from our ward a few weeks later, I asked him if he wanted to go see a baptism with me. His eyes lit up and his jaw dropped as he slowly and quietly said, “Yesss.” We’ve been talking about it ever since and he was so excited that today was finally the day. As an example of his eagerness, I came down dressed to go and told him we only had 5 minutes for him to get ready or I would need to leave without him. I think he got completely dressed, tie and everything, in 3 minutes!
He did such a good job of sitting still, (or as still as a 2 year old can), for most of the meeting. He was so excited to go watch the actual baptism and he kept moving around the other kids so he could get a good view of it. (I think getting to watch him do that is one of those things I may always remember.) Near the end, he started to get antsy and noisy, whacking chairs and saying, “No quiet in church.” So we left.
On the drive home, he said his usual remorse statement about Mom, Dad and Jesus being sad. I was asking him what we could do to help him be quiet and help him make Jesus happy. A light bulb went off about this being a good, specific teaching moment. I explained that our conversation was a bit like repentance, which was discussed in one of the talks at the baptism. We talked about how we recognized that we made Jesus sad. We should tell him that we are sorry. We should tell him that we want to be better but we need his help to know how. So we did that. We’ll see how tomorrow goes. In the meantime, any advice would be welcomed!