I'm just going to be honest.
Today was pretty much miserable.
Power-struggles and disobedience were the main themes of the day,
and by the time the boys were going to bed Sam and I had pretty well had it.
When yet another meltdown ensued,
in exasperation we turned off the light and left the room without our usual reading from the Book of Mormon.
Talmage completely lost it.
His crying escalated into a maniacal fit.
And then the preaching began.
"HOW CAN YOU NOT READ SCRIPTURES??
WE ARE COMMANDED TO READ THE SCRIPTURES EVERY DAY--EVERY NIGHT!
IF YOU DO NOT FOLLOW THE COMMANDMENTS, YOU SHALL BE SMITTEN WITH THE HAND OF THE LORD! THE SHIELD OF FAITH, THE HELMET OF SALVATION, THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT...YOU MUST READ YOUR SCRIPTURES! YOU MUST KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS!"
After a good five minutes of his bold declarations
in the deepest voice his five-year-old vocal chords could muster
(yes, he really did tell us we would be smitten by the Hand of the Lord),
he defiantly came up the stairs to where Sam and I were waiting.
When I told him to go back to bed, he said,
"But I'm teaching you from the scriptures!"
And then dissolved into tears again.
After giving him some time to become more submissive,
I once again descended the stairs.
Talmage greeted me with an emotional, sniffling statement.
"I just don't know how someone who knows so much would not read the scriptures!!"
I encouraged the boys--that tomorrow would be a better day for all of us. That I was sorry for the things I had done wrong today, and that we would all have a nicer day tomorrow, because today wasn't normal.
And then I picked up the scriptures and read a single verse to my exhausted little sweethearts,
appeased at last.