Saturday, April 2, 2011

The One About When God Gave the Whale a Job Chart, and Other Lesser Known Bible Stories

Dear Sweetness,
You recently developed a little issue with hitting people when you're mad.  I think you picked it up on the mean streets of daycare.  You pull your arm back as far as it will go - so your hand is clear behind your neck and you leave it there, while glaring at your victim.  You want them to know that you're locked and loaded.

When you do this to Mama, I remind you gently that if you continue with this decision, you'll have a very nice time out all to yourself.

That usually results in an extremely slow motion forward release, ending with you patting my leg and whispering, "No."

You still get timeout.  A slow motion hit in anger is still the problem. 

After many, many timeouts Mama decided to try something different.  I made a job chart for you.  If you could go 5 whole days without hitting, we'd take you to pick out a little toy.

You were very peeved about the job chart.  You kept saying, "I can't wanna make-a chart a not hit!  I can't wanna five days! "  There was a lot of weeping, wailing and teeth gnashing.  But Mama held firm. 

The next day was Sunday.  I was in Primary with you (as you still have issues with them wanting you to sit AND not cry in Primary).  You were very wiggly and ready to be done with Sharing Time.  The sister that was teaching the lesson was talking about different Bible stories.  I kept trying to get you to listen to her but you weren't having it.

Then she started talking about Jonah.  Somewhere in your wiggles, her words wafted into your mind and settled.  You realized what she was actually saying. You froze in your seat and stared at the teacher.

Then you looked at me, wide-eyed, and said,  "He got EAT by a WHALE???"

"Oh, Sweetness," I said, "There's a lot more where that came from.  I'll tell you after church."

So that afternoon, as I changed you out of your Church clothes, I told you the tale of Jonah and the whale.  I made sure it was at your level.  I told you about how Heavenly Father asked Jonah to go talk to some people because they weren't being nice and Jonah didn't want to listen.  I told you about how Jonah tried to run away, and how he ended up in the ocean and how a whale scooped him up.  I told you the whale just held Jonah in his mouth so that Jonah was safe (making it very clear he didn't EAT him) and that after three days, the whale spit Jonah back out on the land.  And that then Jonah went on to Nineveh.

I could see the wheels in your mind turning.  You were staring off into space and I could tell you were picturing something in your mind. You were trying to reconcile this crazy story your Mama had just told you and make sense out of a world where whales "sort of" eat people.

I said, "Nate, what are you thinking about?"

You said, "Heavenly Father say, "No, no, Whale.  You not eat Jonah."

I agreed that Heavenly Father probably did tell the whale not to eat Jonah.

And then you said, 'He say, 'No, whale.  You gotta be nice.  You not eat him.  You gotta make a chart.  You gotta make THREE DAYS a not eat him.  And the Whale said, 'GRRR.... I can't wanna make a chart a not eat him..."

It was so hard not to giggle as you tried to work through your continued frustration at the job chart and combined it with your new fascination with Jonah and the whale.

At least, apparently, even God gets complaints from the villagers when job charts are implemented.  The whale's anger at the job chart is my new favorite part of the story.

You continued to talk about the whale and not wanting a job chart for a good hour.  I even called Grandma and you told her the story.

I've also noticed that you seem really keen on the story of David and Goliath.  You like Daniel and the Lions' Den and you like David and Goliath.  But lately, you seem to make all of the Biblical characters "David".  You want it to be David in the lions' den.  You want it to be David that was swallowed by a whale.

Now that I think about it.... it's probably because you're so impressed that David not only got away with throwing things but he also did a serious job of hitting someone without getting in trouble.

And without getting a job chart.

I love you, Sweetness,


Lisa Lee said...

You and Mr. Little Man are both hilarious! My chuckle for the day.

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

Best Bible story EVER!

Best of the Best said...

hmmm is that why so many people in the scriptures had a change of heart - they didn't want to get a job chart? I just love this new version of Jonah!

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