I hate Sunday mornings. I should love Sunday mornings. I get to sleep a little later than a weekday and I really enjoy going to church each week. But the time period after waking up and before getting the kids to Sunday school is incredibly stressful for me.

I hate Sunday mornings.


I should love Sunday mornings. I get to sleep a little later than a weekday and I really enjoy going to church each week.


But the time period after waking up and before getting the kids to Sunday school is incredibly stressful for me.


The reason is simple. I have to do for about an hour or so what my wife does for hours every day – get two boys fed and dressed who would rather be doing almost anything else.


This week, I was trying to get my boys around and we had the normal problem of me not knowing where their church clothes are and them not doing what they are told until I have said it for a third time and my voice gets a lot louder.


Dawit brought me a toy that had candy in it that he had received for Christmas. He was playing with the toy and wanted to eat the candy inside. I told him that he would have to wait until after church and after lunch to eat the candy.


He seemed to understand and went back to playing.


A few minutes later, he asked me again. So I tried to be more clear. His lack of language makes it tough to know sometimes whether he is being defiant or just failing to understand requests.


But a few minutes after the second encounter, Blake had asked for candy. Dawit quickly chimed in to tell his brother, “Candy no, Blake. After church.”


I told Blake his brother was correct and that any candy consumption would come after lunch.


I was feeling pretty good about 2012 Father of the Year points, and I assumed both of their Sunday school teachers would appreciate my decision not to sugar them up and send them to church.


When I came out of my bedroom after getting dressed, I found Dawit standing in the living room with the toy broken open with candy all over the floor and three pieces already in his mouth.


I tried to count to 10, but I only got to about three before I gave myself permission to speak.


I knew for a fact he was intentionally disobeying this time.


So I put him in timeout. While he was in timeout, I proceeded to tell him why he was in trouble and promise him that there would be no candy for him that day and not again until he decided to be obedient.


Well, Blake has never been a limit pusher. He wouldn’t do that at 8, even less at 4. I hope I can still say that in 10 years.


So Blake never really got in trouble a lot. You can talk to Blake and do far more good than if you raise your voice at Blake.


Dawit sometimes needs the volume to convince him that you are serious.


So after another stressful morning for dear old dad, Blake and Dawit were delivered to their respective classes. When I picked Blake up after his class, the teacher (who thankfully is our neighbor and knows us very well) laughed and told me that when they asked for prayer requests that Blake asked for prayer for Dawit so that “Dad won’t kill him.”


Apparently, being in timeout for two minutes and not getting candy is a fate worse than death in Blake’s opinion.


So after we got into the sanctuary, I explained to Blake that there was a big difference in getting in trouble and getting killed.


I should be glad that the two of them are bonding and Blake is taking up for Dawit, even if it is in an exaggeration at my expense.


Kids say the darndest things. My only option is to laugh. Well, laugh and make sure I let Dawit have candy any time he wants it so Blake doesn’t worry about his safety.


Kent Bush is publisher of the Augusta (Kan.) Gazette.