Mr. Kenn Kington: You’re tired. You need to go to bed. It’s past your bedtime.” “I don’t want to go to bed. I don’t want to go to bed.” “Well, you’re tired. You need to go to bed.” “I don’t want to go to bed.” “Okay, you have a choice. Do you want to put on your pajamas and brush your teeth and go to bed, or do you want a spanking?” She put her finger in my face, “No!” (Laughter and Applause)
End of Teaser
John Fuller: Oh, the joys of bedtime when you have little children. That’s comedian Kenn Kington and you’ll hear more from him about parenting and marriage on today’s edition of “Focus on the Family.” Thanks for joining us. Your host is Jim Daly and I’m John Fuller.
Jim Daly: Yeah, we have a lot of those moments as we do foster care and respite care in the Daly household and why don’t kids want to go to bed? Man, I’d give anything for a nap. (Chuckling)
John: It seems logical, but they seem to want to just press our buttons and see how many times they can get up to get a drink of water.
John: You can’t get them into bed when they’re little and then, try wakin’ a teenager up at 10 in the morning and it’s like, they’re not gonna move.
Jim: That’scuttin’ close to home right now.
John: It’s a no-win.
Jim: At least we can develop a sense of humor about the whole scenario and that’s the better side of … the good side, I should say of parenting. That’s what Kenn Kington is gonna help us with today. He has a great knack for finding the humor in life with his wife and three kids and I know you’re gonna enjoy this message.
John: And this comes from Kenn’s DVD called Wow Moments. Let’s go aheadand listen in on “Focus on the Family.”
Kenn: Getting’ old’s not easy, but I gotta tell you, in a marriage it’s wonderful. I love being married. It’s not easy. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Hey, any newlyweds here tonight? Any newlyweds? Married less than a year, anybody? Oh, that’s awesome; that’s awesome. You should be proud of that. I love being around newlyweds. They’re just, “Oh, I love you; I love you so much; I love you so much.” “No, I love you more.” Even more, it’s just … nirvana, I can’t breathe.” (Laughter) Well, my heart’s gone. (Laughter) Like he’s goin’ to work. He’s comin’ home, all right. (Laughter) It’s okay. It’s all right.
And then we’re in the stage now. We’re in the stage now where it’s like, we’re seeing the differences and that little 5 percent that’s different can drive you crazy. OCD. My wife’s like, “You are so OCD, OCD!” And I am. My clothes are all in the right order and different colors and I can’t go by the sink [without noting], “Oh, there’s a dish. I gotta wash the dish.”
And there’s some good side effects. Ladies, I wash the dishes at my house, okay. Yeah. (Cheers and Applause) I vacuum without being asked. (Cheers and Applause) Okay, so to try to contain yourself, because I wash and soften and dry and fold and iron all the laundry at my house. (Cheers and Applause)
Now I’m fully aware that I am below average looking, but for women over 30, I may have just become one of the sexiest men alive. (Cheers and Applause) I did that in a show a couple weeks ago. Women were throwing clothes on the stage. (Laughter) I don’t think they were turned on. I think they were goin’, “Iron this! Wash this!” (Laughter)
Well, if I have OCD, my wife has a condition I have termed GILD—Get It Later Disorder. (Laughter) “We’ll get it later.” “I didn’t have time. I’ll get it later.” Later seems to never come–get it later. It’s dangerous. I went to the bathroom one night. She had left her drawer out. Just went (Sound of Poom!) Oh! (Laughter) Oh, man! Oh! Woke up the next day, she goes, “What was that noise last night? What was that noise? (Laughter) I said, “You left your drawer out. I cut my leg.” She goes, “Oh, I didn’t have time.” (Laughter) Didn’t have time.
I said, “What do you mean you didn’t have time?” “I didn’t have time; I was in a hurry. I didn’t have time.” Well, still, I say, “Get your stuff.” Okay, you get your iPhone; put it on the stop watch. Ready, time this. How long was that? (Laughter) Let’s do it again. Ready? How long? (Laughter) Wow!
And you know what’s really frustrating? I had a cough one night, walked downstairs. Go to get a glass. Go to open the cupboard. It was dark. I went to open it. I missed it, because it was open. It’s (Sound of “Boom!”) (Laughter) Ah, ah. Oh! Wake up the next morning in a pool of blood on my pillow. She said, “What happened to you?” I said, “You left the cupboard door [open].” “I didn’t have time.” (Laughter) I didn’t even get to finish.
And it can be so easy to get frustrated with those little pieces, but I don’t, because that’s 95 percent of the time she’s incredible. I love the little pieces God has blessed me with. My wife has a condition, 4.0 student, language arts teacher and yet, she will mix up words all the time (Laughter) and it’s just entertaining. (Laughter)
We’re havin’ a disagreement. In the middle of this disagreement, we don’t fight really hard anymore; it’s just disagreements. “Okay, okay, listen, listen, You say potato, I say tomato. (Laughter) It’s the same thing.” (Laughter) “It’s really not.” (Laughter) It’s not even close.
And then there [are] times I just don’t even know what she’s talkin’ about. She goes, “I’m just tellin’ ya, that just broke the last straw.” (Laughter) Is that good? (Laughter) Bad? We’re drivin’, she wanted to throw an idea at me. She goes, “I don’t want you to make a decision. I’m not saying we have to do it; I just want to put a bug in your ear to chew on.” (Laughter) She said, “What is that look for?” (Laughter)
And this is one of my favorites of last year. This lady calls her sister, new job, new job. Calls and [says], “How’s your new job? “I hate it.” “Why do you hate your new job?” “My boss, he’s always breathing down my throat.” (Laughter) I would hate that job, too. (Laughter)
And then there [are] the extremes. Another lady said her dad had a spot, spot on his hand; called her mom. “Hey, how’s dad’s spot?” She goes, “Oh, I don’t think it’s anything, but made him a doctor’s appointment next week anyway. I’m gonna go and him get an autopsy.” (Laughter) Not very optimistic there, are we? (Laughter)
But I love that about my wife and I need my wife. I not only love her, I need her ‘cause we have children. (Laughter) I can tell you this. My least favorite phrase as a dad, “I might have.” I might have. Last February, it was cold last February. I’m driving my sons to school when I hear out of the backseat, “Uh-oh!” (Laughter) “What do you mean, uh-oh?” “Uh … I might have forgot[ten] somethin’.” (Laughter) “You might have forgotten somethin’.”
Now I want to just take a little poll here. Someone on this side of the room here, February, driving to school, he might have forgotten what?
Kenn: Coat, very good, very good. Backpack, very good. I thought of those, as well. That wasn’t it, but those are good guesses. Someone over here, just “I might have forgotten …?”
Kenn: Who said “shoes?” (Laughter) Do you know my son? (Laughter) He said, “I might have forgotten my shoes.” (Laughter) I said, “Well, look on your feet! (Laughter) Do you see shoes on your feet?” “No, sir.” (Laughter) At what point do you walk outside (Laughter) across a cold concrete floor and not have the thought, “There’s nothing on my feet?” (Laughter) Amazing.
And it didn’t stop there. It’s just ongoing. A week later my wife told my kids, “Grab your shoes and get in the car; we’re going to eat dinner out tonight.” My son’s in the living room. (Laughter) I said, “Did you hear your mother?” “Yes, sir.” “Go get your shoes.” “I don’t know where they are.” (Laughter) “I ask you, where’s the last place you put them?” He did not say anything, but the look on his face was like, well, Yoda, (Laughter) if I knew that, I would go get them. (Laughter)
I have a college education and I am sucked into this conversation. (Laughter and Applause) I ask the dumbest question known to man. I said, “Where is the last place you remember having them?” “On my feet.” (Laughter) Amazing, amazing.
But I absolutely love him. He’s a great student, great little athlete, good kid and out of nowhere he’ll just come up with somethin’. About a month and a half ago he’s like, “Dad, are you goin’ on in tour in Florida at any time?” I’m like, “Yeah, I go there a few times a year.” “If you go to Orlando, can I go?” I’m like, “Sure, man. You can go.” I said, “Why do you want to go to Orlando?” “I want to go to Sea World.” (Laughter) “Like Dude, you really didn’t like Sea World as a kid.” He goes, “I know; I just want to walk around and see people’s reaction.” (Laughter) I said, “What do you mean their reaction?” And he goes, “I’m takin’ a fishin’ pole.” (Laughter and Applause)
And there’s somethin’ about life that don’t get distracted by all the stuff out there. What is really important? And those thoughts go through my mind. What’s really important? And I learn this through my kids a lot. God shows me this through my children.
About a year later they were in bed one night. My boys shared a room and we lived downstairs and their room was upstairs. And in the middle of the night, 3 in the morning I hear, “Daddy! Daddy!!” (Laughter) “Dad!” I thought he was sick. I run up the stairs. I walk in. He is standing on his bed, standing on his bed like a superhero. “Daddy! Daddy!” (Laughter)
And I said, “Dude, what are you doing?” And he went, “Daddy!” And like he’d been rehearsin’ this or somethin’. (Laughter) Three in the morning, he goes, “ Daddy, my want a chocolate milk now please.” (Laughter and Applause) (Laughing) “What?” I said, “Dude, it’s night-night time.” And he looked at me like, “Maybe he didn’t hear this right.” “I’m standing up. I should get on my knees.” He drops to his knees: “Daddy, my want chocolate milk now please.” (Laughter) “Like dude, it’s night-night time.” I said, “You gotta go to bed.” And he looks at me and the look on his face is like, “What part of this do you not get?” (Laughter) “I’m sayin’ all the right words.”
And I lay him down. He’s like, “Daddy, my want chocolate milk please.” And I was like, “Dude, I will give you all the chocolate milk you want in the morning, but right now it’s night-night time.” And he put his head on the pillow and he turned up and he went, “Chocolate milk, please.” (Laughter) I said, “No, buddy, it’s night-night time.” And he rolled over. He just went, “Okay, daddy” (Laughter) and he went to sleep.
And as I walked down the steps, it was one of those moments. Now God has never spoken to me audibly. Never heard that, but it was between conscious, unconscious, that part of the soul where you’re just like, “I know this is something more than me.” And … and God just whispered, “Ken, that’s the way I want you to be. I want you to ask for anything and just know that I’m only gonna give you what’s best when it’s best.” Now just like I literally stopped on the stairs that night and just went, “Whoa! Wow!”
John: Kenn Kington on “Focus on the Family” and I just wanted to let you know that you can get a DVD of this presentation from Kenn with extra content for a gift of any amount when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY; 800-232-6459 or donate and request that DVD at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio. All right, more from Kenn Kington’s Wow Moments DVD on “Focus on the Family.”
End of Program Note
Kenn: And I gotta tell you though, I’m stunned he made it. I really am, ‘cause he’s got an older brother, 11 months older and he made it through some tough times, because my older son—I’ll never forget this– my oldest son was probably just about 2, so he was just about 10, 11 months and you remember those little bouncy seats; you put the baby into the bouncy seat.
Cody was in one of those and it got really quiet. When you have babies, quiet is not good. (Laughter) I walked around the corner. There’s my oldest son, straddled over the bouncy seat with a bag of Cheese Puffs. (Laughter), stuffing them into Cody’s mouth. He’s got like 10 cheese puffs. Aargh! Aargh! (Laughter) And he’s puttin’ one in and he goes, (Sound of bruung, brunng, bruung) (Laughter) Poor kid’s goin’, (Sound of hiahh, hiahh, hiahh) (Laughter) I ran over. I was like, “Graham, Graham stop.” He goes, “He like[s] it!” (Laughter) Wow.
And I don’t know if you have children that are close in age and it’s normal they don’t get along all the time. And we have a very simple discipline, like if you can’t get along, you sit on the steps, sit on the steps, a fate worse than death. (Laughter) Sit on the steps.
And they would just say, “Oh!” Man in five minutes seems like an eternity to a 5-year-old. I was walkin’ down the hall one day and out of the room where they shared, I hear this major thud, this (Sound of Pffm!}. I’m like, “that can’t be good.” (Laughter) So I start walking down the hall to investigate and it was right before I get to the doorway I hear my second son sniffling and my older son going, “I didn’t mean to, man. I didn’t mean to, man.” (Laughter) But he said, “We don’t want to sit on the steps, man. We don’t want to sit on the steps.” (Laughter)
And I hear Cody’s like, “I know, man, just give me a minute; just give me a minute.” (Laughter) And the older one is cheering him on. He’s like, “Take the pain, man. Take the pain.” (Laughter) Where do you hear that when you’re 6-years-old? Wow.
I’m surprised they survived; I really am. And then I remember we were reading these books when they were born, read the books; put ‘em on a schedule. We did that. That worked great. We’re readin’. It said, let them make choices. Let them make choices early and often and let them find out through failure and learn through failure. Let them make choices. When the earlier they are, make the choices obvious.
Four-years-old, my oldest son, he came in. He was exhausted one night. “It’s time for bed.” “I’m not tired. I’m not tired.” “Like you’re tired.” And I thought, great part for a choice. I said, “Now,” I said, you have a choice. Would you like to put on your pajamas and brush your teeth and go to bed or would you like a spanking?” (Laughter) He sat there. He was like, “Oh, I’ll get my ‘jamas’ and I’m goin’ to bed.” (Laughter) Like, “That’s a great choice.” (Laughter) “That is the choice I would’ve made.” (Laughter) “Good choice.”
If you have children, you know they’re different. Eleven months later, my second son, he turns 4 and at night he’s exhausted. He’s staggering he’s so tired. It was like, “Time for bed.” “I’m tired. I want to stay up. I’m not tired.” Like, “You’re tired.” “I don’t want to go to bed.” And I was like, “Okay, you have a choice. Do you want to brush your teeth, put on your jamas and go to bed or do you want a spanking?” And he stood there (Laughter) like three minutes. I’m like, “Did you hear me?” He goes, “After the spanking, can I stay up?” (Laughter and Applause)
Five years later we have a little girl. How many of you have little girls? Wow! They are different. (Laughter) She hits 4. She’s on the verge of tears, she’s so quiet. She’s tired. She goes, “I want to stay [up.” I’m like, “You’re tired; you need to go to bed. It’s past your bedtime.” “I don’t want to go to bed. I don’t want to go to bed.” “Well, you’re tired. You need to go to bed.” “I don’t want to go to bed.” “Okay, you have a choice. Do you want to put on your pajamas and brush your teeth and go to bed or do you want a spanking?” She put her finger in my face. “No!” (Laughter and Applause and Cheers) “I don’t think that’s one of the choices.” (Laughter) Wow.
And I love spontaneity. My wife is so spontaneous. I’ve learned a lot about spontaneity. I tell her, “I can be spontaneous, just let me know 24 hours in advance.” (Laughter) “Let me plan for it.”
My sons were young, this first sporting event ever was gonna be soccer and they were gonna play their first soccer game and I was not gonna miss it. I had a show in Los Angeles, walked out of the show. Got into the car. Went to the LAX. Got in LAX, flew all night, got landed, drove straight home. Got out of my car, into the minivan, (Sound of schew), straight to the soccer field.
Made it with three minutes to spare. I literally [said], “God, thank You; thank You so much that I got to their game.” I said, “Are you guys ready for soccer?” And they’re like, “Yea!” I said, “Let’s go.” And then Heather, my wife she goes, “Well, wait just a minute. I need to tell you something.” I’m like, “Oh, can you tell me on the sideline, ‘cause they gotta go. They’re gonna be late.” She goes, “No, I need to tell you before we go out.”
I was, “It can’t wait?” She goes, “No, gotta tell you this real quick.” I said, “Well, make it fast, ‘cause they’re gonna be late.” She goes, “Okay, they might think that you are the coach.” (Laughter) “Why on earth would they think I’m the coach? I’ve never played soccer a day in my life.” And I said, “I’ve never met these people.” “I might have signed you up.” (Laughter) Wow! “That would be an important detail. (Laughter)
And then there [are] details, different details. I love this. You get a time where you’re feelin’ bad about yourself. Bein’ a little down, a little depressed, thinkin’, “I need some entertainment, but I ain’t got no money.” I tell you what to do. You go to Walmart. (Laughter) Yes! (Applause) There’s always after midnight, there is always one family with little kids, walkin’ around Walmart at 2 in the morning. (Laughter) And the mom’s got her halter top on, just yellin’ at the kids, “Why are you so grumpy? What’s wrong with you?” (Laughter) “So grumpy, you better straighten up. Why are you so grumpy?” I’m livin’ for the day that one of those little kids just goes, “My parents are idiots.” (Laughter) “I got a mullet, an earring and a tattoo and I’m only 4.” (Laughter and Applause)
There are moments; there are just those moments in life, and I tell ya, I love those moments. When the boys were small we took them to Disney World. And I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this or not, but they have Breakfast with the Character; have you seen that? It’s where you pay, like 40-bucks for cold eggs (Laughter), and you’re sitting there eating, wondering why you paid 40-bucks for cold eggs, and then these big furry people walk out and it’s awesome, it’s like “Oh!” They were awesome.
Last day we were there, we decided we want a memento, a memory and we took ‘em to Downtown Disney; took ‘em to a souvenir shop. They had this wall, huge wall of stuffed animals and they’re just going, oh. I said, “You can get one of anything.” My oldest son went into shopper’s trauma. “I want this; no, I want this. Oh, I want this. Oh!” They’re like eight of ‘em goin’, “Oh!” (Laughter) I watched him freak out and then I watched Cody. Cody was right down here to my right. I’m watchin’ Graham do spinning drills and Cody’s standing right there.
Now Disney makes most of their stuffed animals gender neutral. They make a few that are masculine in nature. To my knowledge they only made one that is feminine in nature and that is Duchess, the Cat. (Laughter) My rough and tumble Cody is standing here holding Duchess. (Laughter) I said, “What are you doin’ there, buddy.” “I want the kitty.” (Laughter) I said, “You want the kitty.” And he goes, “I want the kitty.” I’m like, “What! Tigger’s a cat, (Sound of Brrn, brrn); you’d love Tigger.” “No, I want the kitty.” “The Lion King, you love Lion King, (Sound of Rrr)” and he’s like, “I want the kitty.” Every time I made a suggestion, it got closer and tighter.
And he held on for dear life. I’m like, “Oh, that’s your choice.” He loved this cat. He kept this cat for years. And he never wavered. He loved this cat. I’m like, “Okay, you got the kitty, all right.” And I’ll never forget; we came home. Two weeks later I went in to tuck him in to bed and I always loved to pray over my kids when they’re little. I always pray and I touch different parts. I would just pray. I’m like, “God, give ‘em wisdom beyond their days” and I’d touch their head. “Give ‘em a heart of compassion. Give ‘em arms that reach out to others. Give ‘em legs that walk in the truth. But Lord, please, please most of all, Lord, give ‘em joy!” And I would just tickle ‘em till they cannot breathe.
And when they couldn’t handle it anymore, they would go, “My joy tank’s full; my joy tank’s full.” (Laughter) And I would go, “Lord, thank You for giving them joy.” And I walked in and said, “Cody, it’s time for bed.” And he was kneeling on his bed and I walked in and he’s got his back to the door. I said, “Buddy, hop into bed; time for bed.” He goes, “Daddy, come here.” And I walked around. There’s Duchess laying on his bed with his little green blanket over her and he goes, “Daddy, watch.” And he leaned over and he goes, “I pray the head and the heart and the legs, joy, joy, joy, joy, joy, joy.” (Laughter) And he said, “Look, Daddy; I’m the daddy.”
Kenn: I said, “You can keep the cat.” (Laughter and Applause) Ah, it’s just all … (Applause) yes. (Applause and Cheers)
John: Whata priceless memory from Kenn Kington and this is “Focus on the Family” with Jim Daly.
Jim: John, this has been fun today, but Kenn really made an important point there with that story about his son, Cody, praying for a stuff animal. Children mimic us. We may not notice us, but Cody is a great example. He was copying the prayer that he’d heard his dad say over in the bedtime, probably not the first time. And I think that’s a great reminder for us as parents. Your children are watching. They’re gonna grow up to be pretty much like you. Scary, isn’t it, John?
John: It is scary and I think they get a little startled when they realize how much they are like us and you know, the thought is overwhelming sometimes that they’re gonna be like me. And sometimes we think we’re not modeling well, but Kenn has given us a great first step and that is, pray with and pray for your children. Give them that demonstration of how we can approach our heavenly Father and how we can praise Him and share our feelings with Him and admit when we’re wrong and then ask for what we need.
Jim: That’s a good point and we’ll post some of those helpful articles about prayer on our website.In the meantime, let meremind you that we need your support here at Focus on the Family. We’re a non-profit organization and we, simply put, we rely on your help. And when you give today, I’d love to send you a copy of this message from Kenn on DVD, so that you can not only hear him, but see how funny he is visually. That DVD will have over an hour of content for you to enjoy and we’ll send that out to you for a donation of any amount. Simply get in touch with us today.
John: You can do so by calling 800-232-6459; 800-A-FAMILY or donate online and request Wow Moments, the DVD from Kenn Kington at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio.
Next time, be sure to tune in as we celebrate the founding of this nation with Eric Metaxas.
Mr. Eric Metaxas: America is an experiment in ordered liberty. America is an idea. We’re not an ethnic group.
End of Excerpt
John: I’m John Fuller and on behalf of Focus president, Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for listening. Join us again next time, as we once again, help you and your family thrive in Christ.