Syncretic Pre-Schooler Blogging

We send SteelyKid to preschool at the Jewish Community Center in Schenectady, because when we looked at day care programs back in the day, they had the one we liked best. This is a mixed blessing in a number of ways– they close for a lot of religious holidays when nothing else closes, creating some awkwardness with child care and our jobs. On the plus side, though, it’s a chance to learn about another culture, and as an extra bonus, most of what we learn is filtered through SteelyKid, making it extra cute.

For example, on the way home Friday, she was chattering quietly to herself in the back seat, and when I opened the door, announced “I was telling a story about Satsuki!”

“Satsuki from the Totoro movie?” She’s a by fan of My Neighbor Totoro, which we have on DVD.

“Yeah. She was asking a question.”

“What was the question?”

“Well, she was asking about… about… God gave the world to Abraham!”

“Really?”

“Yeah, He gave Abraham the whole world. And Jacob, too. God gave the world to Jacob, because he was a good boy.”

A little later in the evening, at the dinner table, she explained that this picture was a painting of the whole world:

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After saying several times that she wanted to give the picture to the director of the day care program, she changed her mind. “I want to give this to God,” she announced. “Where’s God’s house, Daddy?”

“God’s an incorporeal being, honey,” I said. “He doesn’t have a house.”

“So… We can put it in the mailbox,” she said, “Because corpreal beans live outside. So He could see it outside!”

(If you’re planning to leave an angry comment taking me to task for not correcting her about the nonexistence of God, do us both a favor, and don’t. You’ll save the time you would’ve spent typing, and I’ll save the time I would’ve spent deleting it. Cute kid posts are not the forum for that sort of thing.)

I sort of suspect she’s picturing God as being rather like Totoro, through the innate syncretism of the toddler worldview, where everything is all mashed together, regardless of source. The dark forest in My Neighbor Totoro is the same one that’s in Winnie the Pooh, is the same one that’s outside day care, which is also the one from some story involving a Wicked Queen (as on a previous evening, she was concerned about the Wicked Queen in the trees overlooking the parking lot. I asked her if she knew what to do when she ran into a Wicked Queen, and she said “Yeah, you go ‘ROAR!!!’ like a dinosaur, and scare her away.” So, now you know…).

Of course, we can’t have a cute-kid post without mentioning The Pip, who’s shown here with the traditional sky-bison for scale:

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Note the official football team blanket. If you want more cute baby stuff, Kate has a special video report, where you can see some of his expressions and reactions.

And that’s where things stand with the smallest residents of Chateau Steelypips.

Comments

  1. #1 Sili
    February 12, 2012

    I, too, would rather have corporeal beans.

  2. #2 JM
    February 12, 2012

    Very much appreciate the photos and anecdote.

    Corporeal beans could be Kami.

    I wonder which illusion will change first Santa Claus or —.

  3. #3 Dennis Johnson
    February 12, 2012

    I picked this up from Planet Partical Phisics,the first place I goto when I get on the computer. It has taken me from the Paris Literary Review to the Pip, what a gem. Thank you for your contributionsand some sanity.

  4. #4 reesei
    February 13, 2012

    Haven’t set up a dreamwidth account yet so can’t really comment over there, but thanks Kate for the video report!

  5. #5 Kate Nepveu
    February 13, 2012

    reesei, you’re welcome, and you can always comment as “anonymous”, that is, not logged in.

  6. #6 Michael Kelsey
    February 13, 2012

    Thank you! It’s comforting to know that my wife and I aren’t the only parents who use words like “incorporeal” with their three-year-old :-)

    Steelykid’s picture of “the whole world” is awesome — it looks just like a typical “blue marble” space photo, but using negative space for the clouds.

  7. #7 anon
    February 13, 2012

    It looks more like the universe, at a few microseconds after the Big Bang. Obviously she’s absorbed more physics than you realize.