If one does not believe in God, one should probably think twice before sending one’s children to a synagogue preschool.  Yes, they will learn all the cultural shit about Purim and Passover and Shabbat.

            They will also come home talking about God.  A lot.

            The scene is bathtime.  All three slippery little people are in the tub.  Benjamin spies a speck of dust on the wall.

            “Mommy, what that?”


            “That black thing.”

            Mommy inspects, sees nothing.  “What black thing?”

            “That black thing.  That Lilah’s gina?”

            “Um, no sweetie.  Lilah’s v@gina is on her body.  It is where your p-nis is on you.”  I find it amazing, by the way, that he hasn’t brought this matter up before, as he’s been bathing with a baby girl for seven months.

            “Why, Mommy?” Ben wants to know.

            “What does Lilah have a v@gina?”

            “Yep,” he nods conclusively.

            “I know!” Zach pipes up.  This could prove very interesting; there is a damned good chance I am about to hear about X and Y chromosomes from a preschooler.  I wait.  “Girls have v@ginas and boys have p-nises,” he explains to his brother, “because God decided to build them that way.”

            Now, what the fuck?  We don’t talk about God in the house, mostly because we subscribe to the whole lotta hooey school of religion.  (And don’t go getting offended.  I don’t think other people are dumb for believing it, just like I don’t think other people are dumb for liking blue cheese.  It’s just not in my life.)  I guess the preschool talks about God, but I am pretty sure they did not explain human genitalia theologically.

            But, my curiosity has been aroused.  He’s been bringing up God a lot in conversation as an explanation for things, and I want to know exactly what he thinks he is talking about.  “Zach, who is God?”

            “He’s someone who lived in Egypt.  A long, long time ago.”

            So, there you have it, folks.  A long, long time ago in Egypt, a guy named God decided to give little girls v@ginas and little boys p-nises.

26 responses to “Theology

  1. As a lapsed Roman Catholic I stick to the “mrs. do as you would be done by,’ school of theology. His version certainly works for me!

  2. I for one am glad to have these big questions answered. Thanks Zach, and synagogue preschool! 😉

  3. We are not religious folk, and the child doesn’t go to a religious school, and she still offers up God an answer to things. It astounds me.

  4. It kills me that Benjamin thought that random speck of dust was Lilah’s v@gina. Kids are so amazingly random and weird. I love it.

  5. One might think twice before Baptizing a three-year-old who has rarely been to church, also. Then one might avoid the spectacle of said three-year-old whipping down his trousers to show his godfather his new big-boy underwear in the middle of the chapel. And after all that, we went with public school.

  6. 🙂 I guess they might have needed those out in the desert.

  7. Cute! That works for now I’d say.

  8. See if he knows who’s responsible for the whole PMS debacle, would you?

  9. Margaret Diehl

    I like the idea of God as someone who lived a long time ago in Egypt. Is he dead yet? Maybe you’ll find out on a later occasion. I think it’s normal for kids to talk about God. They can’t help hearing about from someone, and it is, after all, a fascinating idea, especially if you don’t know the damage it’s wrought. They believe in Santa Claus and Mommy, so why not God?

  10. Margaret Diehl

    Ok, maybe not Santa Claus in your household, but still world is full of mysterious beings when you’re a kid.

  11. mmm hmmm….G and I were talking about this same sort of thing just yesterday….he’s convinced Monkey will become some hard-core evangelical just to balance out my decidedly atheist view of God. eh, time will tell. But if she busted out with that gem of, “God decided to build them that way”…well….I’m sure my eye would start twitching as I decided how to handle that. I think there’s a fine line between allowing children the space to learn and think for themselves and deferring to someone else’s influence over your child (whether it’s a school, friends or family)….

  12. yeah, the problem is that, because he’s at a religious preschool, i do want to respect their rules. i don’t want my kid to bust in saying, “my mom says you are full of shit.”

  13. Ben is at a public school and yet I hear things like “God made me eat carrots because my mom is mean.” I never know how to respond.

  14. That is so funny. My friends’ kids used to talk about Moses and Miriam as God’s friends around that age. My kids have not gone to religious school, but some questions have come up. In response to my saying that God is love and Light and everything is God, they went through a stage of great hilarity: Mommy, is the lamp God? Yes. Hahahaha. Mommy is the ceiling God? Yes. Hahahaha. Btw, the actual term for the external female parts that are observable is v*lva. The v@gina is the internal channel. The place where babies come out and tampons go in. Now, I could tell you the story of when my kids were your kids age and they slid down the slide in the playground while requiring me to pretend to be in labour…

  15. I do know the proper terminology, but the entire area is the v-ginal area, and I don’t think we’re quite ready to use their sister as a model for a biology lesson 🙂

  16. Why are we using the little symbols?

  17. so that no sicko googles those words along with stuff about kids and gets his jollies reading a story about my kids.

  18. and a few centuries later a guy in germany decided that women were jealous of the penis’ (peni?)

  19. If it were all up to me, I would let my children find out on their own what to think about any form of religion (or absence of it). Enter their father, a lifelong, church-going Methodist, who does believe they should go to church. So I take them to Sunday school, and explain biology without referring to any god or creationism or any of that hooey. Imagine that.

  20. what? sounds totally logical to me….

  21. God, heaven, death, sex and swear words – the absolutely intransigent parts of culture, I figure, if you listen to the earliest preoccupations of growing minds!

  22. When my kids were at the synagogue pre school they came home talking about HaShem. That was a bit of a shocker.

  23. Lovely…and yeah, you may want to prepare for quite a few more preschool zingers if they continue there. My daughter patiently explained to me the other day that Jesus sends the tornadoes. Here’s wondering how THAT one got through…

  24. My little girl is just starting to get to where she can tell me her little thoughts on more complex things, and I just don’t know where she gets some of this stuff. And really it doesn’t make any less sense, the children’s understandings of religious tenets, than the grown-ups’.

  25. It’s hard to talk of theology and god. It seems like we’re talking about air…just can’t grab it. So, we ‘d rather avoid, minimize, or trivialize the topic.

    Funny, then, that so many really, really, really smart people believe that god is here and everywhere. Is there no chance they are right? Could we be missing something in the chaos of our lives?

    Maybe glibness on this topic should be restrained, just in case.