Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Three-year-old theology (again): God, hats, and monsters

A couple of nights after our previous conversation, my three-year old son talked with me further about God and monsters – I thought I'd record it here, since several people told me they enjoyed the last post. As I was tucking Jamie into bed, he related a dream from the night before. (He always remembers his dreams, and talks about them as though they really happened – he has a lofty disregard for the conventional distinction between dreams and reality.)

Boy: Last nike [night] there were two Gods and two Jamies. God give me glasses* so there wouldn’t be two.

Dad: Um... what happened?

Boy: Glasses, I wear the glasses. And God give me a hat, so the monster won’t get me.

Dad: A monster? Was this a dream you had?

Boy: It was a BIG monster, last nike, bigger than the ceiling. He was standing in the water, with a big hat.

Dad: The monster was wearing a hat?

Boy (shudders, and whispers): No – the hat is UNDERNEATH him.

Dad: That sounds like a scary dream. Were you scared?

Boy: No, I was happy. God give me a hat, and the monster fly away. But I don't have any glasses, so there were two Gods and two Jamies.

Dad (smiling): Oh, that sounds nice!

Boy (shocked by my ignorance): No, two Gods and two Jamies: it will be VERY bad. So God give me the glasses to stop it coming true.

Dad: Well, I'm glad God helped you.

Boy: But if you shut the door tonike [tonight], then it will come true.

Dad: So you want the bedroom door open tonight?

Boy: Yes. If you shut the door, it will all come true.

Dad: But if I leave the door open, with the hallway light on...

Boy: Then there will be one God and one Jamie.

* Interpretive note. I think his association between glasses and doubleness arises from his longstanding fascination with my glasses: when he looks into my bespectacled eyes, he sees “two Jamies” reflected.

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