“Tell me the story of the snake,” you’d say. You say that right after you shout, “Bible time!” Bible reading, right after Disney Junior’s Word World, is one of your favorite times of the day.
That “snake” is the one in the story of creation. When we’d start with, “In the beginning, there was nothing and there was nobody,” you’d close your eyes and squeal, “I can’t see anything, Mommy/Daddy.” You go ahead of us, complete our sentences, and eventually take over the telling. And when you’d lose steam, you’d sigh as if from the weight of your words, “Mommy/Daddy, you say it.”
Sometimes we’d tell you the story by asking questions. When you’ve had enough of the questions, you’d pinch our cheeks and say, “No, tell me. Tell me.”
Then we’d get to the snake, the one you pronounced as bad, even as we tell you that there are good snakes and there are bad snakes (just as there are good sharks and bad sharks, but you disagree, your imagination working overtime, which is why you love the beach but not the sea).
Tonight you got upset at the snake that kept tempting Eve, so you told us, “I will palo (spank) the snake.” You say this in a solemn voice full of gravitas. I told you, “No, let God be the one to take care of the snake.” You nodded, “Yes, I’ll tell God to palo the snake. He can use his slipper.”
I wonder where you get these ideas of palo.
We hardly spank you. In the few times we had to, it was to rap your hand with a ruler. You listen to reason most of the time and respond positively to a kick-kiss discipline (which is to tell you what you did wrong, why it is wrong, what its consequences are, ask you to repeat what we said, then affirm our love for you), so spanking was hardly needed. But when you saw a scary, luminous mask at the Halloween Trick or Treat, you cried and screamed for your father to pick up a hammer and palo the mask. A hammer! Your dad smiled, but I was unnerved by the violence.
I guess yours is the age when we can’t entirely shield you from what the world will feed your mind. Our accountability to you has leveled up: we need to now help you filter and process all the information you will receive.