We talk about religion quite a lot. Luca loves church buildings and mosques, Sonny is fascinated by the Hindu temple we occasionally drive past.
Despite being an Aetheist I like to think I treat all religions equally and with the respect they deserve. OK, so likening God to the Wise Old Elf wasn't one of my better ideas, and I'll admit to being more than just a tad nervous about our next wedding invitation, but generally speaking I think I've handled it quite well.
I took responsibility for the Christian biggies like Christmas and Easter, while those I'm less well versed in have been more than adequately covered by Nursery and my teaching assistant Miss Google.
Like most subjects, when faced by the ignorance of a toddler, I speak with the enthusiasm of Brian Cox, and with a level of confidence that borders on cockiness.
And that remained true until a couple of weeks ago. You see, in the comfort of the house or car, and without an audience, I am the all knowing. The boys believe my every word. If anything it's a little too easy.
Then, two weeks ago, I entered a lift with the delusion of being a religious scholar, and left a broken man.
Here follows the transcript of what broke me....
Sonny: "Why is that man hiding?"
Me: "He's not hiding, and it's a lady"
Luca: "I can see you!"
Sonny: "Is he playing hide and seek?"
Me: "SHE is not playing hide and seek, you're being really rude, now quiet please."
Sonny: "Is he wearing a costume?"
Luca: "Like Batman?"
Me: "No. It's not a man, and SHE is not wearing a costume. Shush please, we'll discuss this later."
(C'mon now, why is this lift stopping, no one is getting in!)
Luca: "Is she a Power Ranger?"
Sonny: "Is it Emily?"
Me: "I'm really sorry! No she's not a Power Ranger, she's wearing something called a Burkha, now be quiet PLEASE!"
(Seriously, why is this lift stopping on every floor?)
Luca: "What's a Burkha?"
Me: "It's something people wear."
Sonny: "Can I have a Burkha?"
Luca: "I want a Burkha too!'
Me: "You're not having a Burkha. You're not a girl, or a Muslim."
Luca: "Do you want a Burkha, Sonny? I want a Burkha. Daddy, can I have a Burkha?"
Me: "No one is having a Burkha, now quiet! PLEASE!"
Sonny: "Burkha's are silly. What's a Muslim?"
(Who the hell is pressing the buttons? Every damn floor?)
Me: "We'll talk about this later. I'm so sorry!"
Luca: "I want to be a Muslim"
Me: "It doesn't work like that."
Sonny: "What's a Muslim?"
Me: "Someone who believes in God. "
Luca: "Granny likes God!"
Sonny: "Is Granny a Muslim?"
Me: "No ... do you know what, yes, yes she is!"
Sonny: "The Wise Old Elf's a Muslim."
Me: "No he's not."
Sonny: "But you said he was!"
Me: "No I didn't. Right, out of the lift boys!"
Sonny: "This isn't our floor. You said we were going to the 1st floor!"
Me: "OUT! NOW!"
The whole episode has left me with a phobia of lifts. Actually, that's not strictly true. A phobia is an irrational fear and my fear is anything but irrational!
Mark is a stay at home dad to two toddlers, Sonny and Luca. This is a blog of our adventures.
Blogs at: Sonny and Luca