On Baby Jesus

Howdy, friends.

If you aren’t a particularly religious person, it can be tough to answer some preschooler questions. Maybe that’s why religion was invented. I sure thought of that in December, when I had Santa to threaten with. If we were religious, I could threaten with eternal damnation and hellfire ALL year, not just no presents in December.

When I asked my mom where babies come from, she told me that “Baby Jesus plants a seed in mommy’s tummy.” I don’t really remember much more about that conversation. I have three older sisters — I’m sure they leaked more information.

So recently Jack has asked, “When I was a baby, Viv was in your tummy, right?”

“Right, buddy.”

“Did she talk in there?”

“I don’t know. Probably. She never stops talking, you know.”

Jack thinks about this for a while.

“So, when I was a baby, was I in your tummy?”


“Where was I before that?”

Hmm … this conversation is getting difficult. Who wants a cookie?

“Where was I, mom?”

“Um, nowhere. You weren’t really anywhere.”

“Was I in dad’s tummy?”

“No, you definitely were not in dad’s tummy … dear god, really, here’s a cookie!”

Thankfully, that conversation soon ended, though I think we should maybe get a book about the human body, because he’s also really interested in lungs, which are easier to talk about.

But the whole religion thing keeps coming up. Jack thinks everything is a store — the grocery store, Target, those are his life. He calls McDonald’s “the fry store.” The bank is “the money store” (I wish). His daycare is near a church, and he asked me one day what they sold. “God,” I said. “They sell God.” What can I say? I was feeling cynical.

So today he asked again about the church, and I told him Baby Jesus lives there.

“Why does he live there?”

“I don’t know, buddy, he just does.”

“What does he do there?”

“He just wants everyone to be nice to each other. Baby Jesus wants you to be a good boy.”

“If I’m not a good boy, will Baby Jesus put me in time out?”

And then I just started to laugh. Um, kind of? If you believe in hell? But that was a lot to explain at 7:45 a.m.

Happy running.

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8 Responses to On Baby Jesus

  1. Miranda Gargasz says:

    “They sell God.” Sorry. That made me giggle.

  2. johanna says:

    Everything is a “store” to Sebastian too. As in, “we have to go to the pizza store (not pizzaria, or restaurant).” But to Sebastian, churches are rocketships (spires/towers). Haven’t really seen a point of correcting him on that one…

  3. I love the “they sell God,” too! Really, it’s so true! Tunkle, our elf, didn’t even always do the trick to keep her in line. Sometimes I wish I could use guilt, shame and hell to motivate our little spawn.

    I got dragged back to church by Katharine after we moved. I wanted to take a little vacation. For some reason, they (the little ones) are really into it. In fact, today she wanted to go there instead of school. Really? No, you just want to run around the sanctuary, and get fed too many cookies by the old people during the social hour.

    Someone gave me advice to always ask what they know before answering because it could be they are asking a completely different question, or you can just go about correcting the wrong info. If it helps, as women, we’re born with all the eggs we’ll ever have so I can always say, ‘you were always with me until it was time for you to be born’… which is kind of a comforting thought, at least to me.

    BTW, we thought katharine was always asking for ‘half fries’ but it turns out she thinks the term for fries is “hot fries” because we’re always saying, “o.k., Katharine, these are hot fries…”

  4. tracey says:

    Ezra’s preschool was IN a basement of a church and we would have to go to the church to “visit” baby Jesus. And Ezra knew the church as baby Jesus’ house. He one-day commented that baby Jesus sure is rich! He has a lot of really big houses all over the place. And soon we were visiting other churches in the state because he wanted to see all of his houses! So happy church visiting jack and Jackie 🙂

  5. Allez says:

    That’s hilarious! I’m totally calling you in 3-4 years when I have this same conversation.

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