Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Wormlands

In general, I make it a point to not force my political views on my children, though I recognize that some of the things I say, read, and write will rub off on them. Hopefully the most important lesson they learn from me is how to think critically and for themselves.

But this morning, I had a moment of doubt--just a moment--about this hope because of something my four-year-old said.

She had found a bit of curled up ribbon--two inches long or so--and had decided that it was her new pet, Wormy. She introduced Wormy to her brother and sister, played with "him," then--since it was almost time for school--found an empty puzzle box and christened it as "Wormy's home." The box received a place of honor in  her meticulously ordered room and we headed off to school. All good stuff, good make-believe, right?

But on the way to school, she feigned worry, telling me that she had forgot to warn Wormy not to go to "the Wormlands" (a name taken from--I believe--the Outlands in Disney's The Lion King). The ensuing conversation:

"Wormy needs to stay away from the Wormlands," she said "because that's where all the bad worms are."

"Oh. Okay sweetie, when I get home I'll tell Wormy for you. Is that okay?"

"Okay. The bad worms, they're in the Wormlands, so it's very important that Wormy doesn't go there."

"Right. Don't worry, I'll tell him."

"But dad, do you know where the Wormlands are?"


"They're in Washington, DC."

Washington, DC. Where the Wormlands are, the place with all the bad worms. Yep, that's my daughter...

Cheers, all.

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