One thing that has concerned me in the wake of Newtown’s recent tragedy: the utter absence of the word “evil.”
On the left, we’re blaming guns.
On the right, we’re blaming the lack of prayer in schools (or something).
All around, we’re sort of vaguely blaming mental illness (which, incidentally, is still unconfirmed in this case).
I haven’t heard anyone blaming evil–at least, not in so many words.
It appears that we are now completely uncomfortable as a nation wrestling with the concept of human depravity and all its unpalatable implications.
For more–if you’re willing–try out CS Lewis on human nature, law, and punishment.
It is excellently reasoned and insightfully composed.
Also, I think he’s quite right.
I bake bread. It is stupendous. It is relaxing, and it calms me down, and it’s a way to interact with my grandmother, and I don’t care if you make fun of me for it, because it is excellent bread.
That’s the background.
So the other day, I’m at home with the kids after school on one of those days when the wife works till 9.
I’m baking away, when Ellie enters and begins hanging off my back pockets. Covered in flour, generally irritated (thus the psyche-calming bread-baking), I shooed her away. It took several tries, as I could not use my dough-covered hands.
Off she went, happily yammering and playing in the living room. (This day, it was the telephone game, in which she picks up the plastic phone, says “Hello? Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Daddy, Mommy, Jack Tyler, Macy. Bye.” It sounds sweet, unless you think about how she could be, in her baby way, ordering a hit on the other members of her family for various toddler grievances. She’s very careful to keep her end of the conversation devoid of detail, as if she’s hiding something.)
Fast-forward about 400 minutes.
It’s time for bed, when I swoop her up and put her down to change her diaper before the elaborate PJ-insertion process.
“No NO Daddy!”
“What do you need, baby?”
“No Daddy! Daddy money, Daddy money!”
“Money? What are you talking about?” I continue attempting to remove the diaper.
“NO NO NO Daddy! MONEY, Daddy, Daddy Money!”
Exasperated, I back away from the bed, hands raised in surrender.
“Show me what you’re talking about,” I say.
It is at this point that Ellie reaches down the back of her diaper–just where the butt pocket would be, if Huggies had butt pockets–and comes out…with my debit card.
That is correct. Evidently, somehow, in the kitchen-shooing episode, she removed my debit card from my wallet WITHOUT TAKING MY WALLET OUT OF MY POCKET or me realizing what she’d done. Regardless of my annoyance level, I found it frankly impressive. I’m considering taking her to a densely populated Central American metropolis soon so that she can wander the crowds of tourists and seed her college fund.
Back to the story where, because Ellie knows money goes in your pocket–and she didn’t have pockets–she did the next best thing. She shoved it down the back of her diaper.
At some point in the intervening three hours, she did what babies do in diapers.
So, I spent an evening this week disinfecting my ATM card. And, although it’s not due for a replacement till March, I went ahead and ordered one now, since I have a nervous habit of chewing on the corner of it while I’m in line.
Got a disgusting kid story?