Two-year-olds and aggravation: repetition is the key

Over the weekend I seriously considering penning a work of academic nonfiction entitled “God & Gutenberg: The Church & Copyright” until I realized that I was both nonreligious and not Larry Lessig.

My only prior knowledge of Gutenberg being downloading some eBooks from the Project that bears his name and my experience in the church was mainly centered around Methodist “Vacation Bible School” as a kid.

Thankfully for everyone, I’m not writing the book, I’m staying willfully ignorant of all the history surrounding Gutenberg (I get the Movable Type thing) and I stopped going to VBS after age 12.

What does this story have to do with two-year-olds? We both get strange ideas in our heads, apparently.

Owen (my two-year-old) got an idea stuck in his head this morning and it wouldn’t let him go. Over the weekend he injured his big toe by dragging it behind him (without his shoe on) to stop his scooter. Having already nearly ruined two pair of shoes in the same manner, he went about destroying his digits.

So after getting a band-aid this morning, the hot topic at the breakfast table was “Is my band-aid still on?”

The “conversation” went like this. Twelve times in a row.

Owen: Is my band-aid still on?
Me: Yes
Owen: Is my band-aid still on?
Me: Yes
Owen: Is my band-aid still on?
Me: Yes
Owen: Is my band-aid still on?
Me: Your band-aid is still on.
Owen: Yeah, it is!

Seriously. Twelve times.

And not Twelve verses, Twelve conversations of the exact wording and length as above.


In the process of dropping him off at daycare I warned them of his obsession which means one thing: he didn’t mention it once. Until I got there.

I love that kid. He and I both need to learn to let go though.


Echo Chamber

Did you ever wish you could turn off the voices in your head and your heart? Maybe just quiet them down a bit or convince them to discuss another topic so you can get down to the business at hand?

Yeah, me too.

I’m struggling today with an internal monologue (dialogue?) that says I should give up.

Give in.

It’s a very seductive argument full of supporting documentation of past failures, tickling links back to my own weakened, bruised and self-defeating ego (if you can have an ego this deep down). It’s not eloquent or flowery or well-spoken, but it is loud and persistent and ceaseless and right.

To break the monotony of this pity soliloquy, I’ll share an example: Owen was baptized yesterday. Stood up with him and the whole family before a “contemporary” service of folks dressed in business-*very*-casual, held him over the font and promised to do things I’ll never do. And for what?

For the approval of my parents and in-laws?
To serve some nagging need to cover all my bases in afterlife bingo?
Because that’s what parents do?

I’m certainly not religious of, heaven help me (ha!), “spiritual” though I know I’ve tried. Raised Methodist but always questioning. Read the Bible, went to Sunday School and confirmation class and every church social, potluck dinner and lock-in this side of 10am.


Yet there I was yesterday sitting in a glorified gym on an uncomfortable chair listening to a preacher who was neither a particularly skilled orator or a convincing witness for the umpteenth time. But I didn’t leave or block him out, I tried to square the circle of my own knowledge, the world as I’d seen it, the words as I’d read them and the story as he spoke it, but I couldn’t.

If there was some message I was being given it was to actively *not* believe. I searched my heart and my head and even my hands but nothing happened. And by nothing I don’t mean crickets or silence, but I do mean that I wasn’t moved or spoken to in the affirmative but in the negative.

I’m being told not to believe. Actively told.

Is it me?
Is it God?
Is it Margaret?

And should I care one way or another? Should I differentiate?

All I know is that I don’t know anything. I just want to find a truly quiet place to consider and to silence and to shield and to escape.

I don’t want commiseration.
I don’t want consolation.
I don’t want comments or feedback or constructive criticism.

I want to truly hear what I’m being told, away from my own disdain and disbelief, apart from other appeasers.

I want to know what I’m being told, what I’m telling myself and if there’s a difference.

I want to get unstuck. I want to believe.