This is the post where you start to hate me (more).
Daisy has been watching a new reality show called Kid Nation. (See, some of you are hating me more already). The premise is that they've taken 40 kids ranging from 7 years old to 15 years old (roughly), stuck them in a ghost town, and let them mostly manage things for themselves. They cook and clean and do some basic commerce.
Four of the kids are on a "town council" and they're tasked with making a couple of decisions on behalf of the other kids each episode. Often this includes choosing between two rewards, one of which is usually an instant gratification (e.g. a pizza party) and something more "responsible" (like a microwave oven). The town council usually makes the "responsible" pick and the rest of the kids moan and groan.
The theme of last week's episode was religion. and then the reward choice ended up being a decision between having a 9-hole miniature golf course installed in the town and receiving a set of holy books (a few Bibles, a Torah, a Koran, etc). The town council decided to let the masses vote, and in an outcome that I assume was dictated by savvy casting directors, the kids picked the holy books.
I discussed the show afterwards with Daisy.
"So, which would you have voted for?" I asked.
"Oh, the holy books," she replied quickly.
I was horrified. MY child wanted holy books? Most parents want their kids to share their religion and I'm no different except that my religion is the absolute absence of religion. Daisy saying that she wanted a Bible is like the son of a Fundamentalist preacher telling his father that he's an atheist, and gay, and likes my blog. It's that mortifying.
Daisy saw my eyes bug out of my head.
"But, daddy, I LIKE books! I like reading!"
I shook my head in dismay.
"Oh, baby, these are not the fun books you normally read. I mean, there's some pretty interesting stuff in the Old Testament, but mostly these books are REALLY boring. He begat him who begat her who begat that guy who begat the other guy. They're filled with stuff like that."
Daisy shrugged. "I like books."
That night in bed I turned to Hank.
"Hank! Daisy said she'd choose the holy books! I mean, I know that mini golf is a pretty crappy reward, but what if she really becomes religious one day?" I whined.
"Oh, it's inevitable."
"She's a joiner. She loves to join clubs. Joining a religious is part of the natural progression." Hank stated very matter-of-factly.
I moaned my disapproval.
I dread the possibility of life with religious offspring. So, now I'm undertaking Operation No Religion. What I haven't quite figured out is what tactic to take for this effort. Do I:
A) Tell her what I really think about religion (in a sugary sweet and palatable way) ?
B) Assume that all kids do the opposite of what their parents want, and use reverse psychology?
Choice 'A' seems more reasonable, but maybe I should treat this like I just found her with a pack of cigarettes. Maybe I should make her sit down and smoke the whole pack at once. I could buy a Bible and we could have mandatory Bible study each evening, where we read or smoke a page each night, until she rejects it out of sheer boredom.
This may not be the typical parenting issue, but I can assure you that it troubles me.