Alice has now got Lego, some of which she has inherited from my own childhood stash. Proper Lego, not Duplo. I am anticipating some painful barefoot moments in the months to come.
A: “Daddy, can you help me build something?”
Of course. What are you building?
A: “One of those things Jesus sits on”.
Er… a chair? A donkey? I don’t think I can make a Lego donkey.
A: [exasperated, as though I’m thick] “Noooo Daddy! One of those things that Jesus sits on at Easter!”
Well, he must’ve had a chair at the Last Supp… oh, you mean a crucifix!
A: …*Blank look*
A cross. Like this… [draws a crucifix on a piece of paper]
A: “Yes Daddy, one of those.”
Well, Jesus didn’t exactly sit on a cross.
A: “Was it his spaceship?”
Noooooo… well, sort of… but no. Do you want me to tell you what a crucifix really was?
Well, prisoners used to be made to lie down on them, and their arms went out like this… and then, the soldiers would NAIL THEIR WRISTS to the cross… [shocked expression from Alice] the legs would hang down there… and then the soldiers would SMASH THE PRISONER’S LEGS WITH HAMMERS TO BREAK ALL THE BONES and NAIL THEIR ANKLES to the cross [hands to face, utter terror, nightmares tonight, excellent parenting Dan, well done]… and then they would’ve hung there for a long time, dying slowly and very painfully, and all the crows would come and peck out the eyes. That’s what a crucifix is. A horrible way to die.
A: “So it wasn’t Jesus’ special throne?”
Well, sort of… but no. It was an instrument of torture and death.
A: “Hmmmm. Urgh. OK. Tell you what: When people come to visit we should wave crucifixes at them!”
Actually, that would put quite a lot of people off visiting us. It’s a bit difficult to explain why.
A: “Why? Because we like Jesus!”
Er… well, actually… this is something we should talk about another time… but Mummy and I don’t really…
A: “Daddy, I believe in Jesus”.
Do you? OK. Why?
A: “Because I saw it in a puppet show in school. If something’s in a puppet show, then it must be true”.
A: [looking out of the window] “Daddy, I should tell you: I’m very cool.”