Friday, October 2, 2009

Did God Make Barney?

Every night we read stories from the various children’s Bibles. Noah is one of Catherine’s favorite stories. She even has a song that Robby taught her about it, as well as a toy ark and pairs of toy animals.

While we are riding in the car, Catherine frequently asks me tons of questions. She sometimes gets in a WHY PHASE and asks tons of WHY questions. Why is the sky blue? Why are we in the car? Why are giraffe’s tall? Why are zebras black and white? Why do I have two arms? It amazes me what details she considers … things I have given absolutely no thought. I am so much more concerned with the details of my agenda and my to do list to think about the details Catherine asks me about.

I try to answer as many of Catherine’s questions as I can. Giraffes have to be tall to eat the leaves off the trees. You have two arms so you can hug your Mommy. We are n the car because it is too far to walk to your school.

But, I truly do not know the answers to all of her questions. Perhaps I should have paid attention more in school. I have no idea why the sky is blue. Catherine does not have the patience to wait for me to research the issue. She wants an answer now. So I answer “because God made it blue.”

One day Catherine had animals on her mind and asked me tons of questions about animals. Zebras are black and white because God made them that way. Frogs are green because God made them that way. After my using my default answer “because God made it that way” tons of times, Catherine asked me if God made ALL of the animals.

I was so proud of Catherine because she was demonstrating deductive reasoning skills – she had taken a collection of facts and drawn a conclusion which was reasonable and correct. Logic had ruled and my daughter was developing her critical thinking skills!!

So I answered Catherine’s question and said “Yes, God made ALL the animals.” Her next question threw me for a loop. Catherine said “So God made Barney too?”

Oops!! I had clearly forgotten that small children do not always understand the difference between real and pretend. What should I say? Both of my girls love Barney. He is probably the most important animal she knows. Should I tell her he is a man made creation that God had no part in creating? Would it crush her if I tell her he isn’t real?

As always, I only have about fifteen seconds to think of an answer to Catherine’s difficult question. So I said “God made the dinosaurs.”

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