Toddler Propaganda

Sophie knows that if she wakes up at night and thinks it might be morning, she should look at the window in her room. If it’s dark outside her window, her job is to go back to sleep. If it’s light outside, she’s allowed to get up.

This system usually works great. Usually, it means she gets up between 6 and 7 am, pretty much when we do. But this is the week before daylight savings kicks in. This is the week when the sun rises early. This week, she has been getting up at 5 am.

“Do you know why it’s light outside my window?” Sophie asked me.

“Because the earth turns and then the sun shines on it,” I said.

“No, who makes it light out my window?” Soph asked, using the faux-teacher voice she employs when she wants to make it clear that she already knows the answer, she’s just trying to teach me.

“The sun makes it light, when it shines on the turning earth,” I repeated.

“No, WHO makes it light?”

“Are you talking about God?” I asked her. Living where we do, Sophie absorbs a lot of religious indoctrination from classmates and neighbors and occasionally her caregivers too. Her first daycare taught her to say grace before meals, before she was even 2 years old. My attempts at Unitarian Universalist vaccinations against any religious over-certainty sometimes need frequent repeating.

“No, I’m talking about who makes it light outside my window,” Sophie told me. “Who makes it light? Funshine Care-bear makes it light outside my window!”

Silly me. I was worried about religious indoctrination, but it turns out that what Sophie has been getting is commercial indoctrination instead.

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