Kathleen the Shaman

Kathleen lays on her back in the tub, her body submerged, only her face peaking above the water. She moves herself slowly back and forth, repeating the mantra “om … om.”
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She eventually sits up. “What were you doing?” I ask her. “I was practicing yoga,” she answers.
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Now, I have just covered Hinduism in my Intro Religions class, but I don’t repeat lectures at home. So I continue my inquiry: “Where did you learn about yoga?” Kathleen answers: “You know, we play that game on the Wii where you do yoga poses.” She is right. We sometimes play Wii Fit. But that game doesn’t include mantras.
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“Ok, but they don’t say ‘om’ in the game, do they?” “No,” Kathleen thinks for a minute, “but Tenderheart, on the Care Bears, does yoga on Wednesdays. He always says ‘om.'”
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Thus did I unravel the mystery of my six year old’s apparent spiritual precociousness. Good thing for her too. She is always telling me that she can’t remember what I said thirty seconds ago. If it turned out that she could remember whole past lives, she was going to have some explaining to do.

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Winning at all cost

On the way home from the store, Kathleen (6yo) spouted off every ten seconds or so about how she was progressing in her video game. With thumbs flailing, little beeps and boops sounding, she announced: “I got an extra point!” and “Wow, I made it to level 26!” and “I can’t believe it, I am about to beat the dragon!” After having to listen to Kathleen relate her triumphs all the way home, Lucy (4yo) demanded first to be able to watch Kathleen play, then to have her own turn. Inevitably, this ended with Kathleen ignoring Lucy, Lucy breaking into a full blown temper tantrum, and Jennifer and I trying to convince Kathleen that she had played enough levels and needed to share.

This was all quite normal except for the fact that there was no game and there were no levels. There wasn’t even a real “screen” on which Lucy could have watched Kathleen play. Kathleen was using a toy, plastic Disney phone that made random sounds when you push the dialing buttons. Unfortunately, none of this served to limit the sibling rivalry which Jennifer and I will have to endure for years to come.

Rock Stars

On the way home tonight, I randomly broke into song: “Toni-i-i-y-i-ght” at which point Kathleen belted out “we are young.” By the time she reached the end of the line “We’ll set the world on fire” Lucy was in the mix, at least until we reached the end of the refrain and couldn’t remember any more lines.  They have never really been into children’s music.