Inquisitive children …
RHODES, Greece- It’s Saturday morning and my wife is asking if I want to go out and do something. I act like I don’t hear her. I don’t want to think about that. I have too much work to do … but I feel obliged — my wife can’t drive a standard transmission car and, for some reason, there are no automatic vehicles on Rhodes — and plus I want to go out and do something. The sun was shinning and sitting at my desk — although the perfect work set up in every way — didn’t seem as appealing as doing … just about anything else.
So I was at that familiar fork between responsibility to my work and responsibility to recreate with my family.
We got in the car.
Petra wanted to go to the Rhodes archaeology museum. Why not?
“Daddy, what happened to this guy’s penis?” my older daughter asked me.
They are naked.
The penises are usually missing. How do I explain this to an inquisitive eight-year-old who now not only understands these things but also finds them … funny?
“Uhh … a long time ago somebody must have snapped it off.”
“Why would they do that?”
“I don’t know. Maybe they wanted it for something?”
“Where is it now?”
“Perhaps there’s an ancient collection of them waiting to be discovered somewhere …”
“I don’t think so. I bet they fell off and just got ground up somewhere and now just look like a normal stones.”
She’s probably right.
Rivka, my two year old, then walked behind an ancient statue of a woman, points up, and begins yelling “Butt! Butt! Butt!” while laughing manically.
While I wouldn’t necessarily call my method of parenting permissive or lassie-faire, I would rather laugh than be “cultured.”
However, I decided to try to turn this mess into an educational foray nonetheless.
Me: “Why do you think there were so many naked statues in Ancient Greece?”
Petra: “Maybe they had a different way of thinking back then and didn’t think there was anything wrong with naked people.”
Not bad. It sure beat my position that the ancient Greeks were horny mofos.
(although there is ample evidence to back up my claims…)