"You will be a better mom because you are a theologian, and a better theologian because you are a mom."

Is it true? In this blog, I explore the interplay and intersection of motherhood and theologianhood.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Maia the Baptist

I mentioned in two previous posts that my daughter had become really interested in baptizing. This interest has in no way receded recently.

When I was recently looking for footage of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I's visit to Rome on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, I came across a youtube clip of Benedict XVI baptizing an infant. The clip is maybe a couple minutes long, but the part with the baby being baptized is only a few seconds. Maia wanted to watch those few seconds over and over when we first found the clip, and now she requests it daily. She'll interrupt my computer work and plead, "Maia want to see pope baptizing baby!" Sometimes I indulge her.

Meanwhile, she's continued to "baptize" her toys. Recently she and I were visiting my husband's aunt (and family). They gave her a new baby doll, and, first chance she got (i.e. while I was using the bathroom), she turned on the bath faucet and doused the doll. It took two hours of hot sunlight to get her dry again. I was a little afraid that the Weiss family would be offended that she had soaked her new toy and I wasn't sure what their reaction would be (given that they are Jewish) if she explained why she had doused the doll. To my relief, they found the idea of her baptizing her new doll to be quite funny.

Even more hilarious did they find Maia's claim that Grandpa Jay (her Jewish grandfather) had baptized her. I corrected her, "No, Grandpa Jay was rinsing the sunblock out of your eye." But she continued then and continues now to insist that what he was really doing was baptizing her. This is odd because she knows that Fr. Satish baptized her, and I've told her numerous times that for Catholics, baptism is a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

The latter part of that she certainly doesn't get. Today at the Wilson Center fountain (on the campus of Princeton University), she used a purple sandtoy to pour water over my head and "baptize" me. The good news is that Maia now has the Trinitarian formula down perfectly. The bad news is this increases the chance that she will accidentally (or, I guess, purposely) baptize some stranger's kid in the pool. In fact, that's why I let her pour water on my otherwise dry head. I figure, better she pretends to baptize me than one of the kids... or even worse, one of the dead bugs floating in the water!

Will Maia's obsession with baptism ever end? I hope not! At least, not before the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord... that's when we're planning to have our next child baptized!

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