One of my greatest joys as a mother to a toddler has been translating the world to my son, one little story at a time. At his age, 2, concerns over sleep patterns and eating habits have taken a backseat to his emotional and cognitive development. His reasoning is budding but still rudimentary, which leaves me, his guide, a liberty I haven’t known since my own childhood — to interpret the environment.
My son is too young to integrate conditionals and exceptions, so the stories I tell him about the world are remarkably simple, internally consistent and full of wonder. This process of reinventing the banal allows me to punctuate my explanations with a “wow!” — a wow my son echoes with a sincerity I have outgrown. I consider myself a student of Joseph Campbell and so I do my best to guide my son through the questions the world offers him with some dimension of myth.
Like most mothers, my behavior passes through the filter of “what’s best for my child” before it actualizes. “What’s best” takes a universal form to some degree, but it is also imbued with a personal view of what I think is crucial for children: keeping their wings from being clipped.
In the constant weighing of which action or word to choose to make this journey worth his while, I feel a strong instinct to preserve my son’s natural joy and wonder, gifts that are vulnerable to this world’s harshness. Mythology is an oft-referred to tool in this process. It allows me to encapsulate elements of life and squeeze them into a comprehensible and palatable form. In myth, concerns over what’s magical and what’s not disappear. Through myth, my daily work with my son becomes easy, enjoyable and rewarding: I myself get a ticket out of boredom and challenge, to wonder and inspiration and thus this process feeds me as much as it feeds him.
A quandary remains however — the myths at our disposal focus on the natural world. The natural world is important and it is wonderful for instance to tell an abridged version of Icarus’ story while pushing my son on the swings. The problem is that my natural world includes much more than leaves turning and seasons changing.
My natural world includes stops at the ATM, screeching subway trains and cell phones, a multitude of sounds and sights that are decidedly technological, man-made but not un-natural. Un-natural implies they are not meant to be there but are, a confusion I don’t want to burden my son with. Let us call my world the new-natural. Alone in the new-natural, I find I am at a loss for words, telling my son, “That’s just the way it is,” more often than I am comfortable with.
As our son grows up, Sean and I are super interested in finding new, fun, and more offbeat ways to help him love learning. What... Read more
In alternative circles, we shy away from many elements of the status quo, the mainstream, but, in snake-eating-its-tail manner, alternative lifestyles tend to maintain their own status quo. Natural good, technological, eh…suspicious. Consider an application to a Steiner school, a movement I sincerely support.
A question is posed to parents asks about televisions and laptops in the home. I understand the Steiner school’s concern over these devices but what happens when most of a parent’s reading is done on a computer instead of a paper book? What myth should I tell my son (or the Steiner school) to explain the magic laptops deliver and more importantly, why they sometimes fail? I entertain formulating a story involving electron-gnomes, but, unlike other myths, my electron-gnomes would not be tested and corrected over generations.
Respecting our environment has to include a recognition of its whole. Implying that all things technological are a necessary evil can cause a conflict in the psychological life of a child. There’s a need for modern fairy tales as they could ease our children into understanding the conflicts they and their parents face everyday.
How easy it would be to mythologize such wondrous processes as gravity and magnetism, yet we have not. Do we consider them sinister? Why have they not been allotted the same place in our mythological language as , say, sea monsters have?
Myths have traditionally been told to explain the environment. The reference points raised and connected by mythology are timeless Jungian archetypes. Therein lies a solution to the dearth of modern myths. We can always refer to these fixtures of man’s inner world to create a story, irrespective of what its hero or shadow wears. I suspect most parents already create their own, delightful myths that don’t leave the family circle.
For instance, when we started toilet training our child, my husband told him that a (benign) Pee monster lived in the toilet and this monster needed to be fed pee else he’d go hungry. I told my husband how wonderful that story was, as it externalized a potentially scary process for our son, the need to expel something unpleasant from his body, into a life giving process, feeding a creature that lives outside of him. My explanation earned me an eye roll but the function of the story is the same whether we elucidate on its inner mechanisms or not.
Asking the rest of the world to send me an anthology of modern myths in order to teach my son how to navigate the new-natural is a tall order (though I would love to hear other parents’ home-based myths). What I do want to point out and ask readers to question is why are there so few modern myths? Perhaps we adults have yet to integrate our own conflicted feelings towards the modern world and its manifestations and thus can’t pass on the story to our children. If that is the case, we might have some work to do.
Comments on Using myth to teach your toddler about life
Huh? I have to say, this one went tooootally over my head.
Are you saying, “Do you tell the truth to your kids, or do you make up stories to explain the world?”
I think that there’s been sort of a backlash against myths (like Santa Claus, etc) recently, am not sure why though. Perhaps because previous generations hid TOO much from their kids to the point of not even telling them the “facts of life,” etc. I did always feel robbed when I found out that the myth my parents told me was not true, but, *some* stories/myths can be cute and a fun way for little ones to learn.
Hey JB, thanks for the comment. It is very interesting because it is a topic Joseph Campbell refers to explicitly: the point of the myth is that it is not a lie – it is a metaphor, a way of reframing a truth in a sense so that it is easier to understand and manage. Personally, I am very pro myth – my POV in this blog post is that our mythology hasn’t caught up with our modern lives and is thus lacking.
I don’t necessarily think in terms of myths, but I do tell my son (20 mo) simplified explanations of things using words and concepts he’s already familiar with. So for instance, I got him to understands that flower buds, green tomatoes, and pinecones are plant babies, and they need to be left on the plant to grow up big. Which solved the problem of him picking them off to play with, and added the cute problem of him always wanting to share his milk with them.
“Why have they not been allotted the same place in our mythological language as , say, sea monsters have?”
Because we have scientific explanations for them. Sea monsters, we still aren’t sure about, and they don’t affect our existence much.
It’s hard not to be reminded of the ICP meme “Fucking magnets, how do they work?!” Yes, it is important to maintain a sense of wonder, but I don’t think that requires denying knowledge.
It’s something I thought about a lot, as a K teacher. Often, to really simplify your explanations, they must contain slight mistruths. But I was always very careful not to say anything that would later be perceived as a lie. The legit answers didn’t seem to take away from their sense of wonder at all. It’s harder with toddlers, though. They’re off to something else almost before you can begin!
It is a shame people don’t see the wonder and beauty that there is in science.
I completely agree.
I want to interject here that myth and science don’t need to be mutually exclusive, and that just as Offbeat Mama celebrates a mother finding atheism, so too can we celebrate mothers finding a place for myth and faith.
This post is categorized as “It worked for me” — there’s no suggestion that the author’s ideas will work for you. If they don’t, then that’s cool: no need to go saying “it’s a shame” that someone sees the world differently than you.
Remember: you’re not supposed to agree with everything you read on Offbeat Mama. We like to celebrate the differences, and aren’t into wasting time decrying people who make decisions we don’t agree with. Heck, *I* don’t even agree with everything on the site — AND IT’S MY WEBSITE! I see a real value in sharing a range of perspectives.
Please review the commenting policy for more perspectives on this.
I agree absolutely that myth and science are not mutually exclusive, that is one of the questions I carry with me. YOu take the myth of Demeter and Persephone, I assume that ancient Greeks had a more empirical understanding of seasoons changing and the agricultural consequences of that change yet they still framed things into myth because the myth serves more than an explanation does.
On the myth and science not being mutually exclusive front, several First Nations groups in North America have legends about giant beavers.
These stories appear to have a basis in fact, as there were at least two species of giant beavers the size of black bears living in North America during the last ice age.
Thank you, Ariel! The whole faith vs. no-faith/ myth, superstion/science convesation always gets so nasty so quickly and I really don’t understand why. I have always thought that science and religion seek to answer two very different types of questions. Science asks how things happen; faith asks why. People are free to disagree with me on this, but that is how I’ve always seen it.
I am a (as much as I hate to use the phrase) “person of faith”. If/when I have children, I want to share that with them, because it has given so much to me. I don’t see telling my children about my faith as lying to them, because I believe it is true. Maybe not literally true (like if Jesus literally ascended to Heaven he would still not be out of the galaxy), but spiritually true. That’s why I wouldn’t feel bad about telling my kids about Santa Claus either. (A) There was a bishop in Myra named Nicolas-he was generous and people remember that generosity. In fact, he has become a symbol of unconditional generosity. (B) This kind of generosity is a good thing and we should remember it and celebrate it. That’s not a lie. That’s one of the truest things I know.
I agree there is wonder in science. I also know that there are things in my life that science just doesn’t explain for me. I want my (hypothetical) chidren to have the option of either or both. And this comment is now too long so I will shut-up
As a child, my parents told me myths about many things. I have to say, I loved it! These myths made the world a magical place. The one I remember the clearest is that little gremlins in the car knew when it rained and would turn on the windshield wipers. My dad would always have me tell the gremlins to work faster slower or stop all together. It was a fun game, and it amused me during long drives. Now, my dad and I laugh about it every once in awhile on a drive.
I distinctly remember the importance of holding our breaths when our car got stuck–or ALMOST got stuck –in the snow..we ALL did it,and not one of the 4 of us remember why! We were quite certain not holding breaths led to danger, though.. 😉 I guess my point is, as 4kids all very close in age, raised with no santa stories/very little religion/no extended family, we simply made our OWN mythologies about the trees and world around us. All children do, whether they share or not
That is so interesting and something I hadn’t really thought of, that children will fill the myth vacuum if grown-ups don’t. Thanks Miss Didi!
Thank you for this post – this is something that I struggle with all the time in trying to parent my three-year-old.
On the one hand, I thought the Waldorf explanation for why it is dark at night (“Father Sun is sleeping”) was unfair to my kid. On the other hand, I was rather shocked by the lyrics of the They Might Be Giants “Science is Real” song.
I want my kid to be able to think about our world in a way that is wondrous and full. I want her to be able to observe and reason with a “scientific” mindset. And I want her to be able to sort experiences by analogy to stories, or myths.
For those super-science folks, hearing common (and not-so-common) myths is a matter of cultural literacy, if nothing else. Being able to recognize the stories that people use to organize their experiences means that your kid will be able to: (1) pick out references in song lyrics that aren’t obvious to the casual listener (fun!), (2) understand the relevance or interest of news articles (helpful, maybe lucrative!), (3) tell stories in a social or business context (fun, lucrative), (4) enjoy classic and modern literature (fun, helpful, not likely lucrative, but cheaper than antidepressants), and more.
I haven’t managed to engage in an intelligent conversation with other parents on this mythology topic (partly because I can’t get many words in edgewise with 3-year-olds around), so THANK YOU.
Adrienne, I found your comment to be extremely timely for me and my 2 1/2 year-old daughter. A few months ago, one night when the moon was new, my daughter told me that the naughty rabbit must have stolen it. A few weeks ago, I played her “Science is Real” by They Might Be Giants. She loved it! She was singing the chorus by the end and laughing hysterically.
I think the important thing to remember is the world is rarely black or white, and children need to be able to understand things on different levels, and that is why I love your 4 points. They are completely reasonable and valid. I don’t see why science and wonder can’t go hand-in-hand, or why teaching with metaphor discounts science.
Same here!!! It’s funny, both hubs and I are scientists and that is part of the reason why we are enthusiastic technophiles. We know that our child will absorb at least some scientific understanding just by growing up with us however, we know too well how barren and boring scientists (or technicians, to use Carl Sagan’s nomenclature) can be made to appear. It’s important to remember that while the inner world of Jungian archetypes has not been examined empirically, it is considered to be real by a number of professionals who are very well versed in the scientific method (notably psychiatrists).
Adrianne – you are welcome! It was a real pleasure to write about this because, like you, I haven’t really found an outlet to discuss such a topic with other parents. Like you said, we are often too busy running after our kids to discuss certain intellectual aspects of parenting and, so far, I have found that those who would be happy to discuss myth with me may not be so enthusiastic about discussing it in the toddler context, heh 🙂
My little guy is at the same developmental spot. Coming up with decent and satisfactory answers to his probing questions has been a challenge for me. I worry about my inaccuracies (and knowledge gaps) and that I might mislead him. Whenever we hit one of these points, I reflect his question back, elaborate on the process as best I can, and usually, like the author, finish up with “That’s amazing!” It had simply never occurred to me to let go of “accurate” and use myth to provide mediating explanation. It isn’t like we have all the answers anyway… I might have to give this a try.
“It isn’t like we have all the answers anyway…”
sigh, indeed, the gaps I’ve discovered in my own knowledge have been real eye-openers. Thank goodness for the internet. I now know most of my dumpers and diggers 🙂
I’m not sure if it’s exactly the same thing, but I encourage belief in talking animals, unicorns, fairies, and all that wonderful magical stuff to my six year old niece. Her home life is full of arguing parents and having to mature and understanding. I want her to believe in magic, like wishing on stars. I want her to be able to day dream and imagine beautiful mermaids in the ocean. Maybe it doesn’t explain the world exactly, but I like to think it helps make the world a more lovely place.
Hey Liset, how touching. As I understand, myth is meant to help us cope and navigate with life’s difficulties and injustices. I hope your niece catches that magical thread and that it helps her glide through life.
We do have modern myths; they’re called “urban legends”. Myths serve to teach and reflect, to a certain extent, what the originating society believes.
This post has given me much food for thought. Part of the reason why my husband and I don’t make up “modern myths” for our son is that he is a software engineer, and I am an environmental scientist. Between the two of us, we can literally answer any question a 3 year old could possibly ask about the world around him/her.
The other problem with traditional myths I have is that (especially Grimm’s Fairy Tales) are extremely misogynistic. I’m not sure I want my son to internalize that worldview before he can interpret the stories as old-fashioned tales that reflect a society as we once were.
I’m really curious about how you explain technology to your three year old. I flatter myself that I know a fair amount about computers, but I wouldn’t know where to start to explain it on a three year old’s level. Could you share an example maybe?
My husband is also a software engineer. I don’t know how he would explain programming to a child, but I know how he explained it (really effectively) to a friend of ours.
There are demons living in the computer (apparently “demon” is actually the accurate term for certain parts of programming). You craft spells (write code) in order to allow certain demons to talk to each other – or stop them from talking to each other. Over time, as the demons talk back and forth, the spell is altered by the demons and sometimes stops working entirely and has to be recast. In the case of this friend, there was something specific on his linux system that kept breaking and my husband had given him the code to enter into the terminal when it happened.
I think this is a great example of a modern myth that – when told by someone who actually knows what they’re talking about and isn’t being retold by me – actually gives a “scientifically” accurate explanation.
That is AWESOME. Like a demon game of telephone.
I just try to simplify as much as possible. Honestly, our son hasn’t asked too much about technology, but our satellite receiver is out of alignment right now, and I had to explain why he couldn’t watch a TV show. I just said that the dish on the back of the house needs to be adjusted a certain way for the TV to work. He did give me a confused look, but accepted my answer. I didn’t even go into azimuth and elevation adjustments of the dish and that the dish picked up signals sent from a satellite orbiting around Earth in space. At the pre-school stage, there is so much about science that they haven’t even been exposed to yet, so all the information I give him is cumulative, so stuff I tell him today will be understood tomorrow.
It’s interesting that a myth vs science debate has appeared; it wasn’t my intention but it is interesting nonetheless.
I disagree that urban legends are modern myths – I think the term “urban legend” has a tongue in cheek quality to it and doesn’t serve the same purpose that a “proper” myth would. Choosing to teach via myth is a personal choice, I simply find it is a nice way to steer a very young child through life and its conflicts and inconsistencies.
I would personally not want to offer an accurate “scientific” explanation to my child for the world around us at this point; when you think about science, its common language is math and I don’t think that a toddler is yet capable of integrating the wonder behind equations. I think that if we invested in mythologizing phenomena that can be explained by science as an introduction to science (as someone mentioned, leaving room to fill in the blanks as a child gets older) we might make science more attractive to children, more comprehensible and possibly have a higher rate of science graduates in a couple of decades. I think the program as spell “myth” is fantastic for instance and could captivate young imaginations far more readily than a flowchart might.
With traditional myths, I understand not loving Grimm’s fairy tales but there are many other traditional myths at our disposal, such as the native American ones, the Greek myths, the Arabian nights, Chinese myths and so on. I do respect Grimm’s fairy tales for dealing with topics that are pretty hardcore, like the loss of a parent or extreme poverty/starvation. I think they serve an important purpose still today. An important aspect of the myth is that it is not literal, the characters in a myth embody an archetype so the princess or the wicked witch or the dragon, the ogre represent entities that inhabit, presumably, our inner world.
YAY myth geeking!!! I also love the purpose of myths, the way they explain the world as stories with beginnings and ends and purpose. Because as much as I love science, science by itself does not even begin to touch the “why”. It’s great at the “how”, but I am greedy and want both “how” and “why”. (Nor SHOULD it touch the “why”! “Why is there gravity?” is not a scientific question.)
The nice thing is, though, humans are myth-makers. We have a very difficult time talking about ANYTHING without giving it a beginning and an end and a context and a purpose. This includes science. The book Ishmael by Daniel Quinn has my favorite example of how some of the things we tell ourselves are science are actually myth–check it out. Myths don’t have to conflict with science in the least.
I think anything we try to explain becomes a myth in pretty short order. I think the problem with telling myths about modern technology is that we DON’T understand how it works. It’s easy to tell the story of how a handmade chair began as a tree and ended up in your kitchen, but how the email started in my computer and ended up in your computer? Yeah, I wouldn’t know where to start.
I have to disagree that “why” is an unscientific question. It’s the most scientific question of all. It is perfectly legitimate to ask “why is there gravity?” Because celestial bodies bend space-time relative to their mass that causes smaller/less massive celestial bodies to “roll” towards the larger one (picture ball bearings on a sheet of rubber).
Scientists ask (and answer) “why” questions all the time.
Here’s my email myth:
When you hit “send” invisible email gnomes snatch up your message and fly over to your friend’s computer and stuff the message in one of the holes in the side of the computer (pick the most obvious one). When your friend opens their email program, the gnomes make the message appear on the screen! Amazing!! 😀
My son is only 6 weeks old so I don’t think I’m quite there yet…still working on eye contact! I did really enjoy this post though.
One of the best books I read as an undergrad was Bruno Bettelheim’s Uses of Enchantment. It’s been a while so forgive my simplification. Basically, he argues that fairy tales/myths are incredibly important to child development BECAUSE they allow the child to internalize the world in a way that makes sense to them at that time. For instance, my husband has a huge problem with Disney movies because the main characters are ALWAYS orphans. While from an adult perspective it seems damaging to bombard our kids with stories about losing their parents, from a psychological standpoint it allows the child to vicariously experience something that WILL be actualized in their own lives, if (most often) to a FAR lesser degree: the eventual increase in independence from their parents. Myths and fairy tales are also a universal constant. Every culture has stories they tell to explain the world.
Anyways, very interesting, thought-provoking post. Thanks.
Thanks for this, I hadn’t heard of Bruno Bettelheim before. Thanks so much for your comment and for vibing on the post! 🙂
Gremlins! I would strongly recommend looking into the Gremlin mythology if you’re looking for established myths about technology. The truth is a lot of “house elf” myths would probably convert pretty well, too. You know, myths about Brownies and the like. Also, go read Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. Not exactly light and happy, but definitely full of modern mythos.
And I’m sure we aren’t the only family who believed a monster lived in our dryer and stole one sock out of every pair.
I love Neil Gaiman! If you haven’t read “The Graveyard Book,” you should read it right now.
Lolers, yes gnomes do cover a wide range of questions in our house too. Thanks for the tip on Neil Gaiman. One thing I had to omit from the post is the fact that some people have addressed the problem I am referring to in various cyber novels however, I sense (perhaps wrongly) that that movement has fizzled out.
Maybe one of the reasons we don’t have many/ any established socially accepted mythos regarding the “new natural” is because it is so new. A lot of this cool stuff (ATMs, cell phones, the internet) has become widespread within the last generation. Myth typically deals with events outside the realm of living memory, usually in the distant past, that explain features of the present cultural and physical environment. Some aspects of modern life (say the first game of baseball, the founding of the United States, or the “Wild West”) have become mythologized as people are increasingly removed from the event. We’re still within the generation that recalls the advent of the new-natural, so it’s up to us to shape the myths our descendants will tell about why we need to have an ATM every five feet.
As far as lending modern technology a sense of wonder and painting it with the same brush as myth and legend from the past, I’ve come across some great modern storytellers playing with exactly that idea. Neil Gaimen has already been mentioned in the comments, but I’m a big fan of the Doctor Who TV series for the same reason.
You are probably right, these phenomena likely are too new and there’s also the possibility that things around us change so fast that even if we did come up with a compendium of myths describing our new-natural 😉 they would be irrelevant by the time our children reached adulthood. That said, there are other areas besides the technological that are hallmarks of modern life and that haven’t acquired a mythology, such as our governing systems (who is the benign king in our world?), modern warfare, aspects of our lives that generate uneasy questions…
When I was a child, my pldr siblings had grown and moved away so I was close to being an only child and both my parents worked so I had a lot of alone time with my imagination. I ieced together te world from things that I watched. For me; clocks works becuase there was a person inside them that made them run (too much Beaty and the Beast) that was the same with ovens and toasters. I thought that an ATM was a magic robot that would make money appear when you pushed certain numbers but every once in a while you had to feed it in order for it to spit up money later. I was an odd child.
Thanks so much for your comments you guys, it has been really great reading and ruminating through them. I’m so psyched at all the contributions and you’ve definitely given me pause. An anecdote for you:
A few days ago, while camping with the fam, I got stung by a scorpion, if you can beleive it. It was painful and I lost it, screaming and crying, running to seek treatment. My son witnessed my freak out over the scorpion sting and was visibly upset. But, within a few minutes of being treated, friends came forward to recount different cultures’ myths surrounding scorpions and their stings, how scorpions are held in high esteem by many and so forth.
I conveyed these stories to my son and I could just tell in his eyes that something clicked, and he was reassured. Come to find out once we got home to a somewhat reliable internet connection, that not only are there a multitude of myths concerning scorpions but that scorpion venom has some medicinal use! So now, I can give him the much lauded scientific explanation as well as a mythological story as to why the scorpion hurt his mami, that it wasn’t just a random, unjust, painful event.
Leyla, I loved the article. It’s really interesting that you come up with myths to explain things to young children. Frankly, I have never thought of it, but it’s quite challenging to create myths, especially when it comes to explaining new technologies to toddlers. I found your husband’s myth about the Pee monster very creative, and hey if it works, it works!
Although I’ve always been the one who sticks with strictly the scientific explanation and nothing else, this discussion has made me question whether that is the best policy for dealing with a kid (I’m pregnant with my first, so no experience yet).
As valuable as it may be to preserve a child’s sense of wonder, how do you make them understand that there is a difference between myth and reality, how important is that and at what age is it important? I think back to my childhood and how my faith in adults, the education system and really in the whole world was utterly destroyed when I found out that Santa Claus was a lie. I think it really affected my whole life in a negative way and made me mistrustful of everything. I’m terrified about doing that to my children, but at the same time I want them to experience that sense of wonder without me destroying it.
So to put it simply, my question is how do you use myths without lying?
You know, the Santa thing has me stumped. I didn’t grow up with it, never understood it and I wonder whether it is its own mythology or part of the greater mythology surrounding the modern Christmas. We were living in Switzerland until recently and there, the Santa myth is far more complex and involves many different characters and traditions (a few of them a little dark) rather than just the jolly fat guy handing our presents at Christmas. I also have the luxury of remembering my childhood and I guess what I try to reach in my son is that…partial belief that I think children have in the fantastic. For instance, when I played make beleive with beloved stuffed animals, I knew at one level that they were inanimate objects but at another level, there was a “maybe they’re real” possibility that I was capable of indulging in. I think most kids can and do indulge in that capability, of assigning life to an object or partially beleiving in magic. The issue of lying harkens back to the lie vs. metaphor question that Joseph Campbell addresses much more eloquently than I could. I guess, in a nutshell, myth doesn’t have to be presented as a concrete truth (the way Santa often is) and I think most children can distinguish between myth and “reality” while living comfortably with a degree of overlap between the two 🙂
Whenever my two year old can’t find something, and I ask her what happened to it, she says “Pirate took it.” Apparently our house is besieged by pirates – they’ve taken everything including her pacifier, my cellphone, her sippy cups, our dog’s leash, and all of our favourite books at varying times. She has come up with this all on her own. When something more positive happens, she assigns it mermaids, and she claims that she is one. She’s definitely explaining the world through myths she’s picked up, and I encourage it whole heartedly – there are many different levels of truth, and the interior ones are hard to externalize. Joseph Campbell talked about how difficult the modern world was because we now lack the shamans who could interpret these mysterious, deep, invisible codes. I try really hard not to correct my kid, but instead try to see what she’s showing, and I play right along.
Wow, what a thought-provoking post. Very realistic and intuitive. My daughter is a Waldorf educated kid and we do not totally avoid technology. Not only do I think that it is unrealistic, but everything in moderation.
I love the pee monster!
I don’t know about making up stuff like that.
But then again my mother was always a very realistic machine, telling me all about the raw nature of the world and I turned out a bit too insecure. I suppose that in the theaters of our minds, many people don’t know how to deal with their own emotions because they were taught to bow down to reality.