I’ve begun brainwashing 3-Year Old Daughter in the same manner that I did 7-Year Old when she was about that age. It’s important to embed your ideas into their tiny, little heads early. If you wait too long, they’re off on their own without any curiosity whatsoever about books or The Beatles or art or the New York Giants or The Little Rascals. It’s like trying to bake a soufflé and not slam the oven door.
A key ingredient for a proper brainwashing is lots of alone time. Enough so they develop Stockholm Syndrome. It begins, innocently enough, in New Jersey. The first step is weekend trips to the local diner. You’ve GOT to get a diner into a kid’s life. Think of how poor your life would have been if you hadn’t had a diner to hang out in. Bars are for later on. Diners are the stuff of youth.
This is our first trip to the diner alone. She was a perfect little lady. As a treat, I put a little puddle of syrup on her plate for her to dip her french fries into. Her favorite activity is passing the salt and pepper shakers back and forth. It’s the only thing she is able to do so she does it over and over and over again.
A short drive later we explore the botanical gardens. There‘s a pond stocked with koi and we feed them bits of bread. She leans over far enough so that she can practically drop the bread into their gaping mouths. She almost falls in.
[Fun side note: The house, rolling hills and green acres that comprise the botanical gardens were once the villa of feared mafioso and New York crime family boss Vito Genovese. The land was confiscated by the State of New Jersey and converted to public park land. Inside the house, there’s a fun display chronicling the events leading to the property seizure.]
When she’s a bit older we’ll go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and I’ll expose her to some traditional European art. And after she’s acclimated herself to that, I’ll give her the old one-two with some Jasper Johns target and Savarin paintings at MoMA. She won’t know what hit her until it’s too late.