My first problem came with trying to explain to my Noah that the Noah I was talking about was not him, he was a different Noah. To make the distinction clear I referred to the Noah in the story as "Old Man Noah." And, I described him as a bald man because that is how all the children's books that I've seen illustrate him. I am sure that when my son sees a bald man now, he will refer to him as "Old Man Noah," and I will be mortified.
Then I ran into the problem of explaining evil. How do I explain just how evil the people were to make God that angry that He would want to wipe them out? I couldn't say they were whining and not sharing and being mean to their sister because that would make my child completely afraid that God might kill him the next time he takes a toy from Maia (hmmm...maybe not such a bad idea)! I settled on describing the evil people as "naughty."
The story further stumped me at the part where God brought the rain to kill off all the evil people. Here is how my story went...
...Old man Noah and his family and all the animals got on the BIIIGG boat that he had built and God sent the rain and...(oh shoot, I can't say "kill," they won't understand that and besides that just feels to harsh to say to a 1 and 2 year old.)...and God sent the rain and...(I glance at Ricky hoping for a little help. He laughs and shrugs, getting a kick out of my loss for words)...makes all the naughty people... go away.
I pause and look at Noah to see what kind of reaction he will have to my age appropriate language. I could tell he was mulling over it in his head. Then his eyes got big and he looked at me and said, "The people were naughty so they had to go away Mommy." Phew! Good enough. I think he got it. The funny thing is that that is the part of the story he remembers the most! I would have thought that the animals or the boat would have made the biggest impression. Nope! My son has been walking around all week telling me, "The people were being naughty, so they had to go away mommy."
Sheesh! Who would have thought that telling the Noah's Ark story to a 2 year old would be such a challenge?!