03 November 2006

Election Barbie

Tomorrow is Curious Girl's half birthday. When she wakes up, she'll be four and a half. I made the mistake of almost revisiting the debacle of the last x-year-old kiss, mentioning that tonight was our last four-and-a-quarter-year old kiss and the morning would bring the first four-and-a-half-year old kisses. This led her to be anxious enough about the notion that she wanted to pretend. "You be me, Mama, and I'll be you." OK. So I said, "Mama, how old am I?" "you're four and a quarter, honey. And this is your last four and a quarter kiss." "Mama, will there be more kisses?" I asked. "Oh yes, honey! Don't be scared," she told me. "Barbie will come. Barbie Election will come, because you're four and a half. Here are two kisses, for special. And two hugs."

The wonderful, adorable CG is back again today: worried about getting older, excited about the prospect. "I can't wait for my half birthday, " she told me as I kissed her goodnight.

Barbie Election. Election Barbie. I'm quite amused by this notion--planted, in part, by Politica's own electioneering, and by the fact that we've been telling CG that she would be four and a half around Election Day. On Wednesday, Curious Girl and Politica went out walking with the Democratic candidate for prosecutor, and CG is quite taken with the candidate. She claps when we see yard signs. And she loves going with us to vote. So what would Election Barbie do? Be a judge? A voting enthusiast? A debate moderator?

Phantom, LG, and Baby Blue went out to a political rally this week, followed by very amusing family political conversations. Curious Girl has been asking me lately, "Why is President Bush a bad president?" "He doesn't listen well and makes bad choices," I told her this morning. "Oh, that's bad. We don't like that," she said. But that didn't stop her from from sending him a card last President's Day, to wish him a happy president's day and tell him that she wants to visit the White House and visit his dog (the dog having been featured in the Weekly Reader at school). He recently wrote back, and (surprise!) she got the same letter Mermaid Girl did. Plus a picture of the President and the First Lady. CG was happy enough to get mail, but it was a remarkably non-responsive letter. It's hard to see how such vapid responses will motivate political participation.

I think I could get behind Election Barbie, holding candidate parties, and get-out-the-vote rallies. That's my kind of Barbie.

8 comments:

JM said...

I would be happy to send CG a postcard of her very own to balance out the non-responsive response of the current prez....

Of course you might have to explain "mommy's imaginary friend from the internet" :)

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

That story reminded me: when I was 5, I wrote a letter to President Reagan (at the behest of my Republican dad) telling him how much I liked jelly beans, too.

So I wouldn't worry too much about CG sending President Bush a letter at this age. I doubt she'll wind up pro-GOP. :-)

Arwen said...

Ripley and I have talked about President Bush and Prime Minister Harper, and how an elected official helps make the rules that will make the whole country a nicer place to live for everyone. A lot like our rules at our house. We've also discussed democracy, and how people decide together who's best to make the rules.

Of course, this means that I have been compared to President Bush. I told him the difference was that I learned my manners and how to speak properly. Too glib?

liz said...

I love that she wrote him a letter. I can't believe he doesn't even have the sense to have more than one canned letter to send out to kids.

Can I have an Election Barbie, too?

susan said...

Election Barbies all around as soon as our crack team of elves (with health insurance, generous family leave policies and flex time opportunities, and organic food in the cafeteria next to the on-site elf-child-care center) gets done manufacturing them.

Arwen, I like your explanation, except that I love language variation, so I'd say that you learned to think through complicated problems better than he did.

I wonder what kind of response APL got from President Reagan! GG loves mail of all sorts, and as I told Julie via e-mail, she is actually a big fan of my friends on the computer. Her favorites are Annika and Frankie, and she likes LG and Baby Blue when photos show up, and she is also greatly amused by Liz (why she not looking at us?), Songbird (she's so beautiful!), and Julie (silly!) and was very excited with New Guy exited APL's belly.

elswhere said...

I love CG's growing political awareness! You just know my girl would totally get behind Election Barbie, too.

Speaking of which: Hah! I knew it! Thanks to the Internet, we're onto W and his dopey canned letters to innocent children! (Not like it would've been hard to guess. But it's satisfying somehow to see it confirmed.)

The creepy thing is that his vapid canned answer did seem to take the oomph out of MG's fury at him, at least for a while.

susan said...

CG was quite enamored of the vapid letter, too, in part because it came addressed to her (and her name is the only thing she can read, or at least it was at the time--now she can recognize NO and sometimes zoo). And she liked the photo of George and Laura. "She so beautiful!" she would say admiringly. Politica assures me that the literature suggests children take political cues from their parents, so I'm not worried about her long-term political socialization. But it is annoying to see vapidity so entrancing to someone.

Phantom Scribbler said...

Laura Bush has a spot on a Sesame Street episode that was in heavy rotation when LG was 2 or 3. But he didn't have a chance to be impressed with how beautiful she was, because every time the spot came on, I'd start yelling at the TV. (She was reading "Wubba wubba woo," and I'd shout "Weapons of Mass Destruction" instead.)

So now you know how it happened that LG's preschool teacher once took me aside to let me know that LG had told the class that Bush was a bad president and there were no weapons of mass destruction....