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Monday, March 12, 2012

Politics in the Very Young

Would you vote for this face?
Lizzy has a set of matching tiles, originally given to Abby by my dad and stepmom, with drawings of children in traditionally cultural dress from around the world to match. She can identify a few of them - Hawaii and Scotland and China, and I showed her some Google Images of Puerto Rico and Norway and France.

And then she asked about the girl with the pink scarf over her head. I explained that this was the child from Afghanistan and she wanted to see a picture.

Finding a picture of Afghanistan these days is a challenge - at least if one wants a picture appropriate for one's preschooler - because most of the pictures are either of Taliban soldiers or of bombed cities or of bleak landscapes. So I told her that Afghanistan was having a war right now and the pictures aren't very nice. She asked if they were "inappwopwiate" and I said that yes, they were. The she asked me whether this war was a long war, like "days and days". 

"Yes, sweetie, years, actually. This war is older than Abby, and almost as old as Leanna."

"Oh," she says in a small voice (and for those of you who have met her, you know how uncommon "small voice" is for her), "They're pwobably so sleepy."

Now, we've been explaining Daylight Savings to her, and how it makes all of us kind of tired and grumpy, and yeah, it looks like we're going to bed in the daytime but we're really not. So she has sleep on the mind right now. But could there be anything more sweetly innocent than a child who thinks of a decade-plus long war as merely a cause for sleep deprivation?

And then she hit me with, "Mama, what is the war for? Why are they fighting?"

"Well... they're trying to decide who gets to run the country."

"The mommies should wun the countwy, because it's their job to take care of people."

 Would that it were that simple, baby.