As The Youngest grows up, it's fascinating to hear her views, especially on big topics, like religion or politics for example. Conversations with her can be a bit of a mind exercise for The Spouse and I because we need to frame concepts in terms that she can grasp.
On Inauguration Day, I watched the events on T.V. As soon as The Youngest came home from school, she promptly told me to turn the T.V. off because Dad would be "mad". (The Spouse is a stalwart Republican.) Worried that she might give her playground friends the mistaken impression that her Dad was unpatriotic, I responded that Dad wasn't really "mad"; he was just disappointed. She asked why he was disappointed, and without really thinking, I replied that he was disappointed because he was a Republican, forgetting that the Youngest has no idea what a Republican is.
So, then I had to root around in my head for an analogy that she could understand.
"It's like a club," I said. "Dad belongs to a club that's called the Republicans, and President Obama belongs to a club called the Democrats. Daddy's club lost the competition this time, but sometimes Daddy's club wins."
"Was the 'old guy' (Senator McCain) a Republican?"
"So, Daddy's disappointed because he lost?"
"Well, Daddy's disappointed because he will pay more taxes."
"What are taxes?" (See what I mean about mind exercise?)
"Well, taxes are money that we have to give to the government."
"But why are they taking Daddy's money?" (This is of course the question that The Spouse keeps asking himself.)
"Umm, there's a rule that says we have to give some of it away every year."
"But why does the rule say that?"
Not really wanting to dive into the topic of government spending, I countered with the ultimate distraction. "Umm, wouldn't you like a snack?"
But the Youngest still had politics on her mind as we watched more of the inaugural festivities, while munching on goldfish crackers.
"You know what, Mom?"
"I think we need a girl to be president."
"Because there have been too many 'mens' already!"
Maybe next time, kid. Maybe next time.