White House Mama

white-house.jpgJeffrey keeps asking a certain question:

“Mommy, are you running for President?”

This was at dinner a few days ago, and Brian reported hearing the same question during Jeffrey’s bath last week. “Is Mommy running for President?”

I suppose that Jeffrey’s been hearing enough election talk that it’s beginning to seep into his daily thoughts. Also, he keeps requesting that we read So, You Want to Be President every now and then, so he understands the basic concept of Being President. Oh, I love this kind of kid-flattery — when they honestly believe that you are capable of doing something like a Presidential campaign on-the-side. Just something I work on during, say, naptime. It was a little sad to set him straight. Looking at him across the dinging room table, I say:

“No, Jeffrey. I’m not running for President.”

“Why?” Hmm. No idea how to answer this truthfully — “I’d be really bad at it” — without leading to a score of other questions that need increasingly abstract, detailed answers. So, I bounced back at him with another question.

“Jeffrey, do you think I should be President?”

“Yeah.”

“Why do you think I would be a good President?”

“Because,” he says solemnly, “you’re good at talking to people and things.”

Heh. Talking to people — strangers, anyway — is one of the things I’m notoriously bad at . . . er, well. I’m not that bad at it. Let’s just say I’m one who loathes small talk. (LOOOOOOATHES.) But Jeff’s a little young to figure that out yet. I suppose that, to him, his mother is VERY good at navigating that Mysterious World of Adults and their Frightfully Dull Talk.

“Hmm,” chimes in Brian at this point. “Jeffrey, maybe you should be on Mom’s exploratory committee.”

“Yeah,” I say, tickled with this idea. “Can you find out if I should be President?”

“Yes,” Jeff replies, all seriousness as we leave the dinner table and begin trundling upstairs. “The first thing I’ll do is find out what George Washington does.”

Righto, Jeff. Remind me to look for that report in 2012.

Oh, and here’s the book I mentioned above:

so-you-want-to-be-president.jpg

So, You Want to Be President by Judith St. George, illus. David Small.  George’s text is an entertaining account of traits that our nation’s presidents have had over the years — the oldest, the pets, who really was born in a log cabin, as opposed to just saying they were — but what really shines here are Small’s masterful caricatures of them all.  From a twinkly-eyed Lincoln to a Taft with a tummy bigger than Rhode Island, it’s a glorious tongue-in-cheek yet loving tribute to the Chiefs.  Oh, and the pictures won a Caldecott.  Yada, yada, yada.

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