Gabriel will turn three next month (to establish the context for why I find this amusing). He has several child-friendly placemats for meals, and among them is one featuring portraits of the U.S. presidents, depicted in chronological order. He knows Obama is the current president. However, he has fixated on several of our former presidents:
- Jimmy Carter – because he is featured eating peanuts
- Rutherford B. Hayes – because Gabriel likes his bushy beard
- William H. Taft – because he is pictured in the bathtub (bubbles covering from the neck down)
- Gerald Ford – because he is holding a football
- Millard Fillmore – no clue why
This morning, while at breakfast, Gabriel was disappointed that he could not eat Caroline’s baby food. I informed him that it was exciting to be the older brother and not the baby, because he will be able to do so many neat things before Caroline is old enough to do them. He wanted examples. For now, he can kick a soccer ball and eat watermelon; but I told him that in the future, he would drive a car before she does, and he would vote before she does. This spawned a discussion about what voting means, and I informed him (to keep it simple) that when a person votes, he is choosing the president. He seemed thrilled that I voted.
His response was: “I want to vote for Jimmy Carter.” Pause. “No, either Jimmy Carter or Rutherford Hayes.” A few minutes later, after the conversation had moved on, he said: “No, just Jimmy Carter. I am going to vote for Jimmy Carter.”