It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Pint-size Political Pundits

George and Darcy are chatting in the kitchen. Then George’s voice changes, his eyes twinkle. “Stephen Harper,” he intones, his voice rich with portent and mischief.

Darcy picks up on the tone of naughtiness, and joins in. “Steeephen Haaarperrr.”

Back and forth they go, each imitating the other.

“Stephen Harper.” Giggle, giggle.

“Stephen Harper!” Giggle, snort, chortle.

I have to ask, but I don’t want to lead with my questions. We’ll make it open-ended. “So who’s Stephen Harper?” I ask, light and casual.

They look up at me. “I dunno,” says Darcy.

“He’s the man in the song,” explains George.

“A song on television?” I haven’t heard any jingles about our man Steve, but I don’t watch a lot of television.


I know they’ve just heard the name. It’s been everywhere these last few weeks, along with Paul Martin’s (his picture’s on the right) and Jack Layton’s (he’s the one on the left). But what does it mean to these two? I want to know, so I set them up.

“Is Stephen Harper a good guy or a bad guy?” (Which would be the question of the hour for Canadians.)

George and Darcy have none of the doubts or hesistation of many Canadians. Their answers ring clear, firm, and confident.

“Bad guy!” affirms George.
“Good guy!” declares Darcy.
“Bad guy!” bellows the loose-canon voter, Arthur, who until this moment had paid not a moment’s attention to the debate.

I think they’re representative of the general populace.

January 25, 2006 Posted by | Arthur, Canada, Darcy, George, the things they say! | 11 Comments

Because it’s all about Labels, right?

George scrambles out of his chair so as to get his coat on. The woman at the next table in the coffee shop starts to make small talk as I assist the children into their coats, hats, mittens, scarves, etc, etc,etc.

“Those are nice overalls you have there.”

George looks down at his blue corduroy tummy. “They have a pocket for my lego guy,” he says, indicating the bib pocket.

“Do you know what kind of overalls they are?” she asks.

“Blue!” George knows all his colours, basic shapes, the numerals from 0 – 9, the days of the week, a lot of letters, and can count to twenty-nine. He is proud to display his prowess.

“Yes, they are blue. But that’s not all. Those are OshKosh overalls,” she says, pointing to the label on the bib. “See these words? They say ‘OshKosh’.”

George looks down. “Those words?”

“Yup. They say ‘OshKosh’. Can you say ‘OshKosh’?”

Oh, save me. Can you say brand-conscious? Happily by then we’re ready to leave. George is directed to say goodbye to the nice lady. (Quick, George! Say goodbye quick! Before she says anything even sillier.)

And we wonder why kids care about this stuff so early…

January 25, 2006 Posted by | George, our adoring public, parenting, socializing, the dark side | 10 Comments