Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sometimes it helps to be really, really cute

I really like the Queen. I know that sounds strange, particularly from an American, but I do. She's like a national grandmother – odd hats and a big purse you just know has a tissue and some breath mints in there. It's kind of hard to picture her cuddled up with the grandkids and a Dr. Suess book, but she has that grandmother vibe. As an American, though, I really like the idea of having a symbol of the country that's outside the mess that is politics. She's the Queen, yes, but she's also a figurehead. Any political decision you don't like, well, that's the fault of the Prime Minister and parliament. The Queen shows up to meet dignitaries, open schools and hospitals, and host tea. You can like the Queen and not like the British government.

That's not the case in the US. If you don't like the politics, it's really hard to like the President. Even if he is there to open a hospital, you might still be grumbling about what he did that morning. There's no way to separate the two.

However, I think it's okay to like the First Family, even if you don't care for the President. And I really like our new First Family – especially Sasha and Malia.

The President's children have a tough row to hoe, and it's not their fault. Their dad took a job that put them in a giant fishbowl for the whole world to gawk at. They have nothing to do with the politics or what's going on in the White House; they're just trying to grow up under the harshest of spotlights. Sure, they live in a really cool house and they'll do and see things the rest of us can only dream about, but the trade-off for sleepovers in the Lincoln Bedroom is harsh.

I can't imagine trying to go through the awkward stages of puberty in public like Chelsea Clinton – only to be fodder for the late-night comics. It's bad enough to get caught trying to by beer underage, but the Bush twins had to deal with the Today show wondering if they're closet alcoholics. How do you date with a Secret Service detail on your heels? How do you handle hearing your dad bashed by every pundit on the planet? It's a lot of weight for kids to carry.
So I'm already sympathetic to the First Kids. Of course, the fact the Obama girls are so freaking cute doesn't hurt their cause with me. And Sasha – that kid owns me. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact she and AC are the same age, but I just want to squeeze her and then have her over for a sleepover in AC's room with s'mores and cocoa.

Maybe it's because I'm getting older and I understand things differently. Maybe it's because I know how I'd worry if AC were thrust into that kind of spotlight. In addition to everything else I worry about as a Mom, now I have to worry about security risks to my child? Listen to everyone and their brother criticize everything she does or, even worse, make fun of her on TV? Worry that life in the White House is going to turn her into an entitled brat or screw with her head so badly it will take years of therapy to sort back out? Mercy, that whole First Lady gig isn't sounding so great now – fabu clothes aside.

I'll reserve judgment on our new President for a while, but I'm lovin' our new First Family. I love the idea of young kids in the White House. It will certainly shake things up around there. After all, as any parent knows, life with small kids is a zoo where the animals roam free.

I wonder if the First Family is allowed to hang crayon drawings on the fridge door?

So, forget the President...how cute are those kids? Didn't they do amazingly well being on “show” all day Tuesday? (I think one of my favorite moments on Tuesday was during one of the prayers or the poem or something and the cameras were on the President. Behind his head, you could see these little orange gloves bouncing around. A moment later, the green glove came over and pressed the orange gloves gently into Sasha's lap. Every mom can relate, right?) Would you trust your kids to behave on world-wide TV?


Lynn Raye Harris said...

I wouldn't trust my husband to behave on world-wide TV. At least you can stop a child. Hubby, not so much...

Yeah, I think the Queen is cool too. Loved the movie with Helen Mirren. And there was a mystery series back in the 90s that had the Queen as the sleuth (along with a maid). It was so cool, but I think the writer kind of disappeared after 3 books. I loved it, though.

Love Malia's outfit in that last photo. She looks like a little Jackie Kennedy, so polished and ladylike.

Word verif: poless -- is this in preparation for Stephanie's party?

Anonymous said...

Yep, queen is cool. And yes these kids will go through a lot both good & bad. And thier mom will just have to keep a level head for both herself and her kids.
word verification: undeak, what the???

Smarty Pants said...

They are adorable. It feels weird to have actual children in the White House. Hopefully the experience won't warp them. I remember feeling so bad for Chelsea Clinton. We were around the same age and I just knew it would suck if I was in her place. No one wants their most awkward years plastered on tv every night.

For some reasons, at weddings, I'm always in charge of keeping the flower girl in line. At the last one, I smiled sweetly (I was maid of honor) and threatened her life through my teeth. She was 10, not a baby. I guess, if I had to, I could keep kids in line on TV too, but I wouldn't want to. Too stressful.

Darling Geek said...

Lynn... "at least you can stop a child." I needed a good laugh this morning.

Instigator said...

Yeah...no. I can't trust my kids to behave for 30 minutes in church (their record by the way) let alone on national television for several hours.

They are adorable though. And seem to be very normal and down to earth themselves. I think their parents have instilled in them a sense of reality which they're going to need over the next several years. I have no doubt they'll be fine.


Liza said...

Ty(beannie baby company) is putting out Ty Girlz of Sasha and Malia. My youngest niece(5 next week) saw it last night and told my sister she need the "brown dolls". She said they would love to play with her other dolls.

Those girls are so cute. I hope the media is kinder to them than them than they have been to other first children.

Crystal Lee said...

Love the Queen, but then I have always been a fan of the Royal Family.

The First Children are cute, indeed. I don't know that I would wish such a thing on my children - I'm thinking imps all around...

Word Verif: dramicin - a drug you take to control the drama in your life. I would need mass doses of dramicin if I had to raise children in the White House.

Smarty Pants said...

DG, I think what Lynn meant was that with a child, you can at least drag it off to the bathroom and threaten its life. Might not work, but if it doesn't, you can take them home, spank them, take away their toys.

A husband is a lost cause.

Kathy said...

I need a large dose of dramicin this morning! Arrrrrr!

Those two little girls are adorable. I loved their outfits at the innauguration. Beautiful girls, untainted by politics. Let us hope they can continue to grow up surrounded by love and good things.

Lynn, I can't even control #3. I can't imagine trying to control the DH!

word verif: codoocau
(what Kathy repeats after she's been driven insane)

no: sibblex
(complex Kathy gets when children won't behave)

Arrrrr!!!: smsin
(sins of the children...)

Lynn Raye Harris said...

What SP said. *g*

LOL!!! Word verif: cryinit

If my hubby were to misbehave on national TV, I could only cry in it. :)

Angel said...

Poor Kathy! Just throw them out and be done with it... :)

I think my children could behave for a little while on National TV, if I could get Drama Queen to not talk, but not as often as those girls have to be "on". That would be a challenge. I have enough stress in my life, I would never want to be first lady.

Oddly enough, DQ and I were talking about this the other night. She asked wouldn't I love to live in the White House, to which I replied no. Bursting her little bubble. But she replied she and Little Man would love it. Guess I could then have my own house to myself, huh? :)


Sherry Werth said...

I'm with Lynn and SP. My children I could slightly control. Hubby would make faces, do rabbit ears over everyone's head and totally embarrass the crap out of me.

I've always been interested in the Royal Family. I got up in the early hours to watch the wedding of Charles and Diana. When Princess Diana died I cried for her loss.

Jen said...

I'm put my child on international television any day over my husband. I trained her. ;)

Problem Child said...

Y'all have got to be kidding me. My hubby could practice self-control simply because I'd have told him in no uncertain terms that if he embarrassed me on TV he'd be celibate for the rest of his days.

(And possibly a soprano.)

Problem solved. Good behavior guaranteed.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Some men see that as a challenge, PC. ;)

Angel said...

Lynn, stop giving them ideas. And I have to admit, PC, that threat does come in handy....


Christine said...

I would trust my child to behave. She's pretty mature--always has been.

I wouldn't want to live in the White House as a child. Blah... those girls will have a tough row to hoe.

The Bush Twins grew up into accomplished, nice young women. I expect the Obama girls will also do so. Despite their political differences, these two families are more alike than different in how they view their families.

That's a good thing to me.