I’m really not a textbook “good” parent. This is a fact I will readily admit. I’m young and busy. I have been known to watch Archer with my three-year-old, which doesn’t feel irresponsible when you are on your 45th minute of, “What shall we do with the drunken sailor” and it’s either that or throw yourself out of the window. In any case, I’m generally at peace with my parenting … but something terrible has happened. My son is obsessed with Donald Trump.
It’s not really a positive obsession. I recently watched the infamous first public outing of Stockholm Syndrome-suffering Chris Christie at a Trump rally in Fort Worth, Texas. My son wandered over from his corner of the apartment where he was playing with some sticks or something. I expected him to climb on my head or slam shut the laptop and demand The Octonauts, but instead he crawled onto my lap.
“Who’s that man, mummy?”
At first, I tried to be somewhat objective — “Well, son, that’s Donald Trump.” But I just couldn’t help myself, goddamnit — “… and he doesn’t use Kind Words … and he lives in a cave … and eats children.” I know. I’m not proud of it, but the words just escaped. I thought that was sort of the preschooler equivalent of neo-fascism and I could nip this Trump curiosity in the bud before it started. I was so wrong.
The next morning, we left the apartment and my son asked if Trump was hiding behind the front door. Today we walked through Times Square: “Is Donald Trump here, mummy?” No, son, he is not! I give the child my phone so he can watch Mickey Mouse videos and five minutes later he has gone through my YouTube history and is watching “Full Event: Donald Trump HUGE Rally in Oklahoma City, OK (2-26-16).”
The worst part of this is that my poor son is scared of the man. I tried to show him other presidential candidates (Sanders, Clinton … hell, I even showed him some blissed-out Ben Carson clips), but he’s just fascinated by Trump.
So, I tried to see it from a three-year-old boy’s perspective. First of all, Trump is bright orange. I mean, literally orange. That is so cool. Secondly, his toupee is a glorious thing. He wanders into Jim Henson territory with that creation perched on his lumpen dome. Isn’t Trump an angry Muppet? He even shrugs and gesticulates like a puppet. Trump shouts — three-year-old boys love shouting. Trump effortlessly pulls incredible faces, which must awe any preschooler trying to develop a respectable silly face portfolio. Trump seems to have a serious dry mouth problem which causes his face to move gymnastically around the words he is saying. Speaking of his words, Trump’s are small and angry.
When Trump talks about ISIS (and protesters, apparently): “We’re going to have to knock them out and knock them out hard.” When my son talks about Captain Hook’s lego pirate fleet: “We’re going to have to knock them out and knock them out hard.” In a preschooler’s eyes, Trump is a giant puppet, an orange overlord of pirate games.
Anyway, we have a temporary YouTube ban in this house. Here’s to hoping that it’s not a four-year ordeal.
This post originally appeared on The Odyssey.
Clementine Amidon is just a writer staving off mental collapse one day at a time.
Photos: Facebook/Donald Trump, author’s own
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