Today is primary election day in the District of Columbia, and in certain states. For the past week or so, my little daughter has been captivated by the placards that people have placed in their gardens or in front of their homes, with “Fenty” in white on green, or “Gray” in white/red on blue. She has not uttered a peep about the colours. But, she was confused by this outgrowth. We have them in our part of Maryland, too, but somehow, they have not grabbed her attention.
“What is a Fenty?” she asked one morning. We explained that it was not a thing but a person. “Who would have a name like Fenty?” she then scoffed. Well, it just so happens that one of her favourite popular singers would. We we pointed out that Rihanna is actually named Robyn Fenty. She remembered, and as she had just spent three years in Barbados I was glad to see that early amnesia was not setting in. This morning, she switched and asked “What does Gray mean?” We are British English educated and for us the colour (note the u) is spelt grey not gray. So, we had to explain that it could be the colour in American spelling but it was also the name of the other candidate running against Mr. Fenty. She did not ask about ‘candidate’ so I take it she knew what that meant. But, now I think about it, perhaps she understands it as ‘candy date’–either a friend with who you share some nice sweets or one of those fruit her mother loves that has a sugar-coating. I need to check.
I’m not sure how much of the political aspect she really understands–and I can only help up to a point–but I don’t think that really matters for the moment. We had to explain that, when she is older, as she is American, she should be able to vote. But, we cannot, as we are not American. She understands voting, so we will see when she starts to push more on getting herself to a polling station. She noted the crowds at some of the polling stations and I am sure that she thinks voting in a good excuse for some fun and games.
Dealing with childhood curiosity is as good a way as any to get into local politics.