There are a lot of posts going around from shell-shocked, well-meaning parents, discussing ways to talk to our kids about the fact that Donald Trump was elected President. (This is a good one.) There’s much to unpack: how he won, why he won, what this means for the future of our country, what it means about the present of our country, etc.
I have no answers to any of that (except the last one: there are a lot of ignorant and/or racist and/or misogynistic and/or short-sighted people in America). My oldest is only six years old, and while Detective Munch may not know much about politics or elections, he knows a bully when he sees one. He knows Trump is a mean, angry name-caller, even without the “benefit” of understanding the constant bigotry, misogyny, and xenophobia that comes out his mouth.
What he doesn’t know is why the country would elect someone like Donald Trump to lead it. And neither do I. So I’m not going to bother trying.
Over the next four years, my six-year-old is going to grow more and more aware of both the world and President Donald Trump himself as he lives through at least one term of “leadership” from this man. A man who represents, literally and figuratively, some of the worst characteristics of this country. I probably owe my son some kind of explanation and I definitely need to provide reassurance.
We live in Brooklyn, where my son shares a classroom, a school, a neighborhood, and an entire city with a diverse collection of people, many of whose ethnicities and lifestyles and beliefs were specifically targeted and demonized or mocked by the President-elect. There’s a reason my son’s school, which prides itself on acceptance, compassion, and inclusiveness, made sure to address students’ concerns regarding the results of the election. And thank God they did, because I don’t know what to say. I have no way of explaining something to him that I find inexplicable myself.
How do you tell your kids that half of the country voted for a hateful, misogynistic, xenophobic bigot, either because they agree with him or because they don’t think hate, misogyny, xenophobia, and bigotry are a big deal? Neither viewpoint is one I want to teach to my children. As such, I have little reassurance to offer a mere day or two after an election that has profoundly challenged my faith in this country. Half the country is good with this? Nope. At the risk of going full white girl: I can’t even.
So instead of providing my kids with an explanation for what the most disheartening, if not the most destructive, event in recent American history, I’m going to do what I do best: put on a clown show and try to distract them from it.
How to Distract Your Kids From The Forthcoming Nightmarish Hellscape Of At Least Four Years of President Donald Trump
- Drinking – You know what helps me forget? BOOZE. Since this is barely even America anymore, we’re going to start treating it like France even as it turns into East Germany. WINE FOR EVERYONE! Just don’t touch my bourbon.
- All Screen-Time All The Time – Hey kids! Who has two thumbs and longer gives a shit about screen-time limits? That’s right: Daddy! KNOCK YOURSELVES OUT. If you need me, I’ll be passed out on the bathroom floor. (See previous item in list.)
- Digging Tunnels – No, this won’t be a lot of fun, but it may soon be necessary. We’ll need an escape route, when and if shit goes down, and everybody needs to pitch in. Yes, it’s hard work, but trust me, time flies when your on the run from an oppressive fascistic regime!
- Sleeping – Oh my god the amount of sleep we’re going to get for the next four years. SO MUCH SLEEP. I wish I were asleep right now. Let’s all go to sleep. In fact, can we be frozen? I’m begging you. Freeze my family, thaw us out in four or eight or eighty years, when America recovers from this insanity – just in time to watch the earth to die.
- Family Fight Club – In Trump’s America, only the strong survive. Also, I have a lot of frustration to work out. Don’t worry, no kidney punches. Now lace up! And remember the fourth rule of Family Fight Club: only two guys to a fight, so for the last time: no jumping on me while I’m punching your baby brother! Now hold him down so I can get this Trump mask strapped onto him.
Is any of that reassuring? Hardly. Effective? I doubt it. Was it cathartic to write? Not really. Will this post cost me followers? Probably. Do I give a fuck? Hell no. Did I feel the need to write something? Yes. Did I want it to be dead serious? Of course not. Am I being helpful? What’s the opposite of helpful? Am I asking too many rhetorical questions? I don’t know, am I?
As I’ve said before and you can definitely tell, I have no solutions to offer to any of this. Thankfully, I doubt any of you come here for solutions. (God help you if you do.) I just hope reading this distracted you maybe just a little bit from considering the forthcoming nightmarish hellscape of at least four years of President Donald Trump.
I’m not sure I’m good for much more than anything but a little lighthearted distraction and/or some sarcastic kid-bashing, but we all have our callings. Far be it from me to abandon mine when we need it the most.