Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Vote For YouTube.

There were a great many things I wanted to share with you yesterday, but then I got caught up in watching the last season of Ugly Betty and my brain turned to mush. Have a nice day. The End.


Well, it's true that I've been watching Ugly Betty - was that not the best show EVER?!? I never got to watch the last season because we were too busy buying a house - but now thanks to Inara going to school in the afternoon, I have finally eked out my own time to procrastinate and not do housework or write any blog posts ever again. Isn't that just lovely? I think so too.

Before I go back to finishing my episode, however (Daniel is almost at Level 7! But it's a cult! Don't do it, Daniel! Go back to your beardless ways!!) - there is one thing I thought I'd share with you. And you might start to wonder how watching Ugly Betty could possibly relate to this next thing, until I tell you that YouTube is a great resource for allllllll kinds of things. Also, I would never, ever condone watching or linking to clips that were put up on YouTube without permission, but just on the off chance that one of you happens to come across one of these videos and finds something of value (coughUglyBettySeason4cough) then it would be on your own conscience to watch it. Disclaimer over, moving right along.

So. While I was at YouTube watching illegally uploaded TV shows in very poor resolution finding educational videos, I remembered that Inara had been talking about the Election. Our conversation went something like this (I posted this on my personal Facebook page, so for those of you who are friends, I'm sorry for repeating):

Inara: Mama, did you know that it is Eluction Day today?
Me: Yes, I did know that. What happens on Election Day, Inara?
Inara: Well, everyone votes for who they like best. Let's go vote!
Me: Who would you vote for, Inara?
Inara: For the elves. Of course. And then I can tell them my one true wish...
Me: And what would that be?
Inara: I wish that everyone in the world was happy and that they could get a treat for Halloween. And that everyone called treats loot instead of treats.

Just warms your heart, doesn't it? I love that four year-olds actually BELIEVE in stuff like this. And I almost felt like a bit of a wiener to have to tell her that there were, sadly, no elves to be found anywhere on Tuesday's ballots. Not to be deterred however, Inara was quite interested in learning more about the election process.

Now, hailing from The Great White North, I feel more adequately prepared to impart my knowledge on a wide variety of subjects - including socialized health care, maple syrup and most importantly, hockey. But Inara didn't want to know about any of that. Her questions concerned mid-term elections, gubernatorial races and two-party systems. Learning about rubber pucks, cross-checking and penalty boxes apparently hold absolutely interest for this child. This is what happens when you give birth to an American.

So naturally, I turned to the only resource that matters, the Almighty Internets. In searching for information about how to explain elections to young children I found that everything was soooooooo way over her head (And by her head I mean mine. I'm sure she would have grasped it, but my Mid-Term Election Gene has been replaced with Maple Syrup Fudge Recipes and so I needed help to explain things to her, preferably using pictures. And small words.)

In the end I gave up on trying to explain mid-term elections to just focus on the basics. The hows and whys of why we have Elections in the first place. That seemed like a good place to start for someone as feeble-minded as me. Through the magic of modern technology I found this great little video that seemed to have everything I needed. Never mind the fact that it was made in the 70's and has really cheesy music and poor quality sound. It's the message that matters! Excited with my discovery, I set us up with snacks (It's a 10 minute animated short. I figured Inara would get peckish. And by "Inara" I mean me, of course.), and we settled in for some quality learning time. Here's the movie we watched - be forewarned that it is 10 minutes long, but entertaining to say the least:

Afterward, Inara turned to me and said: "NOW I understand! We have Eluctions to make sure that mean people who don't like cats are never ever in charge. Right, Mama?"

Ahhhh, the sweet, innocent world view of a four year-old.

Okay, so maybe our first foray into the world of Civics didn't quite go as planned. But THEN, a dear friend of mine (thanks Jen O!) told me about a certain Strawberry Shortcake movie called The Berryfest Princess, and I decided to check it out because, dude. It's Strawberry Shortcake. Need I say more?

Well apparently Miss Shortcake has changed quite a bit in the 20ish years since I watch her frolic with her fruity-scented pals. Gone are Huckleberry Pie and The Peculiar Purple Pie Man - which means no more tap-dancing to "Yah-tah-tah-tah-tah-tah-tah-tah, tah-tah-tah-tah! Cha!". So sad. What we do have in this version are a group of minuscule Berry Bitty City inhabitants who are all vying for the title of Berryfest Princess by participating in an election!  Hurray and huzzah!

So timely!

So educational!

So PINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wait. What?

Yep. About five minutes into the movie (And this is where YouTube comes in. And no, I will not be linking to this clip because as you know, I can not condone the watching of media that has been uploaded without permission. You should all do what I ALWAYS do and buy or rent or borrow from the library. Because that's what I always usually sometimes do.) I noticed my daughter. Inara was sitting beside me, open-mouthed. I asked her if something was wrong. And she said,

"It's. So. PINK! Mama, I just LOOOOOOVE Eluctions! We should have them every single day!"

Oh yeah, THAT'S how you instill a sense of civic pride. Thank you very much, Internets. We couldn't have done it without you.

I think that for now, my lessons in Civics have come to a brief halt as Inara bathes in the sickly-sweet glow of Berry Bitty City politics. She hasn't yet learned about negative campaign ads or pandering to lobbyists, but all that can wait.

For now, she is happy.

And I get to return to my TV show.

The (real) End.
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