It's hard to remember a presidential election that felt as heated as this one. Many of us have such strong sentiments about the candidates that they're trickling down to our kids, leading to some pretty funny conversations.
The other day, I was driving my 7-year-old to karate, and I asked him a question about his day. Instead of answering it, he got very serious and pointed at the truck in front of us. He said, "I've got a question. Why does that person have a Trump sticker on their car?"
After a few more similar comments from my son, I decided to ask other moms if their kids were saying anything funny about the candidates.
Warning: Most of the moms in my circle are liberal-minded, and their kids' quips reflect that bias.
Lea, who lives in Illinois, had this hilarious conversation while playing with her daughter, who was 3 at the time:
Rivka: "I'll be Donald Trump, and you be a woman!"
Lea: "Um, I don't know if I want to—"
Rivka: "Stop Talking! I'm Donald Trump!"
Nick, who's 10 and lives in California, is worried that if Trump wins, there'll be a mass evacuation out of the U.S. He told his mom, "Seriously—people have already bought tickets!"
Regan, who lives in Rhode Island and is 12, is another tween concerned about fallout that could follow a Trump win. "Regan is convinced we need to start stockpiling food in the basement in case of war," her mom, Nikki, says. "I asked her what food I should stockpile, and she said, 'Things like granola bars.' I pointed out she doesn't even eat granola bars. She said, 'I'll start!'"
Shannon recently volunteered in her daughter's third-grade classroom in California, where the students were reading about Mount Rushmore. "One girl said, 'We should put more presidents on Mt. Rushmore, but I hope not Donald Trump," Shannon says. "Then a boy in the group responded, 'Even if Trump doesn't win, he will probably make us put him on Mount Rushmore anyway.'"
When 5-year-old Elizabeth of Maine noticed that Pluto wasn't included in a video she was watching at the planetarium, she asked, "Why isn't Pluto a planet anymore?" Her dad explained, "Some people have decided that it's no longer a planet so that's why it's not up there." Elizabeth paused for a moment, then asked, "You mean some bad people like Donald Trump?"
Grace, 5, is another Maine kindergartener who's anti-Trump. The other night she vowed to her mom, "I'm going to tell Donald Trump that he cannot be mean to people and say mean things, and I'm going to take care of my friends who are different so he isn't mean. I will tell him, 'Don't be a bullygoat.'"
But amidst the amusing comments kids make are some profound moments as well. After a number of conversations about the possibility of having the first woman president of the United States, 5-year-old Clara, also of Maine, started asking her parents, "But why do people think a girl can't be president?" Her mom, Kate, said, "I told her that if Hillary Clinton wins, this will help prove that she can be anything she wants to be, including president of the United States. A few days later, out of nowhere, Clara exclaimed, "But Mom! I don't WANT to be president! I want to be a doctor!"
Lea felt a tectonic shift while watching Hillary Clinton accepting her nomination by the Democratic party. Her daughter said, "She looks like Grandma!"
"The moment she said it, I realized I had never, not for one second, looked at my grandmothers and believed they could have been president. I couldn't imagine ANYONE'S grandmother being president," Lea said. "But for the rest of their lives, my children will look at older women and see them as having the potential for just as much power and authority as any man."
Kids really do say the darndest things.