Monday, January 28, 2008

Civics 101

Madam Speaker...

If I were at the State of the Union tonight I would want to be that guy, the Sergeant At Arms. You know, that guy. Of course, only if I couldn't be the actual President.


For some reason, we have had a lot of civics lessons lately at our house. Maybe it is because it is an election year. Maybe it is because we have watched and/or heard I'm Just A Bill at least 1000 times.

A few days ago, I was explaining to my daughter how a bill becomes a bill. She already knows how a bill becomes a law. But we had to get to the "bill" portion before we can get to the "law" portion. I told her that if anyone, even a little girl like her, thinks there should be a law, that they should write their Congressman and tell them. If they really want to get their attention, they can form a petition.



Anyway. That lead to an explanation of a petition which went something like this-

If McDonald's on the corner put up a big, ugly sign and I didn't like it, I could write them a letter and ask them to take it down. They would probably ignore it.

There is no law against big, ugly signs, but let's say the big, ugly sign blocks my view of traffic when I try to turn. Then, I could write a letter to the county or whoever is the authority for signs and road safety and stuff (I used fancy words) and ask them to write a law so McDonald's (or any other business) would take down the big, ugly sign that could be dangerous.

But then they ignore it.

So Mommy draws up a petition and asks the neighbors to sign it because they probably can't see oncoming traffic either because of McDonald's big, ugly sign. A petition would have lots of signatures and that is like a whole bunch of letters (more fancy words) and it gets attention.

Then they write a new law or enforce the one in place.


No, not my daughter. YOU READING THIS!

Believe it or not, she was actually interested.

The discussion ended when my husband walked in from work and asked what in the world we were talking about. He was just as bored as you are.

Days later, daughter and I were sitting at a traffic light, waiting to turn and we both looked over to watch a man change the letters on the McDonald's sign.

You guessed it.

My daughter turned to me and said,"There goes McDonald's. Putting up a big, ugly sign."

"That isn't really a big, ugly sign. It isn't dangerous either."

"I know, Mommy. I was just kidding."

Then, if that were not enough, a few more days passed and the three of us (daughter, me and not-interested-in-politics-man) were talking about how my husband likes to bring up gross subjects after dinner. My daughter ran upstairs for a moment, disappeared into her room, and then raced back down with a piece of paper.

At the top, it read "Reputation. Please do not talk about icky things."

She had signed her name. She handed the paper over to me, along with a pen and asked me to sign it.

Gladly, my little activist. Gladly. Oh, the power in numbers.


Kelli said...


Linda said...

Too, too funny! I would sign her reputation.

PJ said...

Reputation!!!! LOL! I love it!