Dear Members of Congress,
I hear you’re the reason I won’t have Cheerios next month and (excuse my Spanish) that’s caca.
What kind of doodoo head takes food from kids? Everybody loves little kids. We’re cute, we laugh a lot, and we dance for adults. You always bring us up when you’re talking on television, but do you really want to know us?
I’ll tell you something about kids and food. Fruit and vegetables are good for our bodies. Processed food with a lot of salt and sugar is not good for our bodies. In the irony of all ironies in what was once an Agrarian society (my mom edited this and added some big words—LOL, she's so smart), the bad stuff is less expensive and more available than the good stuff. Ultimately, what we eat is up to the tall people in our lives. The WIC program (just one of many programs affected by your little fight) is in place to make sure that the tall people can feed us well when our bones are just starting to grow. I get that you have some ideas about the old people in our lives, but what does that have to do with us?
Another thing about kids: we get sick a lot. My classmates are the reason that I need so much healthcare. For some odd reason, they love to smear mucus across their faces with the backs of their hands, then use these same hands to pick up toys such as plastic corn and hotdog buns. I pretend to eat these toys during my playtime and I will admit that I sometimes for real eat them (on accident, of course.) I know how disgusting this may seem, but I will have you know that I am not one of the mucus-spreading offenders. On the rare occasion that my nose runs, I send my unicorn Pinky to fetch me a tissue. She wipes my nose by gently maneuvering her tissue-covered horn so as not to impale me; then she throws the tissue away and disinfects herself before returning to play. I promise.
Supernanny says that the major reason for fighting is boredom. Could it be that you don’t have anything better to do than shut down the government? I have some suggestions: Bring My Little Ponies to Network television so that kids who don’t have cable can watch it. Also, end world hunger. Also, bring about world peace.
Nanny Joe also says that you may not be getting enough attention. May I suggest a Congressional 'show and tell'? The Congress members can each bring something special from home (with their parents’ permission, of course) and show it to their friends. Then the kids can ask questions like, “Hey. Why is that special?” The answers will hopefully draw the congress members closer together in empathetic (LOL, mommy, what?) unity.
Regardless of the reason, some fights will take the help of an old person. Take Sara for example. Sometimes, I say, “But I had the Cinderella dress on first,” and then Sara says, “No, I had it on first. You took it from me!” And then I say, “It depends on your definition of first.” It becomes obvious that we aren’t getting anywhere, so the old person comes over to help us come to a resolution. Do you all answer to anyone older than yourselves?
What we are never allowed to do is take out our frustration on an uninvolved third party. Imagine if Sara and I were arguing and I got so angry that I went to the infant room, found a baby perfectly content to drool on a Garfield rattle, and pried the rattle from his chubby fingers. It would never happen. Why? Because there are gates that protect the babies from the big kids. You, my unlikely friends, have knocked down that gate and taken everyone’s Garfield. For some, Garfield is steady employment. For others, Garfield is a federal student loan. For others still, Garfield is a box of Cheerios— mouthwatering morsels of whole wheat that are rumored to benefit my heart, which is broken by your inconsiderate pouting. Go to a corner. Count to ten. Take a nap. But for my adorable little sake, put the gate back up.
Thank you for reading this letter and hopefully not continuing to be dummy heads about this whole situation,
P.S. Also, you should know that a ten dollar WIC check for fresh produce is nowhere near enough for a whole month. On the second week of the month, I never think, “Too bad I’m all out of grapes, but hey, at least we still have this bag of legumes!” Please keep this in mind as you come to a resolution.
Asha French is a writer and mother living in Atlanta.