Why My Son Loves Nixon

Our boy –who has mainly been obsessed with geograpy–is now obsessed with presidents. He’ll be three-years-old in two weeks.

He memorized all the presidents on his presidents place mat, plus he made up a little song set to the tune of “Ten Little Indians.” He points to each picture as he sings each name: “Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe….” That’s the normal version. Once he sang what he calls his “Grover Cleveland” version, which is “the one where every president is Grover Cleveland.” That one goes like this: “Grover Cleveland, Grover Cleveland, Grover Cleveland, Grover Cleveland.” Etc.

Presidents are part of everything now. We play a lot of soccer around here, along with every other sport. He likes to assign us alter egos when we play sports, so, for instance, he’ll say, “Okay, Mommy, you be Tony Parker and I’ll be Lebron. Lebron is shooting the three! Lebron made it!” A couple of weeks ago we went outside to play soccer, and he informed me it was going to be Gerald Ford against Ronald Reagan. I was Reagan. (That’s his favorite president. Our president book lists little tidbits kids might find interesting, and the jelly beans scored big. His second favorite president? Nixon. Turns out Nixon installed the bowling alley in the White House. Obama’s number three, though. Basketball, you know.)

Anyway, best soccer game ever. Filled with lines like: Gerald Ford is showing control. Gerald Ford is kicking and…Gerald Ford scores! Ronald Reagan is trying to take the ball from Gerald Ford! Ronald Reagan kicks the ball out of bounds! Ronald Reagan is not very good at soccer.” Etc.

We have dog parties sometimes, with all our (I mean his) stuffed dogs lined up on the sofa for pretend cookies and coffee. Yesterday he walked into the kitchen where I was pulling out paper cups for the pretend coffee and said, “Mommy, you know who’s at the dog party? Tim Howard.” (That’s the U.S. Soccer Team goalie.)

Me: Wow. Tim Howard came to the dog party?

Boy: He’s sitting on the sofa. It’s his birthday, you know. So he probably needs a cake.

Me: Okay. Does he have any other soccer players with him?

Boy: No. Just Richard Nixon.

Best birthday party of all time: Tim Howard and his BFF Richard Nixon.

He (the boy, not Richard Nixon) has a Franklin Roosevelt and a Franklin Pierce face. If you let him use the fluffy tail on his stuffed giraffe, he also has a Taft face. (It’s all about the mustache.) He sees a fat dog and says, cracking up, “His name is Taft.”

Toddler president jokes. A specialized niche. One more: He loves a song about a babbling brook, and he wanted me to draw one. I did, but I stumbled over my words and said, “Okay, do you want it to be a blue creek–I mean crook–I mean brook?”

He said, “Sorry, I am not a crook.”


  1. Lisa Woodard on July 8, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    LOVE this! I laughed out loud in a very quiet meeting.

  2. Juliet on July 15, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Wow! What an imagination. I can’t believe he is doing all of this at 3. Clearly he is bright like his parents. Great blog!

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