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Look at the kitten!

May 31, 2012

Crochet: a valid alternative to political engagement.

I have had many conversations over the last few weeks like this one:

– We’re so lucky to have a queen!
– Why?
– Because not many countries have one!
– So why don’t those other countries have one, if queens are so great?
– Rgrggrh, Mummy! You don’t understand!

And this one:

– I’m really glad we’ve got a queen!
– Why?
– Because it’s so great to have a queen!
– Is it? And what do queens do, exactly?
– They look after us.
– What, the queen looks after you, does she? I thought I looked after you.
– They go to hospitals and cheer people up.
– Oh. I could do that. Can I be the queen?
– Rrghgrghggghhhh, Mummy! You don’t understand!

And this one:

– The queen is special because she’s the daughter of a king.
– You’re special. You’re the daughter of a me. Does that mean you can be the queen?
– No. You have to be the daughter of a king, mummy.
– Why does that make her any more special than you?
– Because she’s the queen!
– And that’s fair is it? I have to buy her five palaces because her Dad was the king?
– It’s not you that buys her things. She’s got her own money.
– {Brief introduction to the concept of taxation. Explain size of royal subsidy.}
– Oh.
– {Explain how much VAT applies to sweets and toys.}
– I still like the queen. {Pause.} I don’t think she should be as rich as that, though. {Pause.} And she should have a proper job and get her own money.

We haven’t exactly overthrown the monarchy. We haven’t even broached republicanism – of which I approve only in default of any sensible alternative – but I think I may have dented (if only very slightly) her breezy, innocent confidence that everything in the present order of things is unimpeachable sunshine.

I just love doing that to kids.

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