Monday, November 3, 2008

It Might Not Be Fun

I "Twittered" (Tweeted? Twitted? WTH? I don't know) earlier that I was bringing Big Kid to vote with me tomorrow.

He knows the lines will be long, he knows it will be boring, but he also knows he will be a part of history for doing so.

Yesterday Obama was on the television screen and I asked him who it was and he said, "Dat's Bawack Obama. He's gonna be pwesident" and my heart swelled with pride (and keep your own political b.s. out of it, it's my proud moment.) I was also impressed he knew Obama's full name.

We tried this "lesson in voting" thing 2 years ago when it was my life mission to vote out some of our corrupt county commissioners. It was an important election to me but I had no sitter, so I put little kid in the sling and took Big Kid by the hand and marched on down to our precinct.

While there in line, a volunteer reaches over and puts a sticker on Big Kid's shirt. At the time, such an offense was punishable by death in Big Kid's super quirky 3 year old world--the combined offense of someone touching his stomach and putting something on him without permission was the straw that broke the bored, dramatic camel's back. So he bursts into tears, rips the sticker off of himself and throws it on the ground.

As I'm apologizing to the volunteer and turning to ask Big Kid to pick it up and get himself together, some old guy leans down into his face and says, "You are not leaving that there, young man, you'd better pick it up. Now."

Dude--don't get involved. First, don't talk to my kid, that's my job. Second, Big Kid doesn't put up with some shit like that, so way to go on exacerbating the situation.

As I give Mr. Helpful the evil eye and tell him I've got it under control, Big Kid starts wailing. Freaking the fuck out crying. Totally loosing his shit. So, baby in sling, I grab his hand, ask the person behind me to hold my place, and take him outside for a talking to. It takes a minute, but I calm him down.

We go back in and Mr. Helpful turns around and gives Big Kid a dirty look...making Big Kid cry again. The guy's wife tells him to knock it off, I tell him he needs to mind his own business, and the offensive sticker volunteer comes around with a plate of cookies and everything seems fine.

Then the line creeps past the soda machine. Big Kid wants a drink. Big Kid is so thirsty from that cookie, he has to have a drink. Big Kid's throat hurts. Big Kid just needs a drink so, so bad. He starts to cry (and he WAS being a total butthole, not denying that at all) and Mr. Helpful turns around with a sneer on his face, totally escalating the situation to instant hysterics.

At this point, I'm near tears and deciding I just have to leave. A volunteer walks up and offers to take me into the voting room and just skip me in line and let me vote. Nice!

I have to wait a moment while the person ahead of me finishes up and Big Kid, still crying, makes a break for it, running to the other side of the auditorium. The volunteer says she'll watch him, it's fine, that I really should go ahead and vote. I look at her skeptically and she promises to at least bar him from any exits and tells me she's a mom and she understands. For some reason (looking back on it, I have no idea why I didn't leave way back in the beginning of this story. That's how bad these county commisioners were, I still hate those bastards), I took her up on it.

I'm sitting there, little kid in the sling, hurriedly voting when I hear a "MEOW!"...A familiar "MEOW!"...Big Kid's "MEOW".

I look over and see him crawling through the legs of the voting machines. I hiss at him to "COME HERE NOW" and get a stubborn, evil glare in response. At this point I knew the whole room was watching and would probably give me a standing ovation for spanking his ass, but I had been beaten down and humiliated enough. He won.

"Here Kitty, Kitty," I whispered, patting my leg, "Come to momma, good kitty, come on."

He scurried over, in front of the legs of bewildered voters, and ended up in my booth giving himself a pretend cat bath as I finished up voting.

...then I took him in the parking lot and spanked his butt, and you non-spankers, feel free to write a letter to whomever you please about it, just make sure to include the anecdote above. No regrets there, my friends.

So, he can only do better this time.

The moral of the story is, if I can get out and vote dealing with some shit like that, for a local election--your ass better get out and vote. Even if you're voting for Bush's third term, the most ridiculous VP ever, and more war, you get ZERO bitching rights if your ass doesn't stand in line tomorrow. Also, don't get complacent with the polls--it's not over until your brother counts the votes. Your vote DOES count.

This is what it means to be an American. Vote for Something.

34 comments:

Sam said...

LMAO at here kitty, kitty! Tomorrow I'm going with a 7, 2 and 7 month old.

Melodie said...

I've taken Katie with me to the poll for the past two years, and this year will be no exception.

This is the first year that hubby will not be out of town on election day in a very long time, so we have a date to go vote. The Masons where I vote give a free hot dog to everyone who votes on election day, so we are going at lunch time and making it a lunch date.

Amanda said...

Point made. Great recap! I would have spanked his ass too :)

I will be bringing my 4-year old and my 6 month old with me to the polls tomorrow---wish me luck!

Piece o' Coconut Cake said...

I have two words for you-Absentee Ballot! I filled out my ballot Wednesday night in the comfort of my PJ's and a cup of tea, went over the amendments on the Internet and mailed it on Thursday.

Lauren said...

I am taking my 3 1/2 year old and 18 month old tomorrow. The church we vote at is only a block and a half from out house, so I am loading them up in our wagon with seat belts. I am also going armed with halloween candy. But I think it is important to show our kiddos how important voting is. So although our political views may differ, I completely agree in the fact that if you don't vote, you don't get to bitch.

misspro312 said...

Great post! Do you have early voting? NC does and I will not vote early! I think you should stand in line on the day!! That's just my thing!

Migraine Mom said...

Tomorrow morning before work hubby and I will be proudly in line with our 6 and 9 year old! I am so excited and Florida better step up and make up for the last election!!

Haute Mama said...

I voted early yesterday. It took a good two hours from the time I parked until I hit the red button on the voting machine, but it felt so freaking good to vote for the change we need! My daughter calls Obama our President and I too am proud!

My husband stayed at home with the kids (ages 4 and 2) so I didn't have to deal with them. He sent in an absentee ballot because he is now of the country on business.

I just love your blog! Total girl-crush here!

Well I Do Declare said...

I am inspired!!! If you can vote through that, so can anyone!

Sara said...

The only thing I heard during that whole story was "wah, wah, wah...COOKIES, blah, blah, blah".. COOKIES? Who gets cookies at their polling place? Our election workers in New Orleans are certainly not up tonight making homemade cookies to pass out. I want to move to your neck of the woods!

Melanie said...

And THAT is why I'm glad both my kids will be somewhere else while I go vote tomorrow. Thank you for reminding me that there is a reason they aren't going with me.

Jennifer said...

Amen sister. 100%!!!

Shannon said...

I'm glad you took Big Kid to vote. I took my 2 year old last week for early voting. What an adventure. He runs around the house shouting "o-mama" when DH and I are discussing politics.

Soccermo56 said...

I will wait to vote tomorrow until my 10 year old gets out of school so he can go with me. I've always brought my kids with me, so they know how important it is. My college freshman had to vote via absentee ballot, which is a shame, as I, too, think standing in line is part of the process. Anyway... I hope BK is on his best behavior tomorrow. :)

Anonymous said...

That might be the funniest post yet. Might.

ElleBee said...

A.Men. You handled Big Kid Kitty a heckuva lot better than I would've! Sweet Son #1 is coming with me tomorrow, but he's 8. We better not have any cat incidents!

~Gretchen~ said...

this is why i voted sunday. two years ago when dowlan and i went to vote in local/state elections, melody had a hysterical fit. She was gravely disappointed that she didn't get to see the 'boat'

greedygrace said...

Friggin' hysterical. This is why I use the absentee ballot!

Mama's Losin' It said...

I'll vote...I think. But I still don't think it matters. The decision on who will run this country will never come down to one vote...though it would be fun if it did. I'd like to be that last vote...like giving a baby a grenade.

hippy_at_heart said...

Only bitzes beat their kids. :)

My 6 year old is thrilled to be coming with us to vote tomorrow. I printed out a mock ballot & will let her cast her vote as well. She spent 30 minutes tonight picking out the perfect outfit to wear.

Pamela said...

Ok, I thought your cat followed you or something. I nearly woke the baby laughing when I found out it was Big Kid. You could be backing the marijuana party and I wouldn't care, but if the baby woke up because of you, boy oh boy, THEN I'd be mad.

Pamela said...

P.S. I took my class of 18 grade threes and fours to vote in our election last year. I totally agree that kids need to see how democracy works! (They were super good, though. I think I bribed them with jelly beans.)

Robyn said...

Thank you for the encouragement to vote with "littles." Honestly, I haven't voted in 15 years and I'm a little freaked out by the whole process. That being said, I will be there in the morning. With my 9 month old twins (boys!) and my 2YO boy. Yikes. After I drop of my 14YO at school. Wish me luck. Seriously, I don't have the fortitude that you do. I would have tucked tail and ran. I admire you. [By the way - they outgrow the kitty/puppy stage...eventually. My daughter was a dog way more times (and places) than I want to remember.]

undersundog said...

Even though this happened a long time ago ... I would still hunt down Mr. Helpful and punch him in the neck if you asked me to, nicely.

Jamie said...

I'm taking my very newly potty-trained 3-yr-old, and I'm a bit terrified. She's a little bit like little kid. Yeah, your story didn't help! :P

because I said so said...

I wouldn't have waited as long as you did to spank his ass!

Good luck today!

Jeri said...

AMEN! No excuses. Vote!

And today, Ashley, I think everything will be so much better at the polling place!

katie b said...

I thought about taking my 2-year old with me to vote this morning but was afraid there would be a long line, which would result in a similar story. It would've been nice to be able to tell both of my kids (one in-utero) that they were with me when I voted on this historic day. And then when I got there, no line at all. Oh well!

Kimberly said...

I'm so sick today with a vertigo thing and feeling like I will hurl any minute and a temp of only 97, I practically crawled to my precinct. If I were vomitting into a ziploc bag, I still would have made it :)

As you can imagine, the folks in the City of Detroit are out in full force today. I am so proud I have to share. There was a local news story showing this (black) man who *just an hour ago* got out of the hospital, can barely walk, but was going to get his vote in no matter what. It was enough to make me cry. I'm so happy for all of the people in our city... it has been a long long long loooooong time coming. I'm happy for me too, but I can't even pretend to know the elation black folks are feeling right now.

Rebecca said...

You should have pointed and laughed at the guy (who was give BK dirty looks) and laughed when he had to continue to stand in line while you went in a private room!

Joy said...

Well I got out and early voted I knew I would have 3 kids today since there is no school and there was NO way in Hell I was gonna do that. Hubs did go this morning and was done in a matter of minutes, now had I taken the 3 kids I am pretty sure the line would have been a mile long.

I will not agree with your vote but I still love you. I did NOT vote for that gray haired guy either so don't worry.

I did how ever vote for a lesser known name, for some reason people forget that there is more than 2 people running.

They had an election at my son's school yesterday he voted for the gray haired guy. I asked what they did he said the teacher showed pictures and told them the names and they picked. Just know that if it is left up to his school McCain would be our next president.

Former Fat Chick said...

ha...spankers of the world unite! Now see here , if you were a Latina Mom, you would have whipped your "chancleta" (flip flop) and got at his booty with it! hahaha

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

My dad always took me to vote and would let me punch the ballot. As a result, I vividly remember every single election from the age of like 8-ish on! It's an awesome lesson and memory!!

Kim said...

Oh my goodness, that is frakking hysterical.

Great post!!