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.