Voting with kids: Like a slapstick comedy routine without the comedy

DISCLAIMER: This blog is NOT about politics. That’s right- it ain’t! I am not going to tell you who I voted for, whether or not I am happy with the outcome, or lambaste anyone for voting any certain kind of way. I’m not even going to tell you whether or not I care whether or not you voted or the way in which you did.

Simply not interested. Nope! So never fear- if you have been avoiding political posturing and arguing… you can STILL avoid it while reading this blog- for this blog is about (duh) kids. And behavior. And kids behavior while you are trying to do something important. Today that important thing just so happens to be voting.

It’s not that I want to sit here and type to you about what a-holes my kids are all the time. They have their moments but I like to think they’re pretty nice kids.
Sure, grocery shopping is like running a pentathlon- even if the kids are well behaved, it is SO damn exhausting (what with the BEEP BEEPing and disagreements over who gets to load what onto the f’ing conveyor belt). Shopping in general is a whore when it comes to having kids. There are times I don’t even like to do it and start getting anxious and just ready to be done with it and on my merry way home- how exactly would one expect a small, easily annoyed child to act? Out to eat? Well… I don’t understand why at times kids act like shitbricks there. I guess waiting for food is just too big a burden to bear- but mine are pretty good when there’s a promise of food and possibly a couple of super shitty rose-art crayons to scribble on a children’s menu with.

In both of those situations where you’d fully expect and understand if your wee one went totally apeshit- they rarely do. Annoying as they might be, they have the tendency to surprise you. Sometimes that is a bad thing. A very very very bad thing- but sometimes it’s pleasant… and pleasant is also a very very very bad thing, because it lulls you into a false sense of security. As soon as you have that nice warm snuggly security blanket pulled up to your chin- they yank that bitch off of you, and you aren’t wearing any pants.

Remember all those times you were so thankful to get through a shopping excursion or long car ride or whatever thing you had to do and drag your kid along with you where they didn’t freak out- but if they had, it wouldn’t have been so bad? Yeah- that’s ’cause they were saving the ultimate level of asshole for the important shit. You know- the times where you actually kind of care about looking like a responsible adult with angels for children.

Doctors appointments? Yeah, good luck concentrating on that infection with a child trying to grab medical equipment and flicking switches that appear to do nothing but will likely implode the entire building. Or insisting they have to pee after you’ve waited an hour and FINALLY got back to the examination room. The bank? I mean, you’re always supposed to be on your best behavior at the bank. Try telling that to kids, who seem to think they can act like a miniature Bonnie and Clyde (or bonnie and bonnie, or clyde and clyde in my case) the moment you walk through the doors. You’ll be lucky if you don’t get tased.

And then comes voting. Arguably one of the most important civic duties one will ever have. Don’t say jury duty, ’cause that shit sucks- and voting is pretty darn cool. Of course you want to go in there, proudly cast your vote as a productive member of society, and get out- wearing your “I VOTED!” sticker proudly on your chest.
What’s super duper lovely about voting day (and yes, I’m being sarcastic here) is that it’s always a “teacher’s work day”- because many schools here are used as polling stations- so guess what? The kids are out. The kids are out and the kids have to come with you.
Yay, I get to teach my kids about voting and important civic duties! They’ll be enthralled with the process and learn something! This is going to be awesome!
Even in order to preempt any assholish behavior, I promised both boys Taco Bell and candy if they acted like civilized little humans.

Thank the sweet baby cheezus that in my city, voting is easy. There were none of those horrendous hours long lines- but it did still take a decent chunk of time to get there, wait my turn, get checked in- get FLAGGED for a change of address (derrrrr), have to confirm my address, check BACK in, and get my ballot… and the kids were even more displeased than I was.

Instantly, Parker spots a water fountain on the far right wall and starts screeching about how he wants water. I inform him that I am in line and if he cannot reach it himself, he will have to wait. This makes him angry. Dying cat angry. Ok, maybe not dying- but at least a cat that got its tailed stepped on repeatedly. After about 3 minutes he comes back over to where I am standing attempting to check in, and plops his angry pointed-ass on the floor.
Holden, unaware of this chicanery because he’s too busy poking his finger into a clear jar of colored sand meant to look like the American flag (yeah, I told him not to touch it. So much for that), decides to take a stroll to the right- and trips over Parker’s legs. The kind of trip you swear you only see in movies- arms straight out in front of him, flying across the floor and then sliding two feet once he lands.
He is not hurt- but my embarrassment goes from only mildly embarrassed to mortified. Perhaps if anyone else in the entire building had laughed- it would not have been so bad… but all those turds doing their civic duty thought they were too good and mature to let out a snicker when a 5 year old goes flying across a room like Macauley Culkin in Home Alone.

Being a grown up sucks!

Had this nonsense happened in say, a Target, it would have been the most hysterical thing in the entire world.  But no, see, that’s not how kids work. Quiet when you don’t need them to be, and loud when you’re begging them to just SHUT IT UP FOR FIVE EFFING SECONDS.

Parenthood: You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but it sure helps!

Oh, and I still gave them tacos. Well, really, I did it for me. I deserved it!

Posted on November 8, 2012 by Holdin' Holden 7 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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  • why is it that stories about other kids being bad make me so happy? sigh…only cuz I relate so well…thanks for being honest and sharing – my 2 youngest are school age now so I went to vote only with my oldest who is actually quite useful at his age (he’s 16). You just have to make it through those early years and it gets so much better!

  • I’ve had one of the worst weeks I could imagine in my fairly pleasant life, and this had me laughing so hard I cried. Thank you. ♥

    It also made me feel a tad better about my 8year old and 20 month old’s shenanigans.

  • Just love this. Soooo typical. Last time I went into the courthouse (for family court) I wondered why there were NO OTHER KIDS…though maybe it was a law, turns out, most parents were smarter than me…

  • I always say that it feels like I’m traveling with the circus when I take my children into public. Wouldn’t trade my little Carnies for anything, though!

  • Absentee Ballot. Yep. No sticker on my shirt, but I voted a week beforehand from my kitchen counter and dropped it at the municipal building drop box. Thank you very much! But if you had done that, we wouldn’t have had this great laugh on your behalf! 🙂 Thanks for voting and sharing.

  • I was one of those unfortunate souls that waited 2 1/2 hours in line to vote with a 3 year old. I’m also 6 months pregnant. I tried to prepare, brought in the umbrella stroller, snacks, drinks, Hotwheels. He did pretty good until other kids decided it would be fun to ride tricycles up and down the hall where 2 lines full of people where waiting. (Where did they find tricycles?!) He threw a fit that I wouldn’t let him play, to the point I strapped him into the stroller and he was kicking and screaming so bad I thought I may be arrested for some sort of child abuse. At that point, jail time sounded fine with me! I made a mental note to refill my prescription of Zoloft. When I finally got to the voting booth, my 3 year old Houdinied his way out of the stroller and was spinning it in circles. Good thing I did my homework first and was able to zoom through the ballot without much reading. I never been happier to get out of an elementary school gym in my life!… and I forgot my I Voted sticker.

  • My kids were also bad at the polling place, talking loudly, running around, & laying under the voting cubicle tables.