Tuesday, November 02, 2010

voting on values

My work has a policy where you can take off to go vote, so I plan on leaving a little early this afternoon. This morning, while driving to day care, I was trying to decide if I wanted to take Baby with me or not. She’s at fantastic stage where she repeats the end of every phrase I say back to me. So the convo goes something like this:

Mommy: Baby, we need to talk about something important.

Baby: im-pah-tah

M: Today is an election day, which means we have to vote.

B: vote

M: That’s right. It’s our civic duty.

B: doo-dee, doo-dee, doo-dee


I won’t give you the whole lecture, but I was trying to decide if I wanted to take her with me to vote. On one hand, she’s gone with me to every election where I’ve voted since she’s been born. And that is im-pah-tah. However, it’s not like she’s going to remember this; she won’t know if she misses one. But at the same time my parents did a really good job modeling this for us, and the nerd part of me wants to be able to tell her that she’s been to every election since she’s been born. It’s a conundrum. Do I push the longer drive and take her to vote in the afternoon when she's already fussy – or do I do it before I get her? In a moment of brilliance I just asked her…

M: Baby, do you want to go with Mommy to vote this afternoon?

B: No. No. No-no-no.

M: Well, that solves everything.

Except it doesn’t, really. Any time you ask her a direct question the answer is always no. The easy answer is obviously to vote before I get her because that would make my life much easier. But voting is a huge deal, not to be taken lightly… Can you really impress any character-building moments on a nineteen month old? It’s a quandary and I had the rest of the day to mull it over before I made an official decision.

Speaking of voting, I’m about sick of the robo-political calls. It’s like junk mail on your phone, and it really gags me. We had 4 msgs on our answering machine yesterday plus got 4 more yesterday evening after we were home, including one at 9pm. I wish that had been a real person because I would’ve gone off on them about how no candidate who claims to support family values could possibly think that calling a home that late on a school night was a good idea. But, alas, it was a robo call. The one before it at 8:30 was a real person from the “Junior Chamber of Commerce” – that was Steve, and I told Steve that we didn’t accept political calls after 8pm, that my husband and I would be voting tomorrow and to have a nice day before I hung up on him. I think there should be an opt-out type of policy for people to get their numbers off of the political call list. Personally, I’d like this to be based on your voting record attendance. If you’ve voted in the last three elections, you’re exempt from getting the phone calls (unless, of course, you’d like to get them, in which case an automatic referral to mental health services could be started). That way you’re rewarding the people who vote anyway. Furthermore, I wouldn’t get the calls that way, and since it’s my scenario, I’m going to devise a plan where I don’t have to get them.
And that was the big dilemma of my day. I decided to take her with me. At day care when I picked her up the workers gave me the what-in-the-you-know-where-are-you-thinking look. They told me that on the news it said that it was taking people 15-30 minutes after they got their ballot to vote. I explained to them that I'd already gone through and knew for whom I was voting and what I was voting for each of the state questions.

I ignored their doubts and went with Baby on a leash. The very nice poll workers tried to give her a sticker, but she wasn't interested. I walked up to the fancy cardboard podiums, picked up the marker, pulled out my cheat sheet, and was done in about two minutes. Ta-da.

Most likely she won't remember any of this particular day at all, which is okay because we've got to start somewhere. If nothing else she'll learn that the "I Voted!" stickers are worth the wait to get them.


Ashley said...

im-pah-tah lesson. Good job, Momma! I'm also glad it only too you a few seconds. Way to go!

Anonymous said...

Good show. You sound like a good mama.

ely said...

I commend your dedication to instilling good values in your child. Even if she doesn't remember it, you're setting up good habits. Good job!

Cerulean Bill said...

I had lots of people bring kids. The only time its ever a problem is if there's a mob scene, and the kids get fatigued. In a way, its like when someone escorts an elderly relative. You make allowances, as much as you can. Then again, during the Presidential, I had a person complain because I let an elderly voter wait in a chair instead of standing for about half an hour. Go figure.