Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Warning: Having Children May Put a Damper on Your Democratic Freedoms

In the Christie house, the last one to wake up in the toddler bed after another sleepless night with a sick baby gets to have the crap beaten out of her. Baby Bigfoot is not an angry child, but instead, just overly excited to see his Mommy turned "mummy." I'm scrunched up and wrapped tightly in baby blankets, my face pressed unnaturally against the blue plastic bed rail. In my mind I'm asking God what I ever did that was so bad to end up losing my freedom to sleep.

First I get my hair yanked out of my scalp, and bitten on the hip, (this is a loving greeting from my youngest child). Then, as I hide my face in my hands, still dreaming that I'm being attacked by killer ants, he tries to rake my eyes out with his chubby little fingers. Meanwhile, each screech and howl from me draws peels of delighted laughter from him. Finally, as I involuntarily yawn from exhaustion, he stuffs both of my slippers into my open mouth. That means it's time for me to get up. Sauntering around his bedroom like no one has ever had the ability to walk before, Baby Bigfoot yanks both his shades open, and the sun swells into the room. "Day. Day. Day." He chants like a miniature cult member.

I hide under his Winnie the Pooh blanket trying to "reduce myself to zero" like Gandhi. Then Big Brother comes to the door. "I wanted to have ME TIME but now everybody is up and I CAN'T!" He whines. "Me Time" is his label for the hour he spends alone in the den in the morning, pacing and talking to imaginary people. "You can do that in your room." I say, and he does.

I stand up and remember that today is very important; it's Election Day. After I take the Princess to dance class I plan to vote. I'll have to take all three kids to the fire house with me, so I can get it done early. If I don't duct tape Big Brother's mouth, this should be interesting. He views the election as one big sporting event, and maybe he's right. I'm thinking that his comments will reduce my voting privacy to zero.

Downstairs my husband has set the children up watching his idea of morning cartoons, CNN. Big Brother has already absorbed a half an hour of this channel's election banter. Just like I feared, he will share what he's learned at the polling place while Mommy waits on line to vote.

The line is longer than I can remember it ever being in the early afternoon at the fire house. The kids are climbing on me like monkeys on a salt high from a McDonald's lunch. Three sympathetic moms let me cut ahead of them to vote, sending me to the front of the line. I thank them profusely, thinking I have only a few minutes to go before I get in the booth and leave without Big Brother having opened his mouth. That's when it happens.

"Mommy, who are we rooting for, John McCain or Barack Obama?" I try to act like I didn't hear him, because I feel like people are listening. He ignores my silence and keeps talking like a five year old pundit. "Mommy, I'll tell you what problems are important for me. I want Christmas presents this year and the only man who can grow a beard and actually look like Santa Claus is John McCain. That's why he's got to win President of the World. All the children in the world will expect him to deliver presents, and someone on television says he's the only man who can." I'm staring at the floor fighting back a grin. People are giggling. I vote and walk out.

In the parking lot the princess is having a meltdown because we left the building before she could get some of a polling volunteer's potato chips. Big Brother is tugging on my shirt. "Mama, What happens if John McCain doesn't win? Will there be Christmas?" I tell him yes, that Santa Claus is not the president, and Christmas is about Jesus' birthday. "Jesus loves you so much that he wants YOU to get presents on HIS birthday," I try to explain. "Oh, so Jesus brings the presents. Phew! That was close." He says, relieved.

But he's not done. "Mommy? ...If Jesus brings the presents, then why do we have a Prez-ident? What does he do?" I'm starting to lose patience. Two out of three children are now screaming for potato chips and I can't find my car keys. "Tax them!" I say, exasperated. Then Big Brother starts to cry. I think being followed out of a polling station by a wailing crowd of children may be a violation of my Democratic rights. I say a quick prayer under my breath that God, Gandhi and the Nanny will forgive me for my parental shortcomings.

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Dear Internet Traveler,

Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.


Loren Christie

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