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No pictures please: A voting story

So here we are a week out from the election.  And you know what bothers me the most?  I didn’t get my picture.  You know the one, they were all over facebook- adorable children smiling with their mom or dad, proudly wearing ‘I voted’ stickers.  I am not super into politics, but I do my part (at least in the major elections).  I do want to encourage my kids to take an active role in our democratic process.  Well, I voted all right.  And I took the kids with me.  But no, we have no pictures from that morning.

The day started out a little chaotic.  I had plans of when we were going to vote.  I thought about dressing up the kids in some nice red, white, and blue outfits.  I mean, everything is more fun when you theme it out, right?  We’d have our usual morning and head to vote after the girls had their morning nap.  Perfect, right?  Nope.  My day started with Pat running around trying to find his tools because the knob in the bathtub broke and the water wouldn’t stop running.  He has to leave pretty early in the morning for work, and that day he was up earlier and even more pressed for time in order to go vote before work.  Having to do a household repair was not helpful.  I tried to help, and I fortunately remembered we knew how to turn the water off to the whole house.  (We had a leaky hose we tried to fix by turning a level near the faucet.  Then we went inside and had no water.  It turned out to be a helpful mistake.)

Pat got himself ready and out the door while I settled in to watch some youtube videos to see if this was something I could fix.  There was one quick fix, but required me to go to the hardware store.  I let the kids sleep until their normal wake times (no sense having cranky kids on top of no water).  I gave Ben a quick breakfast, nursed the girls, and we hit up the hardware store.  I really want to thank the employee that recognized that someone walking into a hardware store at 7:45am with three small kids probably wants to get in and out quickly.  We were able to get the part and be back home in about twenty minutes.

I tried to fix the knob myself.  It did not work.  Not because I did it wrong, I am happy to say.  But basically that wasn’t the problem.  Oh well.  I had an idea of what the problem might be (seriously, what did people do before youtube videos to show you how to do everything?), but actually doing it was a different story.  I did have my super handy helper Ben who brought his tool kit in to the bathroom with me.  But Ali and Sammy were a little less than helpful and wanted attention.  At this point all I could really do was wait for the plumber to call me back and let me know when he could come over.

I have to say, this is a total first world problem and I know that.  Really, I am very fortunate to not have had a burst pipe, or to have no water in the middle of a freezing winter.  But having to go outside to turn the water on every time we needed it was annoying.  You don’t realize how much you take running water for granted until you try to turn it on about a gazillion times and it isn’t there.  Let’s add in Ben is potty training right now, and he loves to flush the potty.  I had to explain to him why we weren’t flushing, which you can bet a three year old understood right away and didn’t ask a million questions about. 😉  I couldn’t get a shower, I couldn’t do most of the chores (laundry, some cleaning, cooking- all easier to do with running water), and the girls were teething hard.  That last one has nothing to do with the water, but was frustrating for all parties.  I didn’t know when our tub would be fixed, and I wasn’t sure when I could make it out to vote.  I didn’t want to have to wait too long and not get to go.  Pat had texted that he waited in line for almost an hour before he had to leave to go to work, so he had to stop on the way home.  I didn’t want to mess with nap time on top of everything else, so I decided to just pack everyone up and go.

I had gotten the kids dressed pretty quickly that morning, so they weren’t in their cute patriotic outfits.  I had just thrown on yesterday’s clothes and hadn’t even showered yet, so that was super.  But democracy just wants you to show up, right?  I was happy the line to vote was pretty short.  However, it was in a gym that has some good acoustics and Ben was pretty happy to show them off to everyone.  Awesome.  Plus he decided the best way to pass the time while I tried to vote was to literally run in circles around my little voting booth.  Yeah…  I tried to vote as quickly as I could so we could head out.

On our way out the nice gentleman helping at the exit had four stickers all ready to go for us.  This was it.  The kids looked cute, despite not being themed.  As long as I wasn’t in the picture we were set.  I put the stickers on the girls and put one on Ben.  Ben immediately started yelling, “No! No! No!” (Seriously, he is the only three year old I know that doesn’t like stickers.  What is up with that?) He tore his sticker off.  Fine, I would get a picture of my sweet little girls.  I look down and both of them had pulled off their stickers and were trying to eat them.  Great.  I grab all the stickers and we leave.

Leaving around the same time of me was another mother and her friend.  This mother was wearing her sweet little baby who looked to be just a few months old.  She and her baby looked super cute together, They are happy and smiling for a picture.  She was sweet and offered to take a picture of my rag tag crew and me.  I didn’t even think before practically yelling no.  I had one kid running in circles around me, two babies crying because I wouldn’t let them eat stickers, and I was unshowered and wearing yesterday’s clothes.

We headed home and fortunately the plumber was in and out before nap time.  The kids napped, I finally got my shower, and Pat was able to vote after work.  All in all things worked out well.  I voted, the kids experienced democracy, and we had working water again.  That’s what counts and I am grateful for both running water and our country.

But I still want my picture.  Maybe in four more years.  🙂


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