Thursday, November 6, 2008

No Bedtime on Election Night

To celebrate the election coverage (or very possibly because I am sick of crafting nutritious meals in the toaster oven), we ordered Chinese food for dinner on Tuesday. The idea in my head involved us all sprawled in front of the TV, spearing food directly from the little paper containers that we'd pass around (think college) while we watched the poll information roll in. Luckily, reality struck before I mentioned that out loud so the kids were not disappointed when we ate around the dining table, as usual and cleanup only involved stripping one boy of his sauce-covered shirt and wiping floor & chair instead of steam cleaning a rug and upholstery.

After dinner, the kids got into their pj's and we all settled in to watch the districts report. I honestly thought the kids would lose interest in a few minutes and we'd have them in bed by 8:30pm but they were interested in the results and asking questions left and right, so we let them stay up. Every so often, they'd get rowdy or off topic and I'd come out with, "It's bedtime, unless you're watching the elections," and they'd settle right back down. By 9:30, they were still involved but Lars was drooping and he was out cold by 9:38. We tried shaking him awake but once Lars is down, it's over and, since Lars was sprawled across the arm of the chair between Chris and his beer, Chris took Lars upstairs to get him out of the way.

Meanwhile...completely nonplussed by the holographic reporters (aren't they all over Star Trek? What's the big deal?), Ross had become enthralled by the CNN 'Projection' segments. Every time the intro came up, he'd sit a bit straighter and shush us. He had the presentation graphics all figured out and as the night wore on, he'd inform us if he thought the green bar noting the percentage of districts reporting was far enough along to make the data beside it worth discussing. He asked why the votes were only being counted for McCain and Obama - what about all the other candidates on the presidential line? (In the school elections, Ross voted for Ralph Nader, because he was last of ten candidates on our ballot and Ross felt sorry for him.) We started explaining the relative futility of third-party candidates in our political system but, thankfully, another 'Projection' spot came up and we were shushed.

At 10:15, Ross figured out that California would close at 11pm and declared that he was going to stay up for it. He made the declaration in a slightly menacing voice, as if I might be about to suggest he go to bed, but I'd already decided to let him stay up as long as he wanted. This election, whichever way it fell, would be an historic first and he might remember watching it happen - might have a sense of his life spanning an important moment in history. Also? Sending my kid in blisteringly overtired for one of the mere seven (7!!) school days he will have this month seemed like a fitting form of quiet protest.

5 comments:

Fraukow said...

Hey, Fraukow can no longer get on this site cuz she changed her e-mail. How does she fix that?

Epiphany Alone said...

I invited you under your other email address, so it should be all set...

LMP said...

I thought Cynthia McKinney ran as the Green Party candidate this year...?

karen said...

McKinney did run for the Green Party - Nader ran as an Independent.

LMP said...

Wow, that guy just can't let it go, huh?