Last Tuesday Noah got all suited up for another cah-razy night at the local Cub Scouts den meeting, while Luke and I scrambled to get home on time/do the kid care switcheroo/scarf-up dinner dance that we are oh-so-familiar with these days. Rosie, as is her wont, was feeling displeased about there being such things as meetings “special for boys” that she, in her girlness could not attend. So in an attempt to appease her frustration, I asked her if she wanted to go do “a girl thing with mama.” This was me thinking fast, because I had already been toying in my mind whether or not I could make it to the polls in time to vote before they closed, and since my polling place is only a block away, I thought I’d just two birds one stone it. This is called parenting genius — accomplishing something you were going to do anyway, but turning it into something that seems Really Unique and Special to the Situation.
Rosie was stoked—and I mean stoked—to be A.) leaving the house after dark B.) on foot C.) on an exclusively all-girls mission. She could barely contain her excitement as we clomped down the sidewalk. At one point I realized I hadn’t told her what we were doing exactly (though I really think we could have walked around the block once and gone back home and she would have declared it The Best Thing Ever), so I explained that we were going to a special place so mama could do a special thing called voting. Then I tried to explain voting to a 3-year-old. Have you tried this? It is supremely hard. “Well, Mama is just going to go tell some people what she thinks they should do. Except there’s no talking, only pushing buttons on a computer. But the buttons tell people what you think! … Sort of.”
But Rosie picked up what I was laying down, in her Rosie way. “Mama! When you vote, people hear you!” And just as I was about to whip out my phone to dial MENSA, she followed up with a yell that reverberated through the entire neighborhood. “Like this: VOOOOTE!!!!”
People heard her.
So we went to vote, hand in hand, and Rosie treated it with hushed reverence, not making a peep while we were in the room with the booths (kiosks? portals? stalls?) and accepting her “Georgia Voter” sticker with a solemnly polite “Thank you.” Then on the walk home, she bopped happily next to me, confirming every so often, “We are girls, right Mom?” To which I would answer, “Yes, we are girls.”
A few days later, Noah happened to mention Cub Scouts in conversation, at which point Rosie immediately interrupted. “Yeah, an’ me and Mama, we VOTE!” That’s when I realized that she understood the rules to work like this: only boys go to Cub Scouts and only girls vote.
I think I’m gonna just let her keep that world view for a little bit. Can I get an up top, Elizabeth Cady Stanton.