I am sure that I did not learn my lesson last night, but the caucus system and a 20-month-old do not mix. At least, not my 20-month-old.
Minnesota has a caucus system, which basically means that you have to go to a place and sit in a room with other members of your precinct to determine resolutions and candidates. In this case, other members of the DFL (Democratic Farmer-Labor) party. This can take anywhere from one hour to several, depending upon the number of people present and the amount of resolutions proposed.
Complaints about the caucus system abound, and as I am judgmental and sanctimonious, I think they all boil down to "it's too much work." True, it takes more time, but many people bring their kids, and you get to meet your neighbors. The complaint about "it's only party insiders" is also just an excuse; at least, I have never felt that way, and I am by no means a party insider. I find it engaging and fun. At least, I used to.
daddywhumpus has rehearsal on Tuesday nights. It has never occurred to me that this would be a problem, unavoidable conflict-wise. I can take babywhumpus with me on primary or general election days, but I totally forgot that last night was caucus night, and Finn might be caucus averse. So I had to take him with me.
It didn't work out. He had a blast, toddling up and down the halls and trying to wander into other rooms. He knew which one was ours and, once free of it, shrieked and went limp and kicky whenever we entered and I tried to pick him up. He got many smiles and "Aws" and "isn't he cutes?"; I missed all the speeches from the candidates, every lick of business, and didn't even get to sign in. I left at 7:30, filled with bitter resentment and aimless frustration.
I wanted to write this when I came home, but it's probably better that I couldn't due to continued toddler duty. It was simmering around in my head with acidic vitriol and would not have been helpful. Interesting and laughable, but not helpful.
It did not help that our neighbors were there with their daughter who is not much older than Finn. She sat there placidly and quietly on her mother's hip like a perfect angel while Thrashy McShriekypants turned me into One Of Those Mothers, visibly exasperated with my lot in life as I bundled all our crap out of the room and down the high school hallways.
I don't always love being a mother, and I don't always like my child. Last night was particularly circus-option-inducing, and I probably need a mothering break. Trouble is, that's going to be pretty hard to come by in the near future.