FEATURE — “Dora, I hate Dora and her big, fat head!” reads a mug in my kitchen cabinet. Rude, right? I mean, who hates Dora? She is a plucky young explorer for heaven’s sake. And she was basically bilingual at birth.
Well, who hates Dora? Apparently one of my boys at age three hated Dora. Or, at least that’s what the other side of the mug claims. And it’s probably true – OK, it’s 100% true – because I had the mug hand-lettered with the all-too-true jibe on one side and the culprit and his age on the other.
I also had several other quips, along with their authors, lettered onto mugs of their own. Not every quote, mind you, just the real zingers. You know, the ones where you question your whole existence as a parent after one of your children utters it.
For those, paper just didn’t seem permanent enough.
And over the years, the quote mugs have developed into quite a collection. Truth be told, the Dora mug isn’t even the most scandalous one.
There’s the one that says, “Jesus told me I was the boss of you.” Oldest boy, age four.
There’s another that says, “You’d look prettier if you wore pink lipstick.” Youngest boy age three.
And then, of course, there’s my personal favorite, “somebody pooped in my pants, but it wasn’t me.” Middle boy age three and a half. Clearly, potty training wasn’t quite in the bag at that point.
Each mug gets a turn in my morning tea ritual. And each mug makes me smile. Still, all these years later.
For no reason in particular I stopped turning quotes into mugs about half-way down the list of keepers. OK, so maybe the reason is that I had no more room on my mug shelf – and also, what kind of crazy lady has two dozen mugs, quotes or otherwise?
Apparently, this lady.
And apparently, this lady isn’t quite finished. Because certain years just scream for certain quotes. And this year screams for voting. Or rather, boating.
Let me explain. It was Election Day 10 years ago. I was struggling to coax my middle boy, who would turn four the next day, into the car. I needed to vote, and he didn’t want to get in the car.
I’d purposely been vague about our “errand” because I thought he’d be uncooperative. You know kids and long, boring adult lines.
But he wouldn’t budge without a concrete answer. So, I confessed, “we’re going voting.” “Oh, great!” he replied and immediately hopped in the car.
Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, I followed suit.
It was only when we pulled in the parking lot of the elementary school that things started to turn. “Wait, wait, wait!” he demanded. “We’re in the wrong place! Turn around right now.”
I parked, got out of the car and explained to his wide-eyed face that this is exactly the right place – everyone in our neighborhood comes here to vote. “Voting?” he wailed at me. “I thought we were going BOATING!”
And I don’t think he’s ever quite forgiven me. Or ever been so disappointed in his young life.
So, yes, elections and disappointment. They go hand in hand in our house as far as my boy is concerned. Lucky for him, a scoop of pink bubble gum ice cream healed that early wound.
But this is 2020. However it goes on November 3rd, I’m afraid a big swath of America is going to be disappointed. And I’m equally afraid that no amount of ice cream will make it better.
But boating will get us nowhere. So, voting we still must go.
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