3rd Grade Politics

Tomorrow my 8 year old son (I call him Mr. Wizard because he’s way smarter than I am) is running for student council representative of his 3rd grade class.  There are about 10 students running, and 2 representatives will be elected by their classmates’ voting.  Mr. Wizard did not even hesitate when he learned of this opportunity, because he said “this is the logical first step toward reaching my dream of becoming president of the United States”.  Yes, I guess it is.  He made a poster to display in the classroom and wrote a one minute speech that he will deliver tomorrow to his class.  He wrote his speech himself (with a tiny bit of editing help from mom) and it is so cute:

“Elementary” (name has been changed) is a great school because there are a lot of nice teachers, we learn tons of important things, and the students are really caring.

Even though it doesn’t have a pool, it’s still a pretty cool school.  Then he giggles because he likes the rhyme.

I would like to help make Elementary even better by being on the student council.  I think I would be a good student council member because I am responsible and I work well with others.

For example, I help take care of my baby brother by playing with him and making him laugh.  But I don’t change his dirty diapers; I leave that for my mom and dad. another giggle.  I also feed my cat, Chief, and my fish, Angel.

I work well with others when I take turns and share.  I helped my baseball team win lots of prizes by selling coupon books.

If you elect me for student council I promise that I will be focused on our future.

Vote for me and together we will make Elementary an even greater place to be.

Thank you.

Sweet, right?  Succint, logical.  Of course he kind of skirts around the important issues, like why recess can’t be a few minutes longer and why they have to learn how to square dance in P. E., but what politician doesn’t?

Each class will vote for one girl and one boy.  Mr. Wizard said there are about 5 girls and 5 boys running from his class.  Am I a bad person if I’m thinking about innocent 8 year old kids in terms of how much competition they are to my son?  Oh THAT kid?  The one that wet his pants all the time in Kindergarten?  Yeah, you’re golden against him, buddy.  Or isn’t Damien the one that had to go to the principal’s office for getting too many “blurt alerts”?  Maybe you’re slogan should be “Vote for me, I’m blurt free” and then I thought Get a grip for God’s sake… he’s not running for the state senate for crying out loud.   It is so hard to give the appropriate amount of support, while also fostering independence and valuable life skills.  Just another example of why parenting is so damn hard!

It is now 11:00 pm and Mr. Wizard keeps getting out of bed.  Poor kid is a nervous wreck.   I asked if he was nervous about giving his speech. He said “a little, but I’m mostly worried that I won’t win and then I’ll feel like a loser”. My heart aches for him. I wish I could protect him from all pain, but, of course, I can’t, and this, like all things, is an important life lesson for him. I told him that we will go out for ice cream tomorrow night. If he “wins”, it will be a celebration, and if he doesn’t, then it will be a celebration of the hard work he did and the fact that he tried. That cheered him up a little, and he was able to go to sleep.  Or maybe it was the trace amount of Ambien I snuck in his bedtime glass of water.

At 4:00 am I am sleeping soundly in my warm, comfortable bed dreaming of an amazing performance by Yours Truly and Drew Carey on So You Think You Can Dance, when all of a sudden I’m awoken by a very unwelcome smack on the arm.  Mr. Wizard is standing next to the bed in his tighty whiteys and his SpongeBob snuggie.  “I can’t sleep, can I just get up?”  I look at the clock.  “No, buddy, it is 4:00 in the morning.  Go back to bed.”  Fifteen minutes later he is back.  “Can I get up now?”  Oh, for the love of all that is holy!  “NO!  Please go to bed.  You have three more hours to sleep.”  Then he starts crying and says he can’t sleep, he’s too nervous, he can’t settle down.  I snapped “GO BACK TO BED!”, rolled over, pulled the blanket up over my ears, and heard him trudge back to bed.   About 3.8 seconds later I felt like a huge asshole, so I got up and went to lay by him in his bed.  After smacking my head on his twin bunkbed trying to get into the bottom bunk with him, I tried my best to calm him down.  I have NEVER slept with any of my children unless we have no choice and are in a hotel or something, so he was very surprised.  And chatty.  And restless.  And, damn, does he need his toenails cut.  Finally, at 6:00 I told him to just get up and I went back to sleep for an hour in my own bed.

So now I’ve sent him to school with only 5 hours of sleep.  My heart is aching for him and I am preparing what I will say when he comes home upset, possibly in tears.  Though I was hopeful he would win, I wasn’t holding my breath that he would.  My husband brings him home at the end of the day.  He walked in first and shook his head no and my heart breaks again!  I’m going to need a freaking heart transplant after this experience.   Then Mr. Wizard walks in and I am all ready to hold my arms out and console him and dry his tears.  He walks right past me “Hey Mom!”  “Uh…. hi buddy.  How was your day?”  “Good.”  “How did the election go?”  “Oh, Duke and Hattie won”.  I didn’t know what to say.  so I stalled. “Oh?”  “Yep.”  “So how do you feel?” “Oh, a little disappointed”.  I asked who he voted for.  “Duke and Hattie”.  “You didn’t vote for yourself??” “Nope.”  “Were you not allowed to vote for yourself?”  “Well, our teacher told us that we could if we thought we were the best candidate, but I thought Duke was really the best candidate so I voted for him”.

Then about two seconds later he asked when we could have ice cream.  Cold creamy dairy goodness with Butterfinger pieces always makes things better!

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2 thoughts on “3rd Grade Politics

  1. Thank you for this story and the ending especially. 🙂 My son is supposed to give his speech tomorrow and was in tears tonight!!! You do want to protect them from the hurt– the ice cream is a good plan.

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