A couple of nights ago our country and my toddler had a BIG NIGHT. My toddler got to stay up 2 hours past her bedtime to attend her Godmother’s birthday party. She got to eat a dinner of crackers, strawberries and plain white rice (which sounds like a prison diet but I assure you, it is her favorite meal). She also got to eat cake, or I should say, she got to eat frosting, which is her main focus when it comes to cake.
I got to eat a lot of good food too, for anybody wondering.
Our country though, got to watch our two major party candidates debate on live television. The timeline of these events was eerily similar.
Donald Trump started about as strong as it is possible for him to start a process for which he was woefully unprepared and so did my toddler. Donald talked a lot about trade, and my toddler was tolerating if not warm to the few family members that arrived early like we did. She played with Mardi Gras beads (for those who think I’m overprotective- see exhibit A: completely fine with this obvious choking and strangulation hazard in the name of getting to stand around eating shrimp for five minutes) and a stuffed dog that I think, but am not certain, may be stuffed with the actual ashes of a dog no longer with us- that’s fine right? Meanwhile, I was able to make polite small talk with relatives.
Hillary gave clear concise opening statements and kept her cool throughout Donald interrupting her and attempting to talk over her, a lot like me, holding off my clingy toddler’s inevitable meltdowns, ready with the next cracker as soon as my toddler’s fear of strangers and separation anxiety kicked in.
About halfway through the night Donald really started unraveling and losing his cool, just like the overstimulated 19-month-old as she neared “pumpkin hour.” He gave nonsensical rambling answers to questions, he lied, doubled down on his racist “birther” position, claimed not to have said things that he did actually say, criticized Hillary a lot for among other things her “lack of stamina,” her “horrible decisions,” including the one to actually prepare for the debate, and that her ads, which consist mostly just of video clips of Donald’s own statements, were “not nice” to him.
My toddler similarly melted down and among other things, knocked over a big box of Mardi Gras beads, subsequently tried to carry every single one of them around the room at the same time and completely lost her shit when I attempted to pry them from her tiny sticky little fingers that somehow still have a superhuman death grip that makes me think I gave birth to a mutant.
Sidenote: I often irrationaly think (and I don’t think I’m alone here) that one of the reasons I didn’t get further in my life is because I was actually meant to be the mother of somebody who does get really far in life, that like, the mental and emotional tools I was given are really more suited to supporting and nurturing a really smart capable young woman (no pressure kid) who will do amazing things through my unconditional love and ability to nag and manipulate her into being a super genius who saves lives or becomes president, than they are to like, actually getting myself anywhere career-wise. So NATURALLY, I also sometimes think that maybe the reason I never became one of the X-(Wo)Men, is because my superpower is actually a recessive mutant gene that I can only pass on to my children, but will imbue them with supernatural powers. I’m super normal guys. Totally together. Don’t worry about it.
After the debate finished, Donald Trump himself, in an unprecedented move by a presidential candidate, went directly into the spin room and started throwing temper tantrums.
As soon as one of the other parents of small children at this party started getting ready to leave, the rest of us IMMEDIATELY seized on this opportunity to make our exits as well and it was NOT a coincidence as the childless among you may eventually find out. When my toddler got home, she also went into her spin room (she just goes in a room and starts twirling- which I am not making up for comedic effect, this happens all the time, I have it on video) and started bouncing off the walls. Any time I mentioned bath time she would start spinning and saying “nope, nope, nope, Mickey, nope, no more bath, watching tensis.” “Watching tensis,” is her way of saying, I want to delay bed time by saying this phrase that I know you think is cute so you will let me lay in my Amma’s bed (Grandma’s bed) and turn on the Tennis Channel while I wiggle around and goof off.
It seems to me that much like cake and staying up late are a recipe for a grumpy whiny toddler, facts and scrutiny make Donald Trump dissolve down to his own true colors. My kid gets pissed that I insist she take a bath and get some rest, and Donald gets pissed that he has to answer for the bullshit he serves up.
Maybe I’m just a boring over-protective mom, but that’s the way I see it.