They've had to suffer through hours and hours of me watching election returns, gabbing on the phone with my own punditry, and probably worst of all, throwing way too much information at them about just what it was that was going on.
Riley (she's 7): What are you voting for?
Me: Well, this is to decide who is going to be the parties' nominees for President.
Riley: They're having a party?
Me: No, a party is a group of people. There are 2 groups...well, actually there are more than that, but for a long time now, it's basically been 2 groups that pick someone to run for President, and it comes down to those two...although, there have been a few third-party candidates as well. The idea of a third party is nice, but it's not strong enough right now to get a 3rd party candidate elected, so really, they just need to stay out of it.
Riley: What's for dinner?
Me: I don't know. So, see what happens is...
Sylvia (10): I want Obama to win because Clinton's had her turn in the White House.
Me: Well, no, she hasn't really. She was just the first lady, but she didn't run the country.
Sylvia: But she had her turn! It's Obama's turn now!
Me: But it doesn't work like that! It's not the same. Just because she lived there before doesn't mean she can't run for President.
Me: Quiet! (turning the radio up to check on new returns)
Get home, throw some chicken nuggets, celery, peanut butter at the kids, turn on ABC and blast it.
Me (to myself): "OMG! I totally forgot that Peter Jennings is dead!"
Returns start coming in with Clinton victories.
Sylvia: Oh, man!
Me: Well, no, it's okay, see, because Obama can still pick up delegates from these states.
Sylvia: What are delegates?
Me: [I really can't remember what BS I babbled at this point, but trust me, it wasn't worth trying to repeat anyway!]
Sylvia: "Who did T vote for?" (T is a family friend.)
Me: I don't know. [call T.] Who'd you vote for?
Talk to T for a good half-hour - okay, probably longer than that - discussing the McCain v. Clinton, McCain v. Obama, Clinton's education plan, Obama's, etc.
Me: Oh, yeah, I have kids!
[off the phone]
Me: Riley, did you do your homework?
Me: Riley, get to work.
Riley continues doing...something other than homework, but of course, I'm too glued to the TV to really notice. Phone rings, I'm off and running my mouth for another good long time. Finally realize that it doesn't look like my kids are doing much of anything.
Me (yelling now): Riley, get to work!
Me, noticing Sylvia is just standing in front of the TV.
Me: Sylvia, do your homework!
Sylvia: But this is my homework!
One of her homework assignments was to watch some coverage, and write about it in her journal. Of course, that's just one assignment.
Me: Do your other assignments first, and then you can watch it with me.
Riley's still not doing homework. Off with the TV. I totally know better! I was just hoping against hope that I could actually do it just this once.
Help Riley with her sentences for spelling, then with her math, make lunches...hey, I'm actually accomplishing stuff tonight!
Riley finishes and runs off to my room to watch some Noggin. Sylvia and I turn on the TV again. She's still bummed that Clinton's winning states. I'm ecstatic that Romney's losing them big. She writes her journal, and I ask her to read it to me. I think the last line says it all:
"Well, I'm really tired now. I think I'll go to bed."
Lesson: the next time you really want your kids to go to sleep, just talk politics all night long!