Registering to Vote, Baby Version


A couple weeks ago, I buckled Ryan into his car seat, drove to campus to pick Chris up from work and then plugged in, “St. Joseph County DMV,” into the Google Maps app. Yep, I had no clue where it was. I feel like Americans are born with a fear of the long lines at the DMV. So as you can expect, we put off getting our Indiana driver’s licenses for quite some time. Oops.  Nevertheless, we had reached the deadline that finally kicked our bottoms into action: the last day to register to vote in Indiana! We need a photo ID to present at the polls on Election Day so we thought we might as well kill two birds with one stone and headed to the daunting DMV with a baby in tow.

We arrived, took our numbers and then dutifully waited in our seats for twenty numbers to pass.
Poor Ryan wanted to roam around on all fours, but I was determined that he was going to stay in our arms. I may not be a germ freak at all when it comes to life (I’m a five second rule follower in many cases, Ryan could play in the mud all day long and I would as happy as a clam, etc.), but the thought of allowing my baby to crawl around on the floor of a busy government building that most likely didn’t remember its last mopping definitely made me cringe. As a result, there was a lot of baby bouncing on the knee, lifting in the air, walking around and baby standing…just no crawling. All of this happened while Chris and I crammed (read: flipped through a few questions online while discussing our day) for the driver’s info test we had just learned we would need to take.

Finally, a worker called our number and sent us over to the row of computers to take the test. Chris and I juggled holding our little rascal while answering questions about how long it takes for a semi to stop in the rain or what a yellow circle sign means. After reading the congratulatory message about my passing (yay!), I carried Ryan away to wait for the glamorous photo shoot otherwise known as the driver’s license photo. So far his clean hands had not touched the floor. Much to my surprise, I didn’t even get to attempt to sit down before a lady called my name. 

The lady and I had a tough time deciding what color my hair was (we settled on brown), which was funny because last year when I told the lady at the Chicago DMV that my hair was black, she looked up from her computer and gave it to me straight, “Honey, your hair is not black.” I guess I was mistaken for 22 years of my life! But back to the story…

I thought Chris would be done by the time we had to have our pictures taken so when the lady asked, “Ma’am could you put the baby down for your picture,” I frantically looked back for Chris only to see him across the long room still seated at a computer. I turned around only to notice that I was now holding up a line of five people, who all wore faces that said either, “Is she seriously going to make my time at the DMV longer,” or, “Is she really going to put the baby on that gross floor?” I could feel my face getting hotter and hotter by the moment.

“I’ll just wash his hands right after!” I blurted out loudly for all to hear as I lowered Ryan to my feet so everyone knew that I recognized the filth of the floor and that I wasn’t an utterly careless mother. I smiled at the camera only to be told that smiling with teeth isn’t allowed so I tried to smile with my eyes in true America’s Next Top Model style. Then I heard, “Ma’am! He is going for the coffee cup!”

I gasped. The camera flashed.

I spun around only to see my swift sprint-crawler reaching for the paper cup and daring to knock it over. With my quick mom reflexes, I was able to snatch him up right before his fingers grazed the cup. Whew. The DMV lady was laughing at the amazingly hilarious photo she took mid-wide-eyed-gasp-of-horror. Oh, I wish I had a photo of that photo to share with you. 

Thankfully, the DMV lady allowed me to take another photo. So here is my trying to smile with my eyes while a fussing baby is grabbing at my knees attempt! ANTM, here I come. 
All in the name of civic responsibility. And thank goodness for hand sanitizer. 

Hope you voted today! Chris and I enjoyed our zero minute wait in line...oh the life of living in a non-swing state. 
Ryan's first trip to the polls