SMDH

Sheepdog worked from home yesterday because he had a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon.  He has a quiet office in the basement, surrounded by his bicycles, camping gear, and things that go pew-pew-pew.  It is one of his happy places.

I went to the gym in the morning and came home to take a shower afterwards.  Of course it was right at that moment that my phone rang.  Even with soap in my eyes I could see that it was school calling.  I turned off the running water and answered in my most official “no, I’m not naked” mom voice.

“Hi, Stacy.  This is Tracy from the clinic.”

She had Kid D with her.  He had a low-grade fever and felt miserable.  I had noticed The Crud coming on with him earlier and I had actually made a doctor’s appointment for after school so they could diagnose his sinus infection and we could move on.  But he wasn’t going to make it until after school and he needed to be picked up ASAP.

So I texted Sheepdog in the basement: “Any chance you can go get <Kid D> from school? I’m showering.”

His response: “Right now?”

I’m literally in the middle of a shower.  I’m wet.  And cold.  I have soap in my hair and my eyes.  For cripe’s sake: “Come up please.”

So he does and I explain that Kid D says he can not wait, so would he please go get him now.  It will take me much longer, what with my in-the-middle-of-showering dilemma.  Then I ask if he remembers where to go (coincidentally, we had picked Kid D up early on Tuesday to go to Kid A’s Capstone Expo at Georgia Tech so it was fresh in his mind) and he said of course he knew.  So off goes Sheepdog.  I very happily finish showering in peace.

Ten or fifteen minutes later, when I’m dressed again, I get a text.

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Sheepdog showed up at the school.  They buzzed him in at the front desk.  He announced he was there to pick up his kid.  The front desk lady asks for his teacher’s name.

Sheepdog: “Really?  Are you asking just to make fun of me?”  Hats off to her because the likelihood is very high that I would have done the same exact thing.

It turns out the kid was at lunch, so she sent Sheepdog off to the cafeteria to find him.

Kid: “Dad!”

Sheepdog: “Are you ready to go?”

Kid: “(Hell) YES!” (packs up lunchbox and basically runs out of the room, forcing Sheepdog to keep up)

Sheepdog: “How are you feeling, bud?”

Kid: “Great, dad!  I feel great.”

Sheepdog: “Wait.  What?  Didn’t you go to the clinic because you didn’t feel well, and the clinic lady called mom and asked her to come pick you up…”

Kid: “No.  No clinic for me.  I feel just fine.  Where are we going dad?”

Sheepdog: “…”

Shit. He then has to explain his mistake and take Kid E back to the cafeteria.  Fortunately, he was a pretty good sport about the whole thing.

So that’s when I get the text from Sheepdog.

“Don’t know why I thought you said <Kid E>.  Not him.  Off to get <Kid D>.”

Sheepdog literally picked up the wrong kid from school and had to return him.  Then he had to go to a totally different school across town to pick up the right kid.

I’m thinking that five kids in five different schools might be a little much.

Wish me luck for tomorrow.

 

 

 

10-4, Master Yoda

Sick kids.  Last-minute Christmas panic.  More sick kids.  Angry, grouchy people everywhere.  Now I’m starting to feel sick.  Everybody wants something from me.  Full moon coinciding with another especially wicked and unholy round of PMS.  Sheepdog is sleeping with one eye open, just in case.

But I refuse to let it bring me down.  I am going to enjoy the crap out of this Christmas season, dammit, no matter what it takes.  There ARE good things happening all around me.  Sometimes I just have to look extra hard in order to find them.

Kid E finally caught a version of whatever ick it was that landed Kid D in the emergency room last week for IV fluids and some anti-nausea medicine.  Fortunately, he didn’t have it nearly as bad, but he was home from school and laying on the couch this week, wrenching my plans to get stuff done during the countdown to Christmas.  And, since he is a kid-in-training, who follows and copies almost everything his older brother does down to the last dangerous couch flip, he, too, asked to have a walkie-talkie by his side so he could call me whenever he “needed” something during his convalescence.

I set him up for success… he was tucked in and his pillow was fluffed, with fluids, toys, and all of his electronics within reach.  Plus, I had queued up Star Wars V in the Blu-ray.  I was crossing my fingers that he didn’t feel the need to use the dreaded walkie talkie.

Star Wars is a fairly recent obsession for Kid E, although he has dabbled a bit in the past.  The original trilogy comes on TV every year during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, so I always record it.  As a result, the kids have seen IV, V, and VI at least a time or two.  Eventually, I just bought the DVDs.  Back in 1977, Star Wars IV was the very first movie I ever saw in the theater (just a seven-year-old me and my seven-year-old date, Kevin Mc), and I immediately fell in love (with the movie, not the boy).  We played Star Wars for hours upon hours.  I am fan for life.  Of Star Wars.  I haven’t seen Kevin Mc since my wedding to Sheepdog in 1993.  I wonder what he’s doing now.

Anyway… Sheepdog shares my love of the franchise, but being much more cerebral than I, he tends to lean more toward analyzing the movies rather than re-enacting the scenes with toys.  Here’s the gist of Sheepdog’s thoughts on Star Wars… Anakin Skywalker’s choice to join the Emperor/ Darth Sidious and the rest of the bad guys as Darth Vader the Sith Lord is a metaphor for the struggles that an alcoholic faces on a daily basis.  Yoda even warned him, “Fear is the path to the dark side.  Fear leads to anger.  Anger leads to hate.  Hate leads to suffering.”  It is a very compelling theory and I’m sure he would talk about it in depth with anyone who is interested.  Me? I really like the toys.

Fortunately for me, my kids really like the toys too.  Especially Kid E.

"Truly wonderful the mind of a child is," Yoda agrees.

“Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.” – Master Yoda

So, sick Kid E is all set and I ask one last time (sure it is) if he needs anything before I go do stuff.  He shakes his head and gets to the movie watching.

I settled into my chores and was on a roll in no time.  I couldn’t run errands, but I could tackle the things that were waiting for me around the house, and there was quite a lengthy list.  But I was finally getting stuff done.  I was on fire!

Then it started.  Blip, went the walkie talkie.

“Mom!?!”

Blip.

I took a deep breath and responded on the handheld unit, even though he was in the very next room and I could hear him yelling at me through the open door.

Blip.

“I’m here, honey.”

Blip.

Blip.

“Mom!  They are in the swamp, Mom!  R2-D2 went missing for a while, but Luke found him and they are in the swamp now, Mom!”

Blip.

OK.  So, he doesn’t need anything, but I am still going to get a play-by-play of the movie.  Whether I like it or not.

Blip.

“Mom?”

Blip.

“Did you hear me?” he yelled from the other room.  His hand had fallen off the button before he was done annoying me talking.  I took another deep breath.

Blip.

“10-4.  I did hear you, sweet boy.  Thank you for telling me what was happening on a movie I have seen no less than one hundred times.”

Blip.

Blip.

Static.  Blip.  His sweaty hand must have slipped again, because whatever diatribe he had next came from the next room, not through the walkie talkie.  Ugh.  I got up to go talk to him face to face.  He was still explaining something when I sat down next to him.

“You know, you have to hold down that button the whole time you are speaking, not just when you start.” I said to my little, sick boy, who I noticed was buried under his blanket on the couch, surrounded by toys and all of his gear.  And this time I really looked at him… his face was pale and he had circles under his eyes.  His color was off, too.  He was trying so hard to get better, mostly because he knew how much stuff I had to get done before next Wednesday.  I had certainly said it enough times.

Well, crap.

I told him I’d be right back.  I went into my office and turned off my computer.  I put away my files and turned off the lights.  I was done for the day.  Nothing else was important.

I went back into the living room and I climbed under the blanket with my little, sick boy and we cuddled as we watched the rest of the movie.

"You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace. Passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack." - Master Yoda

“You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace.  Passive.  A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.” – Master Yoda

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

This Is My Brain On Drugs

This morning Kid E crawled into bed with me around 6 a.m.  This is much improved over his previous habit of crawling in at 1 a.m. or 3 a.m., so I am certainly not complaining.  He also gets a pass because he is a really good cuddler.  Plus, he says some really funny stuff during our pre-dawn chats.

One of the reasons for this, I believe, is that he wakes up with his brain already going 100 miles per hour.  He usually produces a veritable stream of mouth diarrhea during this waking period, with little filter and less sense.

This week at school is Red Ribbon Week.  Red Ribbon Week is part of a campaign promoted each year to educate children about the dangers of using illegal drugs.  The National Family Partnership, formerly the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth, started the campaign in the 1980’s as a way to bring the War on Drugs directly to the schools, believing that children of parents who talk to them about drugs are less likely to use them.  The PSA’a “I Learned It By Watching You!” and “This is Your Brain on Drugs (sizzle)” are both right up the NFP’s alley.

On the elementary school level, this translates to an activity each day, to educate the kids and remind them to always say no to drugs.  They sign a pledge, wear crazy hats and pajamas, and go to school dressed as what they want to be when they grow up.

Now take just a second to follow me on this thought process.  Kid E just turned six.  He is in kindergarten.  Luckily, he doesn’t really know anything about drugs yet.  The only thing he knows is that we go to the “drug” store to get medicine for him when he has a sore throat or when mommy doesn’t want to make any more babies with daddy.

I guess that the teachers in charge of Red Ribbon Week have figured this out already and are trying to get one step ahead of the confusion, because Kid E was very busy explaining all of the drug things to me early this morning.

“It is okay to take medicine that the doctor tells you to take, ” he said.

“Mkay,” I mumbled with my head still under the pillow.

“Even though medicine is drugs,” he proudly announced.

“But you shouldn’t do the bad kind, ” he continued, “of drugs.  Bad, bad drugs.  Those drugs are bad news.  But medicine is okay.  Unless you are allergic.  But I’m not allergic to any kinds of medicine, am I mom?  Allergic to medicine – the good stuff – am I allergic mom?”

“Un-uh,” I mumbled.  Then I decided I should make it crystal clear, “No, you are not allergic to any medicines.”

“Good, mom.  That’s good.  I didn’t think so.  I didn’t think I was allergic to any medicines.  So I signed my name.”

“Um, what?” I asked, confused.  “You signed your name to what?”

“The board.  I wrote my name up on the board.”

“For why?”

“I signed my name for free drugs.  On the board.  Because I’m not allergic.  To free drugs.”  Even in the pitch-black room, I could sense that he was smiling proudly.

I stifled a giggle as I corrected him, “I think that you probably signed the board as a pledge to stay drug-free, not to get free drugs.  That’s kind of an important distinction, buddy.”

“Oh, right.  That’s what I meant.  Drug-free, not free drugs, mom.  Oh, and today is pajama day, mom!  Today I get to wear my pajamas to school!”

“Awesome.  I sure hope the pajamas help you learn the difference.  Now, let’s go have breakfast.  I want eggs.”

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

I Blame It All On iOS 7

Since I got such a great response to my last post, I decided to share another story about me jacking stuff up.  Gather ’round, my friends.  It’s a pretty good one…

The very first weekend after I returned from the cruise, Sheepdog and Kid B had to go out of town for a soccer tournament.  I was a little jealous that Sheepdog got to go do all of the fun stuff, but decided to shut my trap because I had just returned from my own fun stuff.  I focused instead on being happy about sleeping in my own bed;  I was totally going to be sleeping spread-eagle in the middle of that king-sized mother.

Friday night was clear and easy, but Saturday was looking to be a doozy of a schedule.  The day was starting very early with baseball pictures that I wasn’t even planning to buy, several kids had to be in different places at the same time on multiple instances throughout the day, and I couldn’t even drink about it because I was the only parent within state lines.

In a glorious turn of events at 6:55 on Saturday morning, I received a text.

“Picture Day has been canceled due to impending rain.”  Sweet.

An hour and a half later I heard another beep from my phone, “Park is closed today.  All games are canceled.  Please stay off the fields.”  Double sweet!  Except for ballet class, which Kid A drives to and from anyway, I had the day off.  It was turning out to be a DVR-catching-up-in-my-pajamas kind of day!  With Sheepdog and Kid B likely playing soccer in the rain, I definitely got the better end of this deal.

The boys were fine with being relegated to the basement to have their own video game marathon, and the girls went off to pirouette and tour jete.

But by mid-morning Kid E started whining.  And he Just.  Would.  Not.  Stop.

I watered and fed him…full belly.  I checked for a fever… nothing.  Had he pooped?  Like clockwork.  I offered to play with him, read to him, snuggle with him… un-uh.  I could not figure out what was wrong.  Technically, he was just being a real pisser.

The only things that remained on our afternoon and evening schedule were parties, and Kid E was supposed to go to one of them.  But there was no way in hell-o I was taking this little twit out in the pouring rain just to have him cling to my leg and act all weird and shy, while the other kids climbed the rock wall and played basketball and had normal, birthday party fun.  And what a great party favor to share… potential illness from one of the other guests.  I decided to text the party mom to tell her we weren’t coming.

I typed her name into my phone.  I thought it was a little weird when I was writing the message that her info came up as “Her Older Son‘s Mom.”  That’s how I put people in my contacts until I actually know them.

Yes, you are ID’d solely by your kid until one or more of the criteria have been met:

  1. We have interacted regularly for a while
  2. More than one of your kids plays with my kid(s)
  3. I feel comfortable enough with you to say “vagina” and/ or “penis” in our conversations

It’s my system and it works.  But it was odd that Party Mom’s ID was so retro… our relationship had surpassed the rules years ago.  She and I have discussed spider bites on balls, for goodness’ sake.  Her name is in my phone.  She earned it.

So I typed in the bail-out message.  I felt like an ass for canceling last minute.  Then, as if on cue, Kid E started throwing another holy fit for no particular reason, so I felt like I was making the right choice.  I took a deep, cleansing breath and typed in two more quick texts.

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Party Mom is a friend who always responds to texts right away.  Sometimes it’s just a stupid emoticon and other times she writes words, but I always know she saw my message.  But this time, I got nothing from her.  I chalked it up to her likely being busy with a six-year-old’s birthday party about to start, and I set off to diffuse my own six-year-old time bomb.  Regardless of my reasons, I still harbored guilt for being a shitty friend who texted we weren’t coming less than 15 minutes before the start of the party.

An hour and a half later I got this message back:

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OMG.  OMG.  OMG.

The reason the name “Her Older Son‘s Mom” came up is because iOS7 pulled her old phone number as the primary cell number from some GD cloud somewhere, even though I deleted it some two years ago.  Shit, I thought, She’s totally pissed at me.  And then, Shit, I thought, She passed her old phone down to her daughter.  I had canceled last minute (and maybe she got charged by the party people for a kid who didn’t even show) AND I texted “douche” to her 5th grader.  I am totally killing it today.

I felt like I was going to throw up, with literal puke in my esophagus.

That message was so cold and formal.  It didn’t really sound like her at all, but maybe I had crossed a line.  Or… OMG.  OMG.  OMG.  What if her daughter got the text and then showed it to Party Mom’s parents or her in-laws because she was busy running the party and one of them sent the response?  Holy hell, I am such a douche.

I immediately texted an apology to Party Mom’s real (I double-checked) cell phone.  The puke stayed right there (puts hands around throat in chokehold) all night.

The next morning I got up and checked my phone.  Still no response to my apology from Party Mom.  I had decided sometime during my totally sleepless night (even being spread-eagle in the middle of the king-sized mother couldn’t help me) that I would go over to her house and apologize in person to her and her daughter because it was the right thing to do.  Then I saw that Party Mom “liked” something of mine on Facebook.

Well, that was weird.  If she was so (rightfully) pissed at me, why would she “like” anything of mine?  My curiosity got the best of me.  I sent her another text.

“Good morning.  Are you still speaking to me?”  She began typing a response immediately.

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The puke slowly started to recede.  I gave her the short-story recap of my douche-baggery, in all of its glory.  And this is what she texted back to me:

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I blame it all on iOS 7.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

His Cup Runneth Over

It’s that time of year again, friends.  School is back in session and the kids are settling in to their classes, adjusting to the homework load, and – if they haven’t already – it’s about time to add a sport or activity to the mix.  Load ’em up!  Yeah!

When playing youth sports now-a-days, there is likely the obligatory shopping trip to your local sporting goods store to stock up on the essentials.  Not only do they suck away all of your time; they also suck away all of your money.  And since both boys are playing baseball this season, we tried on some last-season and hand-me-down clothing and equipment first.  It figures that very little of what we had in stock was transferable, so we headed out to buy what was left on our list… grey pants for both boys, cleats because little feet never stop growing, batting gloves to replace the ones that got gum on them last season for Kid D (don’t even ask), and a helmet with a cage for Kid E (gotta protect that pretty face… that’s his moneymaker!).

All of that stuff was important to them, but what do you think was the number one, non-negotiable thing on their lists?  You guessed it… the boys decided that it was imperative that they go athletic cup shopping.

If you are a regular follower of this blog, you may have read about Kid D and his first experience with a protective cup (Protecting the Family Jewels).  I’ve also mentioned his obsession with his junk a time or two before, but Sheepdog assures me that this is standard male behavior.  And Kid E is even more enthusiastic about his, if you can imagine.  So, while we were taking inventory of our baseball gear prior to shopping for more, a very large part of our discussion centered around the balls that are nearest and dearest to their hearts… their own.

Now, the cup that Sheepdog and Kid D settled on last time is likely the smallest size they make.  It is marketed to Age 7 and Under.  And since Kid D is almost 9, he announced that he had outgrown his old cup and needed a bigger one.  Isn’t that always the way?  I did not need Sheepdog’s expertise to recognize that as standard male behavior.  Nevertheless, since we now need two protective cups in the family, it made sense to buy the next size up for Kid D.  And since it was plastic and got washed every time, Kid E could use the old one.

Sheepdog, the boys and I were in the cup aisle at Dick’s (c’mon… where else did you expect we would go?), and they were figuring out sizing.  It turns out the youth cups are all white and then color-coded around the edges (our original one is green).  The one appropriately sized for Kid D came in a standard red color.  Except that the color red on plastic, especially when it is next to a bulge of white, looks a lot more like something you would find in the Barbie aisle.  I steeled myself for a hissy fit in the store because Kid D thought it was bad enough he has to be on the Purple Team (the park is using colors for the first time this season instead of major league team names).  Now he would have to endure sporting a pink cup?

"It's time to protect your nuts, guys!" - Bloodsport (1988)

“It’s time to protect your nuts, guys!” – Bloodsport (1988)

But the fit never came.  Fortunately, Kid D was not fazed in the least by his new pink accessory.  I guess he is more secure in his masculinity than I thought.  He is still beaming about his new cleats, his new gear bag, and the fact that his cup had runneth over in the first place.

Play ball!

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

New House Rule

Yesterday morning I dropped Kid B off at the high school for her second-to-last day of Summer Bridge Program.  I swung by my sister’s house on the way home to do a book swap.  We were talking for a bit and I noticed that my nephew was playing video games while his three little sisters were bugging the crap out of him.  Knowing full well what it was like to be a kid stuck at home with three little sisters who bug the crap out of you, I offered to kidnap him and bring him to my house to play with Kid D for the day.  So, off we went.

On the short drive over, I fired up the speakerphone and called my house.  When Kid C answered, I told her to tell Kid D that I was bringing him a very special surprise, and then I hung up.

It took no more than 30 seconds for my phone to ring back.

“Hi, Mom?  Ummm, yeah.  I wanted to know if I could have a treat too.  Because I have been really good and all,” said Kid E in his best, I-am-the-cutest-kid-in-the-universe voice.

“Well, kid, you have been a pain in my ass not so bad lately.  But I am bringing a surprise home for your brother today.  You can maybe share it a little, but it is mostly for him.  And you can tell your sister, ‘None for Gretchen Weiners.  You go, Glen Coco!'”

When we got to the house, I had my nephew climb into the way back of my truck.  Kid D was waiting for me at the kitchen door, so I told him he could open the hatch and find his surprise.  When he found his cousin waiting for him, he was thrilled.  They bounded off together to play whatever it is eight and nine year old boys play in the summertime.

A little while later they were eating a mid-morning snack… bowls of cereal and some fruit.  These boys are big enough and independent enough that I don’t have to help them at snack time.  They were talking and eating and having a good old time, but they weren’t horsing around or being rough.  I was nearby in my office working on the computer.

Next thing I know, I hear my nephew say, “Where is your mom?” and then, “AUNT STACY!”

I ran into the kitchen straight away.  A piece of cantaloupe had become stuck in Kid D’s throat and he was choking.  It dislodged by the time I got to him and he was breathing fine, but both boys were very visibly shaken.

I hugged Kid D and praised his cousin for his quick response.  I think I went on to hug Kid D about 17 more times over the next few minutes.  He was truly alright, so I was just an embarrassment and a nuisance to him at that point.

A short time later my Crazy Mom Thought Train left the station at about ninety-nine miles an hour.  What if his cousin hadn’t been with him to call for me?  What if it had happened when I wasn’t at home?  What if he trips while running down the stairs and breaks his neck?  What if he gets hit by a car while he is riding his bike to his friend’s house down the street?  What if he gets kidnapped at the bus stop?  What if?  What if?  What if?

I calmed myself down and took a few deep breaths.  I was spiraling out of control and needed to reign it back in a little.  I can not control everything.  All I can do is teach these kids to act reasonably, follow practical rules and hope for the best.  It is really all anyone can do.

But I still insisted on implementing one new house rule:  No more eating again.  Ever.

At least it will be helpful for me during bathing suit season.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Oh, wait.  I think this was from another house that I live in during college.  My bad.

Oh, wait. I think this was from another house that I live in during college. My bad.

How Did I Do Last Night?

Yawn.

Despite the fact that he is now four, we continue to deal with Kid E getting out of bed and wandering into our bedroom in the middle of the night.  He does not do this every night, but probably two or three nights a week he will come into our room when we are in the deepest of R.E.M.s and stand over one of us (usually me) without so much as a word like Snoopy’s vulture character, with only his piercing stares jarring me out of sleep in a fight or flight mode that can only be replicated at point-blank range or by the Blair Witch Project.

Oh, did I wake you?

He will then crawl into bed between us.  And by “between” I mean practically underneath me with his big, fat, hard skull jammed into my lower back.  The position is so awkward that it is actually Cirque du Soleil-worthy.  And it is not exactly conducive to me falling back to sleep, nor is the adrenaline surge caused by being suddenly woken up out of a dead sleep.  But he mumbles in his sweet baby boy voice that he woke up lonely and he wants to cuddle and how can you say no to that?  And then he gently strokes my cheek while simultaneously sucking his thumb and tells that he loves me.  I am such a sucker for the sweet-talking boys, so I let him stay.  When he falls back to sleep I will ever so gently carry him back to his own bed, tuck him in and then start the painstaking toss and turn dance that awaits my stupid forty-year-old body and mind.

Yawn.

But I have had it.  I do not like having my sleep interrupted.  And I have tried everything with this kid.  He says he’s lonely, so I give him stuffed friends to sleep with.  He says he needs something to drink, so I give him a small glass of water.  Inevitably he then says he needs to pee, so I take him to the bathroom.  I threaten, cajole, reason, plead.  I have used positive reinforcement and negative punishment.  I have been unrelenting in carrying him back without a word every single time he comes into my room, even when he does it fifty times in a single night.  I have occasionally let him crawl in without ever waking up.  Sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t.  And the absolute most annoying part is that Kid E claims that he remembers nothing about getting up in the middle of the night.

Maybe there’s something wrong with him.  Maybe he has some sleepwalking zombie disorder.  Maybe he’s just a stubborn little monkey.  I do not know, but he just might be the kid who breaks me.

Every single morning he comes into my room and with sleepy eyes and a gravelly voice, he asks, “How did I do last night?”

Giant yawn.  

I was awake for well over two hours in the middle of the night.

“You are killing me here, kid.  You don’t remember coming into my room at 2:30 in the morning?”

“Um, no.  What did I do?”

At this point, I believe that he has either decided that playing dumb will get him a lesser sentence, or he’s gambling that maybe I am so tired/ old that I’ll forget everything.  Either way, he is like a black-out drunk friend from college who needs a recap of all of the events from the previous evening.  It can get annoying.  He also has taken to defending his actions from the night before, sometimes creatively, but usually with very matter-of-fact explanations.

“Dude, you were awful last night.  You tried to get in bed with me and when I took you straight back to your room you insisted that you needed something to drink.”

He almost laughed in relief.  Then he looked me straight in the eye and said with complete conviction, “Mom, sometimes thirsty happens.”

I almost expected a “duh” to follow, but he is good at reading an audience and left it off this time.  And in my sleep-deprived haze his justification seemed completely legitimate.

Yawn.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…