Sunday, March 1, 2009


5:00 am. Phone rings, jangling me from my spirited pirate dream. Son Matt tells me that wife Sue isn’t feeling well and needs to go to hospital. I head for the car in my pajamas, then realize I need to wear real clothes in case I‘m pulled over for Driving While Asleep. Put on yesterday’s clothes.

5:10 am. Sue, Matt and their one-week-old baby Stephanie are off to hospital. I try to sleep on their couch but the house is freezing. Turn up thermostat to comfortable 72 degrees. Just nod off when I get a message from my son. Sue needs surgery to remove useless organ called “gall bladder.” She’s on meds and loves them.

6:00 am. Decide to get up. Need to be on my game for this busy four-year-old. Will watch TV until he wakes up. Can’t find the remote.

7:00 am. Still can’t find remote. Go to computer and check emails, look up funny videos on Yahoo (Ellen Show: “I Drink a Little” and “Single Ladies” performed by oversized guy in leotard.). Play Solitaire for next two hours.

9:00 am. Haven’t had a shower, coffee, or breakfast. Time to wake up Bradley and get this party started. Tiptoe in and find him playing happily in bed. We hug. In spite of the fact I’ve been to his house hundreds of times, he gives me a tour.

9:15 am. Offer breakfast. He wants toast and milk. Doesn’t like the way I make toast, the way I butter it, or the way I cut it. Drinks the milk after much cajoling (“No pizza rolls until you finish your milk.”)

9:30 am. Potty time. Bradley enjoys a leisurely potty time and isn’t done until he “reads” the complete works of Calvin and Hobbes. When potty time is over, I get clean-up detail. No need for details.

10:30 am. Get him dressed (outfit has to match!) Head for grandma’s house with armful of Smurfs, games, toys, and promise of a burrito for brunch. Wants to watch Tom and Jerry cartoon while eating. I realize it’s way too violent and turn on “Dora the Explorer” instead. Ear-piercing screams. Consider making a margarita. For both of us.

11:30 am. Play Candyland. Cook “Popcorn” in mini kitchen. Do animal puzzle. Read “How Do Dinosaurs…” series. Jump on guest bed. Drive little cars. Make up clues for Blues Clues game. Build castle from blocks and knock it down. Repeat.

Noon. Finish playing with everything in house. Make pizza rolls for lunch. Watch more bad cartoons.

1:00 pm. Suggest we make cookies. He wants green ones. Covers them with sprinkles until they are no longer visible. When done, takes one bite, says “Yuck,” and spits it into my hand. I toss the rest when he’s not looking.

1:30 pm. Go outside to play. Push him around court on tricycle. Teach him how to play basketball. Run after ball. Draw pictures in front of neighbor’s house with sidewalk chalk. Use up all chalk.

3:00 pm. Call rest homes and ask prices, availability. Don’t qualify. Yet. Let Bradley play on computer while I lie on couch with heart palpitations.

5:00 pm. Husband Tom comes home. His turn. Convince him into taking Bradley back to his house so he can play in his own bedroom with his toys and his Wii. Wave goodbye. Sit down on couch with glass of wine. Realize have another full day of this tomorrow. Consider getting a nanny.

5:06 pm. Experience an odd feeling. Actually miss Bradley. Lie back on couch and reflect on the day. Fall asleep within seconds.