Who took my sweet son? Where he used tolerate me good-naturedly, now he is overtly mortified by my every move and constantly trying to head off any remote possibility of embarrassment. He's like his own Special Forces.
Yesterday, for instance, hours before we were to attend this year's first dreaded Mandatory Band Parent Meeting, he subjected me to ruthless interrogation:
JackMan: What do you plan to do with Fay during the band meeting today?
TR: I figured I'd just take her. She'll sleep.
JackMan: No, Mom. You can't take her. What if they say she can't come in? What if they ask you to leave? Somebody might be allergic or scared of dogs. Just put her in her crate.
TR: She's not even a dog. I hate leaving her in the crate. So what if we get busted? I'll put her in the car, stay long enough to sign the attendance roster...
JackMan: You're NOT taking her.
TR: You don't get to tell me what to do. I was planning to be discreet. Now, not only am I going to take her, I'm going to take her in the Snugli. And what better occasion for the little "There's No Such Thing as Too Much Bling" t-shirt I bought her? It's black, which really stands out against her white fur, and it has glitter-gold writing. I myself will probably wear fuschia hot pants.
JackMan: You're not taking her.
Then he went upstairs to take a shower, during which time I created the lovely sign award for Bob and installed it. It was hard not to brag about it, but I wanted it to be a surprise. I couldn't wait for Jack to see it when we drove by:
TR: (Nonchalantly) Oh, look what somebody did.
TR: (Begins laughing hysterically.)
JackMan: Oh my god!!! Did YOU do that?
TR: (Laughing uncontrollably.)
JackMan: (Imagining the public newsflash and the billboard they'll erect in front of his school...)Why would you DO that?! (Seriously upset, brooding.)
TR: You started laughing when you thought someone else did it. Why was it funny then?
JackMan: I thought a kid did it.
TR: Why would a kid do it?
JackMan: WHY WOULD AN ADULT?
TR: Well, you thought it was funny...I'm telling you, when you're about thirty, you'll think it's funny. You'll look back on the way you treated me these days and be sorry. You'll think, 'She was really hilarious, my mom, and I shouldn't have been so mean to her.' I just hope I'm still around then, or you're going to feel unrelenting guilt. That makes me sad for you.