Not of the congressional kind, but of the offspring kind. Demands. I have probably already written up on this here blog my Raggedy Ann Theory. Everyone in this family sees me as a tool, not a person. I'm Raggedy Ann sitting stupidly on a shelf until somebody needs me and throws me around, and I'd better be available 24/7 and never argue against their preposterous wants and better drop everything else to instantly and magically fly to meet their needs.
The week before Christmas, Thing #1, the Elder, who is going to conservatory next year (maybe, if hell freezes over), phones me from his first school (goes to two, long story), and gives me a LIST of things to do. I have 15 minutes to do them all and still drive to the school! Yeah, right!:
- Bring $20 to the door of the school so he can order a slew more transcripts.
- Be there at no later than 12:45.
- Put money in his online lunch account because he ate everything up yesterday and just found out there's a zero balance.
- Bring him a hot lunch because the cafeteria won't let him have anything right now.
- Bring seven postage stamps of the postcard denomination for the transcript office.
- Give him a ride to the other school in the city to make it on time for afternoon class.
RIGHT NOW! No "Please" or anything. Heaven forbid.
So like the idjit I am, I jump into Whirling Dervish mode, find $20, and replenish the lunch account while leftover pasta is sizzling in the microwave. Then I speed to the post office, because, wouldn't you know it, we have no postcard stamps and I am NOT going to give him seven precious Forever stamps for some dumbbell postcards.
I zap over to the post office, which is mobbed with people sending last-minute Christmas gifts, and stand in line biting my nails up to the elbows waiting for those postcard stamps. Then I run back across town to the school, with the "hot lunch" getting colder every minute.
Kid takes the $20 and the stamps. Comes back to the car with the entire book of stamps and stuffs them in the door handle. I give him a "what the . . . ?" look. I hand him the lunch and fork and napkin, and he says, "Turns out they let me have a lunch." That's when it hits me: my car is small, and my arm is LONG and strong . . .
He is a teenage piggert, so he decides to inhale the pasta anyway. We get stuck in lunch-hour traffic on the way into the city, and he's cussing because I am going to make him late! You see where the BLAME lies? It's my fault!
When I drop him at the door of the Academy, he has forgotten his ID badge which opens the security door, and he has left the stamps sitting in the car-door handle.
I drive off.