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Picture this: I am making a delicious lunch for Niki to bring to school because although they woke up at 7:45, they have decided at 8:25 that they want to bring lunch and will not eat the “baked fish treasures” on offer at school. They are supposed to leave for the bus stop at 8:30.

They are dressed except for socks and shoes, which they claim they cannot put on until I help them put their halloween costume in a bag. I have not yet done this because they came downstairs saying, “You need to put my halloween costume in a bag,” and refused to rephrase this as a polite request instead of a direct order. I told them I do not take orders.

Meanwhile, as I spread the sun butter and strawberry preserves on bread, I am suddenly overcome with an urgent need to use the bathroom. I drop the knife on the counter and sprint to the bathroom. On the way I somehow encounter a shard of something (glass? plastic? no idea) that impales my foot. I make it to the bathroom but while I am on the toilet my foot is bleeding all over the floor. I try to stop the bleeding with toilet paper, and end up with bloody toilet paper stuck to my foot and all over the floor. Niki is asking through the door if I’m ok and what’s going on and I am shouting instructions about filling their water bottle and putting it and their lunch bag into their backpack and where to find a tote bag for their halloween costume and oh by the way can you ask Daddy to come downstairs with the bactine and bandaids since I am bleeding all over the floor. 

Randy (who is weak and feverish from his covid booster yesterday) comes down with first aid supplies and cleans the floor while I clean my foot. I hobble upstairs and roll up Niki’s axolotl costume (size adult medium because that’s all that was left when they decided on a costume) and they stuff it in the aforementioned bag. I gingerly put socks on over my bandaged foot and slip on my Birkenstocks to drive Niki to school, since we’ve long since missed the bus.

They insist, as usual, on taking an umbrella. They repeatedly try to open the umbrella in the hallway despite the fact that it’s not necessary to do that in the house AND IT’S NOT RAINING. They insist that it is “rainy” and I counter that no precipitation is happening and tell them they may not open the umbrella at all. I say (because we are currently reading a book together that takes place on a submarine) that that’s an order from their captain. They say “you’re not my captain, you’re my mom.” I say, “moms are captains.” They say, “no, moms are caretakers.” I say, “They are both captains and caretakers.” They say, “I’m not taking orders.”

AND scene. 

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