The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Take Me Home Or I Will Happily Humiliate You

We discovered this weekend that Jonas has a genetic condition. Yes, I know; it’s very sad. I don’t think a charitable foundation has been established for his specific ailment, but until it has, you can feel free to send donations to me. Cash and cute outfits are equally appreciated.

What is the condition, you ask?

Well, it’s called Overtired Asshole Behavior Syndrome (OABS). It’s fairly rare in the population as a whole, but it runs rampant in my genetic pool, so it’s not a complete shock that Jonas has it. I’m a sufferer of OABS, as is my brother, and we both inherited it from my father.

OABS is undetectable as long as the person with the condition is properly rested. The difficulty comes when the subject becomes exhausted in a social situation and is not in an appropriate setting to immediately lie down and go to sleep. Rather than yawning, grabbing a cup of coffee and sucking it up like any other normal, functioning human, a person with OABS will immediately begin to exhibit anti-social and just generally inappropriate behavior.

For instance, when I’m experiencing an OABS outbreak, I literally cannot concentrate anything but the idea of going home from wherever I am. If I’m at a wedding and the clock has flipped to 10:30PM, I start to twitch with the thought of exactly how long it will take to say goodbye to the necessary people, walk to our car, drive to pick up the kids from whoever is watching them, drive home and get the kids carried up to their beds before I can pass out myself. I stop being able to smile, converse or even make eye contact. The only words I can manage to squeak out are, “I… need to go home.” In my head I’ve got a precise tally that’s counting backwards by the second of when I need to get up in the morning and exactly how much sleep I’m going to get depending on if I leave NOW… or NOW… or NOW…

My father turns from the cheerful, super social, life of the party to a solemn, stone-faced grouch who nudges my mother every 15 seconds with an abrupt, “It’s time to go.” My brother has been known to walk out of the room like he’s going to the bathroom and just not reappear for the rest of the night, even if the party is at his own house. His wife will eventually admit to the remaining guests that he’s gone to bed.

This weekend was the first time it was very clear to me Jonas has inherited the OABS gene. I took the boys to see the end of session trapeze show at Trapeze U Saturday night. The show is a chance for the people who have taken the 8 week trapeze class to showcase the tricks they learned and it’s open to the public. It’s sort of like a free circus where you bring your own camping chair.

Unfortunately, the show started at 7PM, which is dangerously close to bedtime. Jonas was apparently exhausted.

It started like this:

Jonas: Mom, I need to go potty.
Me: OK, can you hold it until we get home? There really isn’t a good bathroom option out here and this won’t last that much longer.
Jonas: No, I need to go potty NOW.
Me: Well… I mean, how long have you had to go potty? Because you just went when we stopped at Subway…
(People turn and glare.)
Me: OK, OK, I’ll figure something out. Just let this girl finish.

At that point a girl was climbing the tiny ladder to the top platform to perform her trick. She was wearing a costume/uniform that consisted of a gold leotard and a maroon pair of bike shorts. The look was unflattering on everyone, but had a way of specifically highlighting extra weight around the mid-section on anyone who had any. The crowd was hushed in anticipation of whatever exciting trick she was about to perform. To my horror, Jonas chose that moment to loudly and clearly proclaim, “She’s FAT.”

No one even turned around and glared at us after that, even though everyone must have heard him. I think they were all too shocked. Or maybe they were gathering their pitchforks.

It was obviously time to go. I instructed the boys to pick their camping chairs up and follow me quietly to just inside the entrance so we could fold everything up and make our exit. Apparently the folding and exiting was all moving too slowly for Mr. Crankypants, however. Jonas finished off the night by dumping the remaining couple of ounces from his milk container into the dirt, creating a milky mud puddle and shouting, “I’m over this!” as loud as he could.

We didn’t stay to see if he’d distracted the poor trapezist enough to ruin her trick. The difficult thing about OABS is that it’s almost always ultimately successful for the sufferer. Bad behavior is generally reinforced. If you act like enough of an asshole, eventually someone is going to take you home and put you to bed.

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