I have determined the wine my neighbor gave me as a housewarming gift, a pedestrian white zin, goes quite well with sixth grade math. You see, it has been quiet today. Lydia lied. She came home from band to a note on her door to the effect of “see you tomorrow.”

Yesterday I asked her to help my first grader, Zach, with his homework. He had a math page and a worksheet to prepare for his first test ever, in science. He had been stressing about it on Thursday and wanted me to study with him then, although he did not know what it would be over. He had a sheet yesterday and I asked his sister to go over it with him to give me time to take my other son to the bike shop to get pegs on his bike and to tumbling class and make banana bread and tuna noodle casserole, then I could help her with her math homework and study the lymphatic and cardiovascular systems for her test, and check her sister’s math.

This morning I reminded Zach to take his homework to school. He started crying because Lydia had made him put the wrong answers on his worksheet about the five senses. He knew what was right but she convinced him he was wrong. By chance his teacher came by the library today so I asked about it. He had caught her before class in a panic and told her he was sure he had gotten one wrong because his sister made him answer it wrong. The teacher made it okay for him.

So Lydia is almost 12 and Zach is almost 7. We aren’t a family of pranksters-we have fun and tease and laugh, but we don’t do pranks. Everyone understands that we have to work as a team if we want to participate in extra-curricular activities, or else they can stay home and play all the time and I can do all the housework. I wish I had a husband. A husband, not my old one. I am planning to meet with the seemingly ineffectual school counselor tomorrow to see if he thinks this is sociopathic behavior or just naughty 6th grader behavior.

I drank a couple of glasses of wine and listened to hip-hop music with lots of cussing as I made supper. That helped. Then I called my boyfriend (if you can call a man of 63 a boyfriend). We talked. He asked if I prayed about it. I had, but mostly the “Help!” kind of prayer. He is a good pray-er. He prayed and made me cry. I feel somewhat better. Now I am eating chocolate chips and walnuts. That seems to help too. So, a little recap: booze, cussing, God and chocolate. Not necessarily in that order.