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The Price of Halloween Is Eternal Vigilance

November 2, 2013

HoneyBadger and Cheeks wanted some friends from school to come trick-or-treating with us. Look! HB reaching out to make social connections! Yay!

They came, they got loads of candy, they had fun, they came back to the house. Kids and parents, sitting around the table, eating candy, chatting . . . .

But what’s this? One of the friends is lying on the sofa, not interested in candy. “He said today his throat hurts,” his brother volunteered.

His mother goes over to investigate. “Is that true?”

“Yes. I want to go home.”

“Oh, well. Everybody’s been exposed already! We’ll go home soon.”

I like to think of myself as someone with an appropriate response to any comment, but I was stumped. That she didn’t know her kid was sick until that moment? Been there. That you just give up and ignore the request of your sick child and the health of everyone else? Does the concept of minimizing damage not ring any bells?

Yesterday, I got a text from Freaking Negligent Mom thanking me for having everyone over, and I thought, “Well, I guess Sore Throat Boy wasn’t sick after all, just tired.”

At dinner I found out that he had been out of school. My husband said, “Well, he couldn’t have been that sick.”

“Really? What makes you say that?” I asked.

“[FNM] would have mentioned it in her text,” he said.

Right. Because this woman is a model of common sense and information-sharing. Gotcha.

I am looking back and remembering the time she brought her kid to HB’s laser tag birthday party, even though his arm was broken and he was not allowed to play laser tag. I thought it was an aberration. I wondered if he had wanted a piece of cake so much that he wanted to come just for that, even if he had to sit around doing nothing for an hour an a half.

I work really hard to make excuses for people.

But if one of my kids gets sick, I am going to be paper-bagging her house, and someone can make excuses for me.

While I wait to see what happens, I will be reminding myself how great it is that HB has friends.

Even if their parents are idiots.


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