Opinion: One flew back to the cuckoo’s nest

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My almost empty-nest euphoria lasted less than a week, friends. Our oldest decided after four days of college living, he needed to come home. What the what?

Of course, within minutes of his inauspicious arrival, his main-floor bedroom looked like a Hurricane Dorian victim and our once-beautifully stocked pantry held nothing but an expired can of water chestnuts and the wrapper of a mac-n-cheese box. The clever lad also successfully coerced did dad, Doo, into taking him to dinner, where apparently he talked non-stop for 45 minutes while inhaling an order of breadsticks and a large deep-dish.

Luckily, I evaded his initial onslaught as I was busy chauffeuring our youngest to her peeps, but alas, parenting quicksand trapped me as soon as I returned. In a brilliant maneuver reminiscent of Red October submarine trickery, Doo offloaded our chatty Cathy onto me as he made a beeline for safer, significantly quieter garage waters.

I was able to appear genuinely engaged for a solid half-hour, nodding as he described his classes and asking clarifying questions about his roommate situation. But it was Friday night, I was exhausted from a long week of teaching and all I really wanted was an introvert moment with my phone to stalk Facebook and play Words.

After another 15 minutes, I couldn’t restrain my eyeballs from rolling any longer. I strategically suggested a quick episode of his beloved “The League” and then shimmied off the couch toward the stairs.

“Good night, my darling!” I crooned.

“Mom, it’s only 7:30.”

“Bedtime!”

Call me a bad mother. Call me a coward. I call it self-care. I want my empty nest back!

Peace out.

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