The secret to abstinence

Today I had lunch with my mother and unfortunately I had to bring Leta along. You see, my mother has no need to associate with me anymore unless I bring along The Offspring, and even when she calls all she wants to talk about is Leta. “How is Leta?” she’ll ask. And I’ll answer, “Leta is fine but I lost a limb in the blender.” To which she responds, “That’s too bad, talk to you later.”

Leta was already in a bad mood on the ride to Sandy, and the only toy that would satisfy her was an empty plastic battery package that I found underneath the front seat. By the time we arrived at the restaurant Leta had punctured the plastic with her teeth and was getting her fingers stuck in the resulting holes. There was a moment on the freeway where the road forked and I could have taken a left and headed toward Wyoming where maybe I could have sold her to a goat herder. But I knew that Jon wouldn’t believe me when he got home and asked where the baby was. “What?” I would answer, “I thought she was with you.”

Lunch was a disaster. It felt like we were sharing a table with a raccoon, a vengeful raccoon that’s just too cute to shoot. She destroyed two menus and threw forks, spoons, crackers, cups, and crayons on the floor. Every time she dropped something she would watch it drop as if she was waiting for an explosion and when the sound it made wasn’t annoying enough she’d reach for something else. My mother just sat there and laughed while I tried to hold both of Leta’s arms to her side. That’s when Leta tried to use her forehead to knock a menu off the table.

I imagined a team of White House employees secretly taping the whole scene and then scaring teenagers across the country with a video titled, “Those Engaging in Pre-Marital Sex: SEE YOUR FUTURE.”