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Who The Hell Is This --- Leaving My House At 4 In the Mornin'...?

For any and all of you in the know, the above is an adaptation of a Biggie Smalls (Notorious B.I.G.) lyric. And such was the case in my house 2 Saturdays ago (Sundays actually).

After doing my best to stay up with the wife while she studied, but doing a better job of slipping in and out of consciousness, she decided a little after 3 am that it was time to go to bed. So we did and I was happy to be dragged from my sleep station on the couch.

My son (why is it always my son?) had gone to sleep around 9 pm that Saturday evening after a rigorous two days of basketball tryouts for an AAU team. I figured he'd wake up at some point during the night. But I was completely unprepared for what happened next.

My eyes popped open when I heard a drawer slam at 4 am. Side note: I can sleep through a tornado outside my window. I can sometimes stay knocked out for five or so minutes once my daughter starts crying. But if the floor creaks the wrong way from inside my home I will hear it.

"What was that?" asked the wife.

"It sounded like his room," I answered. Maybe he's playing his xBox (he keeps his controller in his underwear drawer sometimes).

"Go check on him."

I dragged myself out of the bed fully expecting to find my son at the edge of his bed playing his games. Instead I saw this boy fully dressed in sweats with a hoodie pulled down over his head.

My mouth fell open.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Hold on," (to someone on his phone). "Nothing, I just want to go outside in front of the building to clear my head."

"You're on the phone? It's four o'clock in the morning. It's freezing outside. What are you doing?"

"I just need to clear my head, Dad." He began to laugh based on the expression of complete and utter flabbergast on my face. "I'm fine, Dad."

Big Bad Mama was now up and chomping at him from over my shoulder. "What are you doing? Are you out of your mind? You aren't going anywhere. You wanna stand somewhere? Go stand on the terrace."

I looked behind me and then back at him, shrugged my shoulders and went back to bed.

Ten minutes later the entire house was freezing. But I didn't feel it. I grew up old school --- in the winter you wore long pjs and put heavy blankets on the bed because it was cold. But the cold blooded reptiles I live with insist on living in desert climates in the dead of winter so the second the temperature dropped my wife was jabbing me in my back asking me to go check on our son once more. But sleep had overtaken me once more and I mumbled something and only managed to get one leg out from under the covers.

Moments later I heard bumping, banging and cursing (my wife). My son had the terrace door wide open and was sitting on his cell phone giggling like it was eight o'clock in the evening. My wife relieved him of all his belongings, including his phone and sent him to bed.

"What did I do?" he asked like a two year old before closing his bedroom door.

The next afternoon, I had a heart to blank face with my son. I told him he has no common sense whatsoever. And then I took it a step further. "You're not even slick with yours...if you're trying to walk out the house in the middle of the night you don't slam drawers," I told him. I also explained that he was a minor and based on the neighborhood we live in the cops would never believe based on the way he was dressed and his permanent tan that at 4 in the morning he was clearing his mind, suffering through some teenage angst and that he actually lived in the building he was standing in front of. He nodded his head appreciatively and said he didn't know kids couldn't be out all night long. "No son, you have our curfew, and then there's the law."

An honest oversight on his part...I guess.

At dinner the same day I rolled out a new set of phone rules for him because clearly we had not done our job as parents in setting any since he was so blatantly abusing his privileges. It was one simple rule: any and all infractions involve him losing his phone all together. No questions asked. I like to keep things simple. I don't scream and yell. I tell you once, maybe twice. Then I speak firmly and I take. Especially from the ones in my home who pay for nothing but maybe snacks.

I'm not sure my son will ever top his Shoelessness episode, but just when I think everything is going along smoothly he always manages to go galloping (without a horse), full speed into the land of "Who Does That?!"

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