“Mom? Do we really live in a democracy?”
I turned around from brushing my hair and blinked at Jeremy. It wasn’t even 6am and I was barely awake. I’d heard Jeremy up several hours earlier though.
“I mean we vote for three people who were chosen by their parties. How can that be a democracy when we have such little choice?”
I put down my hair brush and tried to think of a coherent answer. “Umm… I think we’re in a democratic oligarchy.” That didn’t sound right but it was as close as I could get before the sun rose. “Hon, can we talk about this later?”
Zie rolled zir eyes and headed out to the living room. I followed along behind, thinking of what I needed to do next. My lunch was in the fridge and my phone charging. I grabbed both and put them by the front door then I pulled my shoes from the closet.
“Mom! The computer’s still screwed up! We need to take it in to get fixed immediately!”
I was leaning against the wall while lacing up one shoe. “So it won’t turn on?” I called back.
“No, it turns on. It just drops down to three frames per second once it loads.”
Huh? I had no idea what zie was talking about and didn’t have time to find out. It had taken me much too long to drag myself out of bed and now I only had 10 minutes until I needed to leave and I still needed to make breakfast.
“Hon, can we talk about this when I get home tonight?” I asked then sighed to myself. It wasn’t like tonight was going to be any less busy. I wasn’t getting home until 5pm and we needed to leave by 6:30pm to get to PFLAG.
“Our computer is pretty much destroyed and you’re not going to do anything about it! You’re just going to let it get ruined!” Jeremy yelled before storming off to zir room. I tied my other shoe and headed to the kitchen.
“Where are my track pants? I need them! I can’t go to school without them! What did you do with them!” Jeremy screamed from zir room.
“Jeremy, I haven’t even seen them. You had a blanket wrapped around you last night before bed. They should be in your room.”
“You don’t understand. I need these track pants! You just don’t care! What happened to them? I wasn’t wearing them yesterday, I was wearing my jeans, but they’re too big and my teacher says I can’t wear them anymore and, oh, there they are…” Jeremy’s voice dropped about 5 decibels. I got the peanut butter from the cupboard and signed.
“So, are you going to apologize to me?” I asked.
“No,” Jeremy replied scornfully. I sighed again.
Then I went to work and jumped every time the phone rang even though the school hasn’t called in ages. Instead they’ve been sending Jeremy to the AR room to do whatever zie wants. I don’t think Jeremy’s been learning anything at school for several months now.
I called Jeremy on my way home and was surprised by how quiet zir voice was.
“Can we just stay home tonight Mom? I’m feeling really anxious. I can’t go out anywhere. Please?”
There wasn’t any point in forcing zir to go to PFLAG. Not if zie felt that bad.
“Okay,” I said gently. “Just make sure the big pots are washed so I can make dinner when I get home.”
“I’ll try,” zie whispered.
Jeremy was asleep in front of the electric fireplace when I walked in the door. Zie immediately grabbed zir phone and headed off to bed to watch videos. It wasn’t even 6pm yet. Then zie turned down dinner and even the hash browns I’d brought home from work. Zie loves hash browns.
The kid reads like a checklist on depression. Zie’s barely eating… unless it’s 3am. Zie can sleep for hours… unless it’s night. But zie can also stay up for hours too (I think zir record was 36 hours). Anger… lethargy… tears… anxiety attacks. We’re seeing our family doctor tomorrow. Something has to be done.