Day 17 / by Vanessa Fiola

**The next 13 days I'll be posting 500 words a day here as part of a creative writing challenge. Join the FB group."

My friend, Scarlett, came over tonight. She left close to 11 when my son wandered out from my bedroom where he was supposed to be sleeping and announced that he had to go poop. I am squeamish and I am sorry for writing that word, and I am also sorry that I am apologizing for writing that word. I think I spend a good portion of my day apologizing for things outside of my control because I am a habitual people pleaser and may you have a different fate than I. Anyway, in his three and a half short years, he has learned the only line that will prevent me from ordering him back to bed without excuse. It may have been a ploy—he didn’t go—and if so, congratulations, little guy, you’ve outsmarted me again.

When she did leave, the only way I could get Jonah to sleep with relative speed was to carry him back to his bed and lay down with him. Toddler pleas are a slippery slope; it is 12:50 am and I just woke up. “Mommy, get under the covers and touch feet with me.” This is a request that has to be genetic and also could not have come from my DNA. I cannot deal with someone’s feet being on me but the other person responsible for Jonah’s genetic makeup thinks nothing of putting his feet on my calves when we climb into bed, even though I’ve told him countlessly for the last seven and a half years that I will cut him without mercy. One of these days I’m going to follow through so he doesn’t think I am made of empty promises.

Speaking of disproportionate and misdirected rage, tonight I ordered Jitlada for us, which is one of my favorite Thai places in the city and just happens to be within Door Dash-radius of me. Scarlett was coming over right after yoga, so I timed its order with her predicted arrival. I placed the order at 6:45; my app told me that dinner would arrive between 7:55 and 8:15. This is the second time today where I my intuition has guided me in a different direction, but sometimes I believe my will to have powers it doesn’t. I knew Jitlada wouldn’t happen. It’s a tiny little place and always packed since Jonathan Gold has it on his Best Places in LA list. But I didn’t know that it wouldn’t happen until 8:05 when Door Dash called me to tell me that Jitlada had just told them that it would be another two hours and did I want to wait. I am sorry, girl on the phone. You are not to blame for the depth of my LBS episodes. I am the sort of person who regularly forgets to eat. Unfortunately, when I remember to eat, the deep-seated panic of not getting food immediately tears through me with primordial fear. I’m not sure if that made sense, but it is irrational and unyielding nonetheless.

On the upside, I now have a $78 credit to my Door Dash account.