I met with-his earth science teacher last night for parent-teacher conf night. He has a D in the class. Classroom work is all A's because the teacher stays on him. Homework and studying for tests not good at all. difficult child said he turned in a paper early, teacher said he never saw it. I told difficult child he had to rewrite the entire thing. This a.m., I emailed the teacher to ask if he saw the paper. He said he does not allow students to turn in papers early. by the way, difficult child is not here today. Huh? Math teacher email: the dog ate difficult child's study sheet. (I am not making this up.) Is there an online version we can reprint? difficult child already did it. She said she would difficult child credit for doing the work, but by the way, difficult child isn't there this a.m. Arrrgh! Pick up my cell, which was charging, find several texts from girlfriend's mom ... 6.30 a.m.! This is 3-1/2 hrs later, mind you and I am piecing it all together. She texts that she let her daughter have the day off, since it's Homecoming, (show up for class, turn in papers, go to pep rallies). and her daug disappeared and mom had no idea where she was. It never occurred to the mom that daughter would wander the neighborhood at that early hour, when the sun isn't even up yet! Mom found daughter, confiscated her phone, told her "Changed my mind, since you were wandering the neighborhood; you go to school no matter what." daughter texts her mom sometime after 9 a.m. on my son's phone ... lots of details, but long story short, mom has grounded daughter for a wk and taken her ph away for a wk, and no Homecoming dance. Both the mom and I had bought tickets at $15 apiece and this was going to be their first dance. difficult child would have worn his ROTC uniform. I was pretty excited. Frankly, I'm the one who's most disappointed! Mom did not answer texts after her first a.m. texts so I started to get panicky. Math teacher emails an update: difficult child checked in at something like 8:26 a.m. He is nearly an hr and a half late. Unexcused absence. I call TMobile and have difficult child's reception cut off for one week. I have to meet with-P's assisted living place at 11, then around noon, difficult child calls me from our home phone. I calmly tell him how worried I was and ask him what happened. "I missed the bus. Then I walked to another bus stop. And then another one. But I missed them all." "Why didn't you call me?" "Because I couldn't get reception on my cell." "Why didn't you walk home?" "Because it was too far." "It's too far to turn around and walk 1/2 mile but it's not too far to walk 5 miles and be an hr-and-a-half late for school?" I stopped by the house of some other friends, guys who live nearby. They were hanging around outside so I casually asked them if they'd seen difficult child. "Yeah, we saw him at school." They even told me what he was wearing. Oh, and one kid says, "difficult child walks over here but he doesn't always come to my place. Sometimes he walks over there (he points) and I don't know where he's going." Oh, D*g. THEY got permission to skip school, too, and according to difficult child's girlfriend, they supposedly saw him near their house this a.m. The only one who originally did NOT have permission to skip was my difficult child. So now EVERYONE is lying. In a total panic, and also with-fuel from easy child, who also assumes the worst, I stop by the pharmacy to pick up my very first home drug test kit for difficult child. $32!!!! But I have a $15 coupon because I spend half my life buying medications and chocolate there, so I get it for almost half price. Such a deal! How exciting. Next, drug test kit yard sales! But, I digress. easy child is home for 4 days. She offers to hang around in case there are any problems. I calmly tell difficult child, "You know how the probation officer told you that there would be random drug screening? Well, we're doing your first one right now." Wait for explosion. "Okay." He gets up and calmly goes to the bathroom. (The probation ofcr told us that refusal to take the test indicates an automatic fail on the test and I remind difficult child of that. In a nice tone of voice.) "I thought my probation officer was going to give me the drug test." A woman? NOT. We don't have our very own PO yet, this is just the PO in charge of all the other POs. by the way, this is not exactly how it's supposed to be done; we're supposed to get a dr's order and then randomly stop by a local professional lab. But difficult child doesn't know that. (For all of his antics, he's still pretty naive.) We read through the directions and he fills the cup right next to me, nearly to overflowing. Ack! Dumps out half at my request. We put the lid on and watch the stripes show up. (Several stripes. I invested in the Major League Multi Level CDC version. Whatever.) Perfect. (Huge sigh of relief.) Good, I tell him. It's supposed to be perfect. You passed your first one! We drive to girlfriend's house since mom is still not answering the phone. I have difficult child wait in the car. The story is pretty straight now, but mom is not backing down on grounding her daughter. She also says that her daughter texted her from school on difficult child's phone. I tell her that I am going to tell my difficult child he can earn back his phone later when he finishes the (bogus) science paper and pulls weeds. She says fine. In the car, I ask how difficult child's phone magically worked at school but not near the bus stop? "I can get reception at school." Guess who is madly writing his paper in the kitchen right now? Sheesh, what a lot of running around! I will never know if difficult child really did walk to school because he missed the bus, or merely because his girlfriend got yanked back into the house by her mother and he was bored, but at least he turned up there and he did not explode when I turned off his phone. And the drug tests came out normal. The lines are so clear, I think it would be a waste of money to mail it in for more detailed results. (A lot of the drugs are things that P takes at assisted living!) I am going out with-my friends for dinner and wine. I need a break!!!!