So, seriously, what can you expect from a day that begins with your reasonably intelligent daughter calling to tell you that her carton of milk, with its expiration date of this very day, poured chunks all over her morning bowl of Captain Crunch? In retrospect, I should have faked a Pakistani accent and thanked her for calling technical support, but as she’d awakened me from a sound slumber, my brain wasn’t that nimble. Instead, I commiserated with her–a big mistake–because then I got to hear about all the other ways the universe was raining on her parade. Ummm, maybe a better phrasing would be how the Milky Way was blowing big, curdled chunks on her parade.

I love my kids, but sometimes they just wear me out. I keep fantasizing about taking their inheritance and going to Tahiti, just their daddy and me, and living out the rest of our days semi-clothed on the beach. I so informed my middle daughter as we babysat her (and her three-year-old and her five-year-old) through the aftermath of an all-four-at-one-time wisdom tooth extraction. I even added–for the pure spite of it–that I was pretty sure Tahitians still communicate via coconut shells and wished her luck getting hold of us when we made the move. Actually, I am pretty sure that modern-day Tahitians have all the technological conveniences that we big, smart Americans have, but I hoped my daughter wouldn’t realize this through her hydrocodone fog. Another dream dashed. She simply gazed at me with her baby-blue, long-lashed, drugged-out eyes and told me she was pretty sure she possessed a large number of coconut shells and things would be fine.

It’s just as well. Our kids’ inheritance would probably get us only halfway to Tahiti. At the midpoint, the flight attendants would open the cargo door and hoist us right into the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where a big shark would most likely come and gobble us up. But at least I wouldn’t have to hear milk chunks anymore.