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My nephews spent the night over here with Noah last night. We had a party. We ate pizza. We watched movies, played, and we all went to bed with chocolate-smeared faces.

Our apartment looks like a bomb went off in here. Which is how it should look after nights like we just had.

But right now I’m so angry at my sister. Tomi Ann.

She came to pick up her boys this morning. She pounded on the door which woke me up. But it didn’t just wake me up. She pounded so hard that I leapt out of bed before I even knew I was awake, and had to pause for a moment while my heart attempted to not explode. My head pounded as if I’d been out binge drinking the night before.

The boys let her in before I could get there. They had been out in the living room watching Wreck-it Ralph while I attempted to catch a few more Zs. It was necessary since my nephew had wandered in mostly asleep every half hour since 11PM asking if it was time to wake up and turn on the movie yet.

As soon as the boys opened the door, Tomi burst through, pushed past her boys, and came straight into my bedroom where I was still in the process of finding a shirt.

No “hello.” No “how’d it go?” No anything at all.

As if I was just an obstacle on some course, she maneuvered around me and straightway entered my closet without asking.

I hadn’t noticed but she was carrying something. A package. A toy. I’m not sure what. Noah had followed her in and watched as she uncovered all the Christmas presents I had already bought for him (and was hiding) and pushed her own package into the pile. “I can’t let Joshy know that I have this!” she said excitedly.

I looked at Noah. His eyes were wide. a grin started to form. He had seen all his presents. I looked at Tomi Ann. She didn’t care. She had accomplished her goal. Whatever that was. At whatever the cost.

And I was mad.

And then I actually woke up. And my bedroom door was still closed. I could hear the boys in the other room watching Wreck-It Ralph.

And I was still mad. I looked toward my closet. How could she blow my surprise for Noah like that?

Oh wait. It was a dream.

Then I looked at my closet again.  The presents were still safe.

Then I looked at my closet again. Oh wait. There are no presents in there. And then I panicked. It’s almost Christmas and I haven’t gotten Noah any presents yet.

Then I closed my eyes and woke up even more. Oh wait. Christmas was months ago.

And I’m pretty sure I’m actually awake right now. I’m pretty sure what’s going on right now is real. Yet I’m still brooding somewhat at my sister and her barging-in.


I better drink some caffeine before I take the boys back home.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. This blog post has also been recorded as a podcast. You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.

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Dan Pearce is an American born writer, photographer, and artist. His books include "The All-Important, Well-Fed, Giant White Man" and "The Real Dad Rules." He is best known for his blog (and supporting Facebook page) "Single Dad Laughing," with 2 million followers as of 2018.