“You sound like a battered woman,” my attorney said, as I talked to him for the first, second, ninetieth time. “You keep going back for more. I work for you and I’ll do what you want me to do, but my advice would be much different from what you’re doing.”

Kid #2 didn’t come home this morning. (See yesterday’s post for an update on this drama.)

I called The Wizard.

“He’s not coming home. I’ve already been to court and appeared in front of the judge.”

“What? Why?” I asked.

“You’ll see when you’re served.”

Next call was to my attorney.

“I don’t know what’s going on. The Wizard said he appeared in front of a judge,” I said, adding in the information about last night. “Can you find something out for me?”

I waited. I waited. I waited.

Chef Man stopped by for coffee and waited with me. He took Kid #1 and me to lunch. I’ve never been so grateful. This man didn’t dive into the depths of the drama, but rather talked to us about life, the universe, everything over sandwiches at one of the most incredible delis I’ve ever been to. He was there when I needed him most. And I didn’t even have to ask. He was just there.

I got home and waited more.

My attorney finally called.

“They’ve filed an order of protection,” he said. “They say you broke Kid #2’s arm.”

“What?!? You’ve got to be kidding me. I broke his arm?”

I went over all the things the cops said last night. I reviewed everything I did. His arm wasn’t broken.

“The courts can really do this? They can keep me from my son for disciplining him? I didn’t use excessive force. I had to restrain him because…” and this is where my voice cracked and the tears started. “…because he took my cell phones. He pass coded my work phone. He stuffed my personal phone in his pocket and refused to give it back.”

In the two and half years we’ve worked together, my attorney has never heard me lose it with tears. Today, he did.

“You haven’t mentioned how bad things have gotten,” he said.  “If I were you, I’d keep him out of the house. You can’t let him do this to you.”

“Let’s do what we need to do to get him back.”

An officer arrived to serve me the papers — Hey, wanna cookie? Some coffee, maybe? I don’t think we’ve met. You must be new. — I immediately drove the papers to my attorney’s office where we went over the wording.

The judge had denied the petition pending a hearing, but Kid #2 gets to stay with The Wizard until then. Can I just say I hate the f***ing court system right now?

“What happens when he has a baseball bat or knife next time?” my attorney said as he sat across from me in the familiar chairs of his conference room.

The words formed — those words no mother ever wants to say. “I don’t want Kid #1 back in the house. This is escalating. I have to protect myself. It’s not normal for my wrists to hurt after he’s grabbed me. It’s not normal to have police officers at my house every week.”

“No, it isn’t,” he said. “Take some time to think about this and talk to your counselor first before you make a final decision.”

When did this become my life?