After what was probably his fastest-ever 16-mile ride on the Jersey horse country bike path ever, Charlie came home and slept for three hours. When he woke up, he asked for a nearby town where there a McDonalds and, as we routinely do, we mentioned the McDonalds that we usually go to as it's 5 minutes from our house. Charlie at first said 'yes' then as we drove 'no' and then 'no home' staunchly. But he didn't say where he wanted to go (he's never regularly answered wh questions) and we came home.
Some tense moments followed which Charlie filled by pacing his room and listening to Arcade Fire'sThe Suburbs, Jim started grading papers and I started the long-waiting-for-me task of scrubbing the bathtub (with a wonderful new bristly brush -- it's the little things in life).
During this activity, it occurred to me that the nearby town's McDonalds is right next to an on-ramp for the Garden State Parkway which is, of course, the great way down to the Jersey Shore.Charlie started smiling and ran down and wanted to make brownies (fortunately I had a box of mix stowed away -- yes, the red one).