GALESBURG, IL—Area mother of three Mary Kleibert, 54, was once again freaking out for no reason Tuesday, sources within the Kleibert family reported.
"All I did was mention that I had to go to the DMV because my license was going to expire the next day, and mom completely wigged," said Tim Kleibert, 18, the youngest son of the freaking-out woman. "She started totally spazzing, saying, 'What if they're closed? Then what?' and telling me that the police were going to impound my car if I drove it. I was like, 'Mom, relax.'"
Upon learning of her son's 11th-hour license-renewal plan, Kleibert reportedly went seriously buggo, excitedly listing off the various potential problems he obviously hadn't even taken the time to consider.
"What if you don't pass your vision test?" Mary Kleibert asked. "Or what if the DMV paperwork needs more than 24 hours to clear, and you're not eligible to drive until Thursday? Your father can't drive you to work tomorrow, you know: He'll be in Moline all day."
Her breathing rate audibly increasing, Kleibert reminded her son that if his driver's license is invalid, his car insurance policy would be, too. She described such a scenario as one she doesn't "even want to think about."
Over the next five minutes, Kleibert became more agitated, despite her son's repeated assertion that renewing one's license on the last day is not a federal offense or anything.
Tuesday's driver's-license incident is just one of 15 freak-outs to occur in the past month. On Dec. 26, Kleibert went nuts when she discovered that Tim had thrown away the packaging for his new laptop computer. "What if something goes wrong?" Kleibert, near tears, told her son. "You can't just call in the washing-machine repairman to fix it. Don't you care about your things at all?" She then noisily stomped down the basement steps carrying a laundry basket.
Kleibert went similarly hyper last Thursday, when Tim accidentally overslept, leaving him just 25 minutes to get to his job at a local grocery store. He was awakened by Kleibert, who yelled, "It's quarter after! Do you hear me? Quarter after!" Ten minutes later, as Tim pulled out of the driveway, Kleibert stood on the front steps, shouting, "You've got to eat breakfast! You can't just not eat!"
According to husband Gerald Kleibert, 56, no one in the family is safe from the freak-outs, which range in subject from the dangers of mechanical devices to the threat of food poisoning, with special attention given to heat exhaustion, blood clots, and hems. On Dec. 28, Gerald himself prompted his wife to flip out when he forgot to lock the empty house before running out for a newspaper, leaving the door wide open for anyone, in Kliebert's words, to "waltz off with whatever they could carry."
"Boy, oh, boy," Gerald said. "Mary really blew a gasket over that one."
Three days later, Kleibert went into another tizzy upon discovering that Gerald had failed to plan ahead for their nephew's wedding. Too late to request the day off from work, he called in sick with "the flu" in order to attend the event. As a result of her husband's failure to plan ahead, Kleibert nervously watched the door all night, fearful that someone from her husband's workplace would wander into the wedding reception by accident.
The most baffling of Kleibert's outbursts, family members said, are those involving her two eldest children, neither of whom still live at home. Without warning or provocation, Kleibert will fret loudly about Jason, 24, who "insists on flying everywhere" despite all the airplane accidents on the news, and 22-year-old Erin, who just wanders around from one job to another without getting enough protein.
Despite the preponderance of evidence suggesting otherwise, Tim said he maintains hope that when he leaves for college in August, his mother will acknowledge his adult status and not go batshit-loonball on him so much.
"She's a good mom, and I love her," Tim said. "But, man, she seriously needs to learn to chill."