Oh, my gosh, you guys, I am an almost entirely functional, normal adult.  It’s so exciting!

I feel like I’ve been out of commission for forever. But I’m no longer nursing a splitting headache, my phone is functional, and I’m getting all sorts of really basic things done, the kind of stuff that should not feel like accomplishments, except that they’ve accumulating for long and weighing me down, so I feel like a super-hero.

Like Christmas decorations. I’d managed to haul the tree out of my house, but I’d only managed to get my boxes of ornaments and dishes and advent calendars as far as the basement playroom because the appalling and frigid conditions in our basement storage were just too intimidating while I was feeling so awful. But now I’ve got them all stacked up and put away, and I’ve vacuumed up all the faux berries that had fallen onto my carpet. Hooray! I am a champion!

Something else on my list? Hunting for another backpack like this one.

I know what you’re thinking. A drawstring backpack seems pretty easy. They are pretty much everywhere. And if I’m in the market for a school-themed backpack, why, they’re on sale right now! Hooray!

Except that they’re these.

You might not be able to tell, but the second backpack is vastly, vastly inferior. In fact, we own one of each. But the top one is sturdier, with a lovely embroidered logo, and so everyone wants the first one, and nobody cares about the second one. J got the much-better backpack at some point, and then it seemed to become part of the general household supply, and then M adopted it. And now there’s a custody battle. It’s rightfully J’s, and when pressed, M concedes and relinquishes the backpack. But she’s persistent! A few days pass, and suddenly M’s got it again. I don’t notice, and J is bummed but doesn’t feel up to the fight of reclaiming it, and it’s just a super-annoying cycle that begins again.

This is actually a recurring theme in our family: M’s sheer persistence leading her to get whatever she wants. When she was a toddler she would not stay in time out. Would. Not. I mean, I would not.  I would watch those reality nanny shows where the naughty child would have to go sit on a step, and the child would cry and fuss and then calm down and then listen to a short talk by the mommy or the nanny about how that was a naughty thing to do, but now all is forgiven and we love you very much, and there would be remorse and a big hug. . . and that is something in which I never successfully participated until J came along. No. M would not stay in one place, would argue every point, would fight and flail until I would put myself in time out. I am not proud. But sometimes she wouldn’t be still or cooperate in any way, and my choices would come down to either physically restraining her or depriving her of my presence. And so to prevent myself from smacking the heck out of her, I would lock myself in a room while she’d stand at the door, screaming for me to come out. Okay, I guess in this example she didn’t really get what she wanted, because she was usually hysterical about something that I refused to give her or do for her, but the point is, she was the most tenacious two-year-old I’ve ever encountered. Ah, those were good times.

More recently, Cute W bought a Christmas gift that he said was for everyone in the family except M. It’s this contraption that massages your back, and it’s because M is constantly scoring massages and foot rubs from everyone else in the family. It is ridiculous. One of us will be sitting on the couch, watching tv, and before we’ve even noticed what we’re doing, M’s got her feet in our lap and someone’s giving her a foot rub. There’s some weird combination of charm and audacity that makes people bend to her will without even realizing that they’re bending. I can only hope that she will use these powers for Good instead of Evil someday.

We do what we can to keep these powers in check. But meanwhile? It’s just easier to see if I can acquire a new backpack.

I finally got rid of all the spare boxes left over from the holidays, got J properly outfitted for her first ski club outing, and did some post-holiday store returns.

Also on the to-do list? Checking out an art show! M’s got a piece of art in two different art shows. She is not really “into” art, but she signed up for an art class because it’s an integrated class, made up of kids with special needs as well as more typical students, and she likes that stuff. And the whole point is that they’re supposed to cooperate and work together, so they make joint art projects, and then they’re put on display. M says, “Yeah? Whatever, no big deal,” but I feel Morally Obligated to check it out and document the occasion. Here’s one of the pieces. Cool, right?


We had a pretty jam-packed weekend, too, but I’ll catch up on that later.



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