So while I'm up, here are a couple of Mermaid Girl anecdotes from last month when I was too frantic to blog them. (N.B. now that I've written them out, it occurs to me that both these anecdotes make me out to be particularly heartless in the face of my child's distress. To which I can only say...well, yes. Sometimes.)
1) In the middle of August, MG and the Renaissance Woman spent a week in Vancouver while I packed up a lot of the house. When they came back, the child viewed the carnage of piled boxes and missing items and proceeded to stomp through the house, spitting invective and weeping and wailing. "This house is terrible! It's the worst place in the world!" she fumed. "It's like we're living in a garbage dump! You're making me live in a garbage dump!" She repeated that a few times for good measure, then wailed, "I want to live in a house like everyone else!"
I couldn't help it; I laughed. "I promise you," I said, "This house looks exactly like everyone else's house who is moving."
2) That week she went to her third and final day camp of the summer, which was a sort of only-in-Seattle combo of zoo camp and drama camp. In the mornings they did theater activities on the theme of Trickster Tales, and in the afternoons they went and looked at real animals with trickster characteristics. We drove her to the zoo at 9, we picked her up at 4, and in between we packed like mad.
On the afternoon of the third day, I got a phone call from her counselor.
"MG's okay," he reassured me right away, "but she's had a little accident." Apparently another kid had careened into her and somehow banged up her foot, not too badly but seriously enough to warrant a trip to the zoo's First Aid office.
"They bandaged up her foot, and that was fine, but then--well, I didn't think it was necessary, but they mentioned the possibility of a wheelchair, and MG insisted that she needed one."
"She's in a wheelchair?" I gaped.
"Well, yes, it's okay, I'm wheeling her around a bit. But she's fine, really."
"Oh, I am SURE she's fine. It's very nice of you to wheel her around, but you really don't have to. If it gets to be a pain, please just tell her that BOTH HER MOTHERS say she absolutely does not need to be in a wheelchair." I felt empowered to speak for RW on this point, somehow.
He reassured me once again that everything was fine.
"Well, thanks very much for calling," I said. "And thanks for putting up with her. A wheelchair! There's a reason she's in drama camp."
"You know," he said, "That's not the first time I've heard that from a parent."