Posted by Duff

I guess you could say The Dervish and I are at loggerheads. I want her to clean up her toys, she wants me to stop making (her) dinner so she can crown me a beautiful princess.

You’d think, since very few people in my life are begging to crown me a beautiful princess, that I’d just let the 76 different kinds of multi-colored plastic bits scattered around the house BE, put dinner on simmer, and allow myself to be primped.  But I’ve sustained a lot of want-to-yelp injuries lately, acting like it feels fantastic to wrap my falling arches around Mr. Potato Head’s dentures as I carry a 20 pound boy to his changing station. After possibly just a few more days of rocking, Atticus is going to ascend on her spoils, ravenous, following the infant (and then toddler) tradition of trying to off himself.

I’ll admit, I have been throwing away Barbie’s shoes. I figure she’s undressed so much of the time, and with her hair looking so cavewomanish these days, she won’t mind going barefoot. In retaliation, The Dervish attacks my closet, hides my accessories, and sneaks them into her pockets while I dress her brother.

Leave her alone for a minute, and The Dervish will emerge from her room in costume: pink sweatpants, floral pajama shorts, a tank top, a fleece vest, and a chef’s hat. Which, when I see her, makes me giggle and hug her (as she struggles to free herself and shrieks, ‘I don’t LIKE IT when someone!”) and when I go  in search of the camera to preserve the memory of her fashion sense and arm swinging at the view finder (she really doesn’t like to be laughed at), she’ll have shed her ensemble (one article in each room) in favor of underwear and snow boots.  My snow boots. Which, for once, were put away in the closet, behind several other pairs of shoes that are now scattered about the entryway.

“Please  help me out and put these shoes away, Dervish, while I finish making your dinner,” I ask. I ask nicely.

“Ok,” she agrees. She is so sincere, I believe her.

Two weeks later, I find the shoes, along with the electric bill, my husband’s long-lost sunglasses, and a clementine well past its prime. In her nightstand.

And it occurs to me: I’m living with a raccoon.

(Psst! Here’s some fantastic information about typical preschooler behavior.)