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Language Log

Friday, Jan. 13, 2023 - 8:25 a.m.

Q’s birthday was yesterday. It was the most low key because she has gotten if anything more sensitive to the “happy birthday” phrase. But there were presents (mostly books! There we go!) and a giant peanut butter chocolate chip cookie that I made at 8pm and an unsuccessful not-meal at a pizza restaurant she picked (it got too loud too quick and the outdoor seating was not available) and then a more successful meal at Cheesecake Factory.

Didn’t have mom over, told her we weren’t doing anything at Q’s request. We’ll try another restaurant outing with her on Saturday, if we can find somewhere that will work. Mom took it pretty well. She was mad at me because when J and Q were away last week she cooked us an entire meal without consulting with me first and then I didn’t listen to my messages. You know that cartoon with the guy sticking the stick in the spokes of his own bicycle he’s riding?

Anyway. She asks what she should get her, we tell her a Barnes and Noble gift card, and she comes back with “I found this jewelry box in my stuff…” which has some kind of Asian design on it so ok, maybe that won’t be so bad. “And a pretty little necklace I found in there” “Mom, she’s never worn jewelry. She’s not going to like that.” “Well, she’s THIRTEEN now, maybe she’ll CHANGE. I’m going to give it to her whether she wants it or not.” Which… yes, that’s what I heard all my life too. Maybe you’ll turn normal? Are you normal yet? How about now? Eventually maybe we can teach you how to pretend how to be normal for everyone else’s sake. Or at least you can become acutely aware of all the ways in which you fail to meet my expectations.

Anyway. Q made a calendar for herself, drew a picture for every month, they’re wonderful and it’s a wonderful project. All her own idea. I had to do the assembly and draw the grids for the dates, but it was gratifying to be able to help.

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