I’m off this week and vacation can sometimes mean a beach getaway, a setting so breathtaking that it makes your Instagram followers weep, and sometimes (in my case), it just means dealing with fewer challenges at a time.

Today, Wonder Girl Twin and I tackled her essay due on Monday. By far, she is my most emotionally mysterious child. I keep mentioning what I’ve observed about her behavior, hoping someone will respond “oh my god, that is totally like my Samuel, and here’s what you do!” etc. But so far, I have not had any bites.

She’s unusual, at least in this family. While the boys and Husband are “Party of Five”-level verbal in terms of their feeling (so much emoting, people. So much verbal expressions of feeling. It’s exhausting, but also helpful.) Wonderful Wonder Girl Twin is different. She prefer no one look at her when she cries. She’d rather not discuss what she feels. If she’s furious or depressed, she goes to her bed and falls asleep — the ultimate in shutting down. You cannot yell her into submission, as tempting as that path is. You can not greet her stubbornness with your own stubbornness. That only results in a stand-off of ill will and everyone feels terrible.

Today, she threw everything she could to avoid the work. We got through it, but it took multiple stages, and I want to note one thing I learned so that I remember — when she’s flails and says how much she sucks, she hates life; how we don’t love her, how much she’s stupid — it is extremely tempting to argue with her and refute these horrible claims. (I mean, ugh, seriously.) But that’s just a storm. It’s like she’s throwing grenades to derail you from the task at hand — which is to finish this homework assignment that she’s so in her head about and that’s causing her relentless anxiety/worry/stress. Like believe it or not, the best thing to do is to finish the homework assignment. (I think. I may change my mind).

So since I was off today, I could joke her out of bed. Took her outside for air when our attempt number one failed. When she threw up resistance again, I made cookies and got her out of bed, and for some reason, oh my god, she found her groove and finished the five paragraph essay. It is DONE!!!

I am wiped but I can’t help but think about how this would have been impossible if I were working today, so this is the vacation. A simpler to do list.

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