She had invented a reason to get out class and go to the nurse's office. "Spicy Throat," she called it. I told her it sounded absolutely terrifying, and I'm so glad she was able to stay in class so she didn't have to miss anything fun. She agreed, sort of. Then she told me that her teacher asked her if she was okay. It seemed to mean a lot to her, that Mrs. K cared so much.
We played a game of Ruff Ruff Bingo and then a game of Candy Land. Then I cleaned the bathrooms. She fell off the couch, and she came crying to me. I stopped everything, and held her for about fifteen minutes. Then she looked up at me and said she could go play now.
She wanted pizza for dinner. I told her we couldn't order any pizza, but I would be happy to make her spaghetti. She said, "Well, I guess that means I will have to change my mind to spaghetti." I told her that was really impressive. She beamed.
I got into the freezer and found a (It's Not Delivery, It's) DiGiorno. I asked her if she wanted to change her mind again. She saw the box, and stated, "It's much easier to change my mind this time." I laughed. She did too.
She broke down again, when Harrison took her toy alligator. I got upset, and told her to just give the toy to Harrison. She screamed no, and ran into her room. I unlocked her door and demanded an apology. She wanted to know if I still loved her. For a second, I thought to myself that all the good stuff I did that afternoon was for nothing. Then I thought about how many people would disagree.
So I took a deep breath, and I held her in my arms, and I said, "I love you, no matter what," and I meant it. And she softened in my arms, and she whispered, "I'm sorry," and the two of us started again, with a clean slate.