Today it is 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Not unheard of this time of year, but definitely annoying. Queen Teen and I have a small window of opportunity between the hours of 6 am and 10:00 am to go on a walk. By noon, we're hiding in the dark house, the curtains closed to keep out the dreaded sun.
Can you tell I'm not a sunshine, summer kind of person?
Neither is Queen Teen. She likes sunshine, but can't tolerate the heat. Her ataxia gets worse and she has a hard time regulating her body temperature so she's prone to heat exhaustion. We have to keep a sharp eye on her to prevent hot weather fevers. Going to the park or the lake on a hot day is out of the question.
We go through this every year. School is out, so Queen Teen is bored. She can't go to summer camp or other outdoor activities and all of her friends are gone doing all those summer activities without her. She gets lonely and depressed. I spend all my time keeping her cool while battling her depression, boredom and loneliness. After 14 years I should be a pro, and I was, until now. Because this year we get to add teenage hormones to our summer enjoyment.
I need a double margarita. Or how about I go back to school for another five weeks? Spending all day in class is way more fun than being stuck in the house with a hormonal, angry teen age girl.
"Let's play a game," I suggest.
"I don't know," she says, scowling.
"It will be fun. How about Dominoes?"
We sit at the table and play the game. She wins. We play again and she wins again. I'm not letting her win, but she suddenly slams her fists on the table and shouts, "Why do I always win?"
I say, "Most people are happy to win."
"Not me. It's so BORING."
She shoves the dominos onto the floor. "Oh no you don't," I say. "You don't throw toys. Pick those up."
I leave the table and count to a thousand.
She keeps crying. "Why do I always win?"
She finally starts to pick up the dominoes and I go in to help. We put the game away and then I say. "Would you like a drink?"
She smiles and says yes and we sit together happily chatting until we finish our drink. Then I ask her if she'd like more.
"No." She crosses her arms and looks away from me.
One second ago we were laughing cheerfully and now your angry at me again.
I decide to ignore it and leave the table. As long as she isn't throwing dominoes or cups, she can be as mad as she wants.
A few minutes later she comes to me and gives me a big warm hug. I thank her and she goes into her room to play.
A few minutes after that she is lying on her bed staring at the cieling, saying, "There's nothing to do."
This was a good day.