I spent about a year in an awkward situation that started out with accidentally babysitting two adorable little kids. Bundles of joy are those two, and I'm not even being ironical. Mommies and daddies, when you ask nice single gals of even age with yourselves if they'll do you a favor and watch your kiddos while you go wine tasting for a night, do you usually mean, "Will you be my nanny?" I hope not. It is very uncomfortable to get out of that kind of situation. Anyway, Olivia was an invaluable friend during that year.
Last Christmas, I went shopping with the grandma of the kids, who we'll call "Mima." Mima told me that she had been Christmas shopping that day with the girl, and they had come across something that made the girl exclaim, "Mima, that's Miss Meri's favorite!" (This family requires Miss and Mr. before any adult names, which I personally find really creepy. Most kids I know call me Mers - pronounced "Meh-rs" not "M-er-s." When I told the girl she could call me Mers, she replied, with some attitude, "Why would I call you Mers? That's not
your real name." I had to shamefully admit she was right, and we compromised with Miss Meri.) Back to the story - Mima suggested they buy this favorite thing for me as a Christmas present, and the girl agreed.
When Mima told me about the present, I spent some time trying to guess what it could possibly be and hoping it wasn't a princess dress, but I'm a bad guesser. Unfortunately for surprises, when I was dropping Mima off that night, I helped her carry in a bag of presents. As I was setting it down, it fell open, and seeing what was inside I involuntarily exclaimed, "Hey! That's my favor- . . . wait a second!" Yes, as you may have guessed, it was a stuffed Olivia doll. She's wearing her Christmas outfit, which is pretty spectacular. Olivia is my favorite, it turns out. I think it's because she's good at lots of things.