Just a bunch of random stuff to report:
1. M has somehow gotten her mind around the idea of a royal family tree. The other day, she announced "I"m a princess!" Just as I was gritting my teeth and gearing up my usual "no, baby, you're not a princess" answer, she looks at me and says "And you're the queen!" Well, in that case, I guess it's ok. She also occasionally calls me "your majesty." Can't say I mind.
2. She's also started thanking me each night for dinner, a habit The Boy has somehow instilled. Put these two together, and you get "thank you for a lovely dinner, your majesty!" Just try to not giggle and melt at that one.
3. M's visit with her six-year-old cousin, which happened several weeks ago, continues to have reverberations. Unfortunately, they're mostly annoying. For instance, her (otherwise smart, articulate) cousin has one peculiar speech issue -- she does npt pronounce the sound "th." She says "s" instead, as in "I sink" for "I think." For some reason, this bugged me at the time, but it's a million times worse now that M has to be just like her big cousin. I've been correcting "sinks" left and right for three weeks now.
3. M's cousin was also in a kind of whiny phase when she was here, and it manifested in her claiming to be scared of almost everything she encountered. Little miss monkey-see-monkey-do picked up on that charming habit, so I'm also spending a lot of time talking to her about why her, say, crib is not scary and why she doesn't really need to scream when she sees it. She also proclaims herself scared every time I correct her in a voice that's not totally even and calm. And don't even get me started on The Boy, who decided to address M's professed fear of him by stomping into her bedroom, intoning "FEE FI FO FUM!" in his loudest, deepest voice. It took me five minutes to scrape my weeping, wailing puddle of toddler off the floor after that one.
4. The one area in which we wanted M to be influenced by her cousin is the one where she chooses instead to emulate her other cousin, who's six months old. Yep, she's pretty much never going to stop using diapers, at least for, ahem, certain functions.
Sorry for all the crank. In between petty annoyances, I really am enjoying the heck out of M these days. She helps me cook now, which is great because she'll totally eat whatever "she" cooks. And she's as cuddly and sweet as ever (you know, when she's not screaming or crying).