Dealing with Lucy lately is like negotiating with a Teamster — no, a lawyer for the Teamsters! She's argumentative and impossible; anything you say can be turned against you, thanks to the perfect combination of bullying will and rhetorical skill.

One thing we've been working on lately is the concept of danger. "Lucy, we have to hold hands in the parking lot, because it's dangerous." "The stove is hot and it's dangerous." "Climbing on the barstool is dangerous."

So far, the only thing that's gotten through is dangerous=don't do that. It's gotten through so clearly that this morning, she refused to wear a denim skirt and knee socks (my effort at trying to accommodate her new socks-pulled-up-all-the-way and I-don't-wanna-wear-pants aesthetic). The little labor union lawyer declared, "Noooo, that skirt is dangerous!"