This week I could write about the year in review, or renew the same list of resolutions I’ve made for years running with little success (stay current on magazine subscriptions, polish shoes, sharpen knives, dust). But no! This week I will kick over the routine year-end topics and propose a bold experiment. For today and tomorrow it’s all about trading places.




You and 9, Lily.


You’re going to be both of us?


What I have in mind is more balanced. I propose that you, 9, trade places with Lily. Lily, you can be me, and 9, I’ll be you.

Trading places: 9 will be Lily

Trading places: Lily will be me

Trading places: I will be 9Trading places: I will be 9


But Lily’s a foot taller than me!


Don’t be a baby, 9, it’s only five inches.


Will I only get apples and cottage cheese to eat?


Whoa, suddenly I want to say “there are starving children all over the world who would be happy to have apples and cottage cheese.”


It’ll be quite an adjustment being you for a couple of days, 9. I have a plan in place to make it as painless as possible for all of us on Saturday because- -I’m taking us to the 9:45 AM showing of Wonka!  But today, Lily, you are going to the gym.


I despise the gym!


I can relate. On the up side, you also have face yoga and writing. Think you can handle that?


Yes, but I still despise the gym.


It’s supposed to warm up to 39 F by 3 PM so we can bundle up and go for a walk. I think you’ll like using longer legs, 9.


Walking’s okay but what do I do the rest of the day?


Read, of course! And you need to style your hair because Mom doesn’t do that for us anymore. Also, I’m working on one of Helena’s monologues from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for drama class. You’ll need to read the whole play in order to understand Helena.


That sounds like a lot of work!


Acting for the stage is a lot of work! You need to make a commitment, 9.


I guess I have time for that, now that the election’s over and that stupid Nixon won. When did we start acting?


Sixth grade, Mrs. Swanson’s class. We played the White Rabbit of the Moon in “The Feast of Lanterns” and loved it!


I’ll have to find a jumper to wear, and knee socks. Oh, and I’ll draw pictures of underground club houses. That’s really fun! And maybe some kind of craft thing with yarn because someone surely gave us something like that for Christmas.


You can read my new books.


Excellent idea, 9! And they’ll neatly fit with our Wonka expedition tomorrow because both books (The Witches and The Twits) are by Roald Dahl who created Willie Wonka.


To recap: all three of us will read on Friday. I’m currently reading seven books so you have a lot to choose from, Lily:


Trading places includes trading books: from top to bottom, my pile, Lily’s volume of Shakespeare, and 9’s new Christmas books.



I can’t believe you’ll let me read The World of Susie Wong!


Honestly, I’m torn about that but maybe it will be an opportunity to discuss things you have questions about.


But remember, you’ll be me. I don’t know much about grown-up stuff.


Wow, this is getting complicated! It will be much simpler tomorrow when we go to the movies. Thanks for persuading me to start going to the Cineplex, Lily. 9, I’m pretty sure you’re the reason I bought a super-sized box of Junior Mints when we saw Barbie last July. I haven’t quite finished those yet:


Trading places: the sweet peril of childhood food choices


Okay, so we’re the good influences. What do you do?


One, I drive us there. Two, I pay for it.


Thanks! Does that include concessions?


9:45 A is pretty early in the day for me to take on Junior Mints. But we could have French toast for breakfast before we go.


With fresh fruit.

And lots of maple syrup!


And an egg on the side for added protein.


Fine, but let’s get started on today. I want to get the gym out of the way so I’m free to do more interesting things.


Fine by me, but first we’ve got something very important to do together like we do every Friday morning.


Post the blog!


On the count of three: One!




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