On a normal day--one in which she goes to school and I go to work or I sit at my computer and edit or write or grade--I accept her help with a smile on my face. Her little fingers are welcome on those days to do what she thinks is necessary: to push my papers into a pile, to add more milk to my coffee, or to bring me a tissue when I sneeze. But on a day when she's been out of school for almost two weeks and so have her siblings and I'm tired of the questions, the comments, the bickering, and the only thing I want to do is to sit and compose a blog post, then no thank you, ma'am, but I do not need her to take out my tea bag because the tea was getting dark, considering I like my tea stronger than she does. Nor do I need her to eat the legs off of my gingerbread man cookie. She knows that I like my small sugary treat with my morning cup of coffee or tea and that tiny man--he was mine. While I'd take those legs back if I could, I think I'll just get myself another cookie. And hope that she finds a book in which to immerse herself so that I, too, can find a few moments of quiet.