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bizarro weekend

Did you ever see the "Bizarro Jerry" episode of Seinfeld? It’s the one where Elaine meets the guys who are exact opposites of Jerry, George, and Kramer and decides she’d rather be with them. It’s also the one where Jerry dates the girl with "man hands," one of my personal favorite relationships of his. This weekend reminded me of that show because it was so strange.

It all began on Saturday when we went to get iced coffee. I almost never drink caffeine, and when I do I occasionally get a feeling of euphoria. But not this time. Instead, because I had also taken a Sudafed (which I learned later has a drug interaction with caffeine), I got a peculiar feeling of dizziness and restlessness, and later on, sleeplessness. In fact, I ended up not falling asleep at all, which has never happened to me before in my life. It was such a crazy feeling to be up still at 4:30 a.m. and not be tired…AT ALL. I read an entire book that night.

On Sunday we had an unusual activity planned. I signed Vivi up for her first ever psychological research study. Back in the days when I was a child psychopathology researcher, I always knew I would volunteer my children both because I find psychology fascinating and because researchers are always in need of participants, especially children. Plus, who can resist going to Harvard and some of the other fantastic universities in the Boston area? This study is being conducted by University of California, San Diego using subjects from around the country, and it is creating a pediatric imaging-genomics database. Along with an eight-page medical history questionnaire that I completed, Vivi took part in neuropsychological testing using a touch-screen computer and had an MRI scan of her brain. She loved the experience from start to finish. Just having a special trip that was for me and her was enough to get her excited. We don’t often make it into the city, so it was fun to see how enthusiastic she was about the beautiful bridges and buildings we saw on the way to the Charlestown Navy Yard. I’d say the "computer game" part was Vivi’s favorite, but strangely, the MRI wasn’t far behind. They let her watch a movie while in the machine, which they called a rocket ship, and she got to pick out a prize afterward. I was relieved she seemed not to have inherited my claustrophobia. Oh, and we got a check for $100, which I plan to put toward some much-needed wardrobe purchases for Vivi today. While we didn’t do it for the money, it certainly doesn’t hurt. I am looking forward to Charlotte’s first infant study with Harvard next month!

The oddities continued into the evening, when I got lost in Boston looking for the highway. We were starved, and it was raining, so I reluctantly swung into a McDonald’s for only the third time in the last eight years. It was Vivi’s first Mickey-D’s experience, and I made sure I didn’t tell her the name of the place we were eating and didn’t give her the toy that comes with the Happy Meal. I almost took Morgan Spurlock’s advice and punched her in the face, but I decided that was taking it a bit too far. Kidding!

Last up in the weekend trip to the extraordinary happened upon our return home, when I learned that Nate had a great time hanging out with Charlotte. In fact, he said she was, and I quote, "cute and fun." WHAT?! Don’t get me wrong–my husband loves his children. But Nate giving a baby a compliment? Now that’s bizarre.