I went to the beach this past week with my family, where I got to meet my four-month-old cousin. I’m generally uneasy around infants, so it took me a long time to warm up to her. I have NO IDEA how to interact with a baby. What do you say? What do you do? How do you tell if the baby is really upset when all of her noises sound angry? I wondered the whole week if my family was judging me for not being the baby’s best friend. I was nervous when I held her, and content watching her from afar.

I was kind of a brat all week. I slept until two in the afternoon and only went out to the beach for an hour a day, if at all. When I woke up, I didn’t want to move. It was too bright, and the house we were staying in was too full with people. People making breakfast, playing with the baby, going to the beach, and rushing to see the alligator that was in the backyard. It seemed like a really big task for me to get up and talk to my family.

Every night when we went out to dinner, I had a hard time keeping up conversation. Sometimes I find that my personality just goes away. When it’s there, it’s OK. I can joke around and maybe pass for almost charming. But when my personality isn’t there—and there’s never any warning as to when or for how long it will leave—everything is difficult. Conversations are hard because sentences are hard because not tripping over words is impossible. I become angry and try to hide from interactions by moving around a lot. If I look like I have something to do, maybe I will avoid someone’s asking me something.

I think I slept so much because I didn’t want to look at anything. It’s hard to explain. Everything just seemed too tiring to look at. I felt like if I looked at anything for too long I would melt.

So I was moody, but I also enjoyed myself. I read, went to the beach and pool, kayaked, watched Zooey 101, and got to hang out with my grandmother and aunt and uncle. There was always ice cream in the fridge, and I ended up being completely infatuated with my cousin by the end of the trip. I guess that means I was a brat without a cause. ♦