What a great afternoon with difficult child! He was having a rough morning and then just seemed to turn it around. He helped me (sort of) take down the Christmas tree and even carried down some of the decorations to the basement. Then he vacuumed (I asked and he said no but then did it with no complaining). After that I decided to take Ella out for a walk (it was 51 degrees which is highly unusual around here in January). He wanted to come along (and while I generally don't have him come along because he usually doesn't listen well) and I said yes. He asked if he could actually hold on to the leash. In the past we haven't let him because Ella is not good on the leash and is very strong but difficult child has grown up a lot and I let him. It didn't start out well because somehow the leash wasn't attached right (not difficult child's fault) and she took off running. difficult child went after her and told me to get the van (only way to get her home). I got in the van and drove about 1 1/2 blocks to see that he had actually caught her (something none of us can ever do-we can sometime lure her into the van but not catch her). We brought the van home and set out on our walk. He actually did a great job with Ella. After about 1/2 a mile he was wiped (remember he had run to catch Ella) and so he went home and I walked her further. When I came home I sat next to difficult child on the couch. Usually he doesn't like that but he was in a really good mood. He asked me to massage his feet and I did. Then I gave him a back massage. He was totally appropriate for most of the rest of the evening (as much as possible for difficult child). He was sweet, funny, and didn't get easily upset over things like usual. Sure wish we could have more nights like these.