She follows a daily routine that is both time-consuming and challenging.
It includes certain basic tasks:
watching the "grop." (That would be the fish.) Sweeping the rug in her room and her crib.
(Yes, Meghan sweeps her crib.)
Sitting for a few minutes on the bottom shelf of the bookcase to determine whether she still fits there.
(She fit yesterday, and the prospects look good for tomorrow.)
Checking periodically on Edward.
Climbing in and out of the stroller for practice.
Testing the sofa springs.
Her constant companion through all of this is Dumpty, a shapeless rag doll whose best days are far behind him.
A year ago, he was well stuffed and bursting with good cheer.
His perpetual smile endeared him to Meghan immediately.
She provides his transportation; he provides her security.
The filthier he grows, the more she seems to rely on his wisdom and homespun philosophy.
About a week ago, my wife put Dumpty in the washing machine, hoping at least to make him recognizable.
We were not ready for the emaciated creature that emerged. Dumpty had been disemboweled during the rinse cycle.
My wife spent 20 minutes picking his foam rubber intestines out of the machine.
We thought Meghan might discard this mere shell of a Dumpty.
We were wrong.
There was no detectable difference in her relationship with him,
except that she found him easier to carry while performing her chores.