Tuesday, December 2, 2008

One of the Three Hysterics in the House

Sunday was the last performance of The Sound of Music.

The Matron started steeling herself for Monday about seven days ago, immersing herself in prayer, meditation, herbs and alcohol. After two years with that daughter-actor, the Matron knows all too well what happens the day after a show closes.

Friends, may you never have such knowledge.

So Scarlett is simultaneously upbeat and nostalgic on Sunday night, still basking in Audience Glow and Cast Camaraderie. But Monday?

The Matron entered this round of Post Production Hysteria when she returned from her morning run around 7:30 am. The sound blast of Scarlett screaming (strategically still located in her bed) nearly knocked her back outside.

Matron to husband: "What's with her?"

John: "You know."

That child wept and pined for nearly an hour, declaring herself tragically and mysteriously unable to stand by her own volition. After much cajoling, she managed to reach deep down into the wellsprings of superhuman strength in the face of great, life-threatening challenge--you know, the place people reach when they're stranded on a mountain with no food or water or have to hurl automobiles off of small children--and was able to get out of bed, and hallelujah, get dressed.

She was unable to eat breakfast from her position on the living room floor, where she collapsed from the efforts described in the previous paragraph.

Aside! Break in the linear narrative! For those of you who sometimes read these blog posts and think, oh my. Family life could not be that exciting--she must make some of this stuff up!

True. Hyperbole and the Matron are longtime companions.

But she actually refrains from blogging too much about Scarlett, lest she lose all credibility as a narrator. She could not make up what is already incredible. Truth is stranger and all that.


Back to the the living room floor. After crawling to her boots, Scarlett managed to secure those on her feet. While weeping.

Matron: "Scarlett! What IS the matter?"

Scarlett: "I'm TIRED. My STOMACH HURTS. I AM SICK AND NOBODY CARES. YOU JUST WANT ME TO GET OUT OF HERE AND GO TO SCHOOL."

Absolutely, totally 100% true.

Here, some spirit with a wicked sense of humor possessed the Matron and she decided to unfurl Scarlett's unconscious before that child's eyes.

"Scarlett, you're not sick. You're just sad because the show is over and you'll miss all those people. This happens every time a show ends."

Whereupon Scarlett fell to the floor again, flailing in agony. "MY STOMACH! MY HEAD HURTS! I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE FORCING ME TO GO TO SCHOOL LIKE THIS!"

The Matron understood then that her daughter was either simply too young to tend to the complexities of saying good-bye to people with whom you've worked intimately for three months and will probably never see again OR is exhibiting what will be a lifelong pattern of hysteria, denial and displaced emotion.

Either way, the Matron threw up her hands.

Scarlett continued to weep and wail about her stomach, her head, her lack of breakfast, the game she will be forced to play during gym, the way Merrick holds a spoon and the 20 some days of December to get through until Christmas before FINALLY lurching out of the van to school, nearly forty minutes late.

Scarlett (sobbing): "Look at me! I can barely walk and you're forcing me to go to school." And that child staggered into the building, dragging one useless leg behind her (apparently injured while sitting in the van on the way to school) the entire way.

And when the Matron picked her up at 3:45 pm? She was fine.

Scarlett: "Mom? When do rehearsals for The Miracle Worker start? Isn't that tonight? Can I read the script yet? Have you talked to the director?"

The Matron has no doubt that Scarlett has the deaf-blind flail within her. She witnesses that routine on a regular basis.

19 comments:

Balou said...

Oh dear. She is a true actress isn't she. Good she has you to keep her in reality.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

The Matron has deep reservoirs of patience she probably never suspected she had before Scarlett came along!

Ree said...

Oh my. and to think, my 17-year-old son isn't even in any shows when he does that. ;-)

Professor J said...

Lordy, lordy. And I thought I was a mess.

kmkat said...

Lordy. Tell Scarlett she is lucky she is not my daughter. She would have been dead long ago, pout out of her misery by a mother who had had it Up To Here.

Wait. If she were my daughter she would have inherited my stoic Scandinavian temperament and would be incapable of these fits of madness. Of course, she would also be entirely lacking in acting and singing and dancing talent, too, so things are probably better the way they are.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

That's why she's a drama queen--so extreme. Posts about her are always so amusing:)

Erin said...

How? Do? You? Do? It? :)

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Bless your heart. Stock up on gin.

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

I would have shook the child and hit herbupside the head until she got some sense knocked into her. No, I probably wouldn't have, but I would have felt like it.

Mrs. G. said...

Last summer, my son did a summer long Shakespeare in the park program. It was a long and grueling schedule. He was the only kid in the production. The night of the final performance (Merry Wives), I heard him quietly crying in his room.

I think the sadness is legit, but your daughter? Girl knows how to work it. ACTING!

justhay said...

Ha!! The Dr Phil show just came on...he is moving 5 moms and their kids into his Dr Phil house...all trying to get their kids famous. It's about Psycho Stage Mothers! I hope you've seen it.

I love Scarlett, especially because she is YOUR daughter, not MINE.

Daisy said...

I'm sure you don't dare laugh, either, even though it's a repeat performance.

bipolarlawyercook said...

I used to get, like clockwork, a horrible cold two days after the close of a show. I feel Scarlett's pain. Not as much as yours, though. : )

thefirecat said...

Bipolar, the cold is legit. Your immune system gets suppressed from all that cortisone and adrenaline that you're feasting on during the run of the play (not to mention the late hours, crappy food, close space, sharing makeup, etc). It happens after running marathons, too. Except for the sharing makeup and crappy food parts.

Come to think of it, these days the only times I get sick other than right after running marathons is right after a semester ends, when my body lets down its defense for half a second--blammo!!

Heather said...

Oh my. I thought my daughter was good at theatrics.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

So basically you have to keep her in back to back plays for, um, ever.

Peggy Sez.. said...

Drama Queens..You've gotta love them.Just wait and see,Scarlett is destined for a career in Soap Operas.I do love me a good soap opera Diva!

P.S. I DO mean this in a good way!

drawer queen said...

Yes, seven years in "The Nutcracker" unfolded a very similar scene in our home. So calloused to this drama was I, when I roused the daughters for an early piano competition and the eldest claimed stomach ache I can't go my head hurts i really can't I'm dying... I smiled and stuffed them in the car. We drove to the competition, she stepped out of the car and threw up in the parking lot. She threw up three more times while in the waiting area, and then went in and played her piece.
Sometimes the acting is so good it is really hard to tell.. you know? ( But she got Highest Honors on her piano piece. Her sister did not, and is still mad about that. )

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

We experience that type of syndrome here (although in a milder form, thanks be to God). We call it the bends.