Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Downside of Drama

Scarlett crawled to the car this morning. I could say that she was also weeping or sobbing, but that wouldn't give the sound justice. Wailing? Better. Sorta made me think of Bertha up there in the Jane Eyre attic, those kind of noises.

Oh, and by crawling, I mean on her belly. She had a voice-over to go with the scream sound track, "You two are the meanest parents in the world!"

I wonder what the neighbors think sometimes.

The roots of this scene sprouted last night when I picked her up from the Guthrie at 10 pm. The child supervisor said brightly, "No more sugar for this one!" Turns out there's something called Snack Central backstage, a locker (according to Scarlett) four feet high full of candy. Initially, she was asking her adult colleagues for handouts; now she just marches into Snack Central and helps herself.

She was awake until 1:00 am -- at least! That's the hour she left our bed because instead of coddling and sympathizing with her wide-awake-state, I fumed. That's the kind of mother I am: scaring children out of mom and dad's bed.

Predictably, I woke to the familiar scent of self-recrimination.

When I woke her up, I said as much: really sorry! Give me a chance to do better next time, okay? Uh, thanks Scarlett. Instead of getting any kind of normal human interaction, she starts screaming: "Why didn't you wake me up earlier? I wanted to get up at 7! My tummy hurts!"

After forty minutes of sobs coming from her dark bedroom, I realized that this child was not going to school unless she had step by step instruction. John and I took turns standing over her: "Now put on your sweatshirt. Pick up the hair brush and use it. Turn on the water."

While she screamed. At least she fine-tuned the narrative. Turns out the problem is definitely a tummy ache (after the wake up time lost steam). One important piece of this story is that Scarlett has a tummy ache every single morning, they just vary in complexity and intent. Some people communicate with words. She uses her stomach.

Culminating in the belly crawl to the car.

Oh yippee! She has another Guthrie show tonight - just the precursor to her own personal main stage where the audience is captive (for at least 9 more years).

1 comment:

Unknown said...

We're here, Mary...and right with you. Our young T. is a study in slow motion in the morning. Every action only a reaction to Parental Prodding. The trouble is, I'm exactly the same way, so having to do that for another makes me grind to a halt, and grind my teeth. Nothing like feeling that "I'll never feel this way (or act this way) toward my kids when *I'm* a parent" feeling by 7 a.m. Adrenaline (sp?) is sooo much better than coffee in the morning?
Anyway, we're right there with you!
Tom M.