Sunday, June 15, 2008

Stage Mother

Yesterday, Scarlett spent an hour with the woman writing and directing the small art film in which the Matron's daughter plays the main character.

The other main character is from Slovenia. Afterward, the Matron was treated to this --

Scarlett: "Mom! Where's Slovenia?"

Matron: "Um. Far away? Across the Atlantic ocean?"

Scarlett: "MOM! That is not enough! Does it snow there? Is it by France? Is it by China which is way far away from France AND Italy? What do people wear? How do their faces look? Do they speak English or is there a Slovenian?"

And then Scarlett burst into tears and threw herself on the bed (well, on the mound of clothes and notebooks and plates with half-eaten bagels providing protective cover for that bed), wailing.

Matron: "Sweetie! You don't have to do this, you know. It's 100% your choice. If you don't want to be in the film, nobody will be mad or disappointed. Only do what you want to do."

Scarlett (weeping): "I REALLY WANT TO DO IT I JUST NEED TO CRY."

And so she did, for about half an hour. When whatever spirit possessed her decided that this host's flora had lost its funk, she picked herself up and googled herself to Slovenian Expert.

Later, at the behest of the tornado sirens, last night at the convenient hour of 10 pm, the Matron and her family huddled in the basement while the wind romped its way through the city. Afterward, John retrieved all the yard toys, pools, and chairs from the street and the neighbors' yards and the Matron worked on getting three children back to the beds they had barely been in due to a plethora of Party (graduations, potlucks, festivity in the summer).

It was the perfect moment for this --

Scarlett: "MOM! Who's going to run the music for Peter Pan?" This would be Scarlett's annual Backyard Theater Production, which is really a multi-family event and attempts to cast everyone that comes into Scarlett's acquaintance.

Matron: "Now is not the time to worry about this."

Scarlett (sobbing): "If Cela can't do the costumes for the mermaids, what will I DO? How can I get those tail-things! And will Daddy use the pool or do we make a fake lagoon? Have we figured out the flying problem yet?"

Matron: "Honey, you don't have to do Peter Pan. This should be fun!"


Yes, this feels like a good time is being had by all. Fun, fun, fun, sings the Matron.

Today, the Matron got an email from a local actress whose initial email to the Matron was somehow lost in electronics. A 'hey now this is short notice can you swing it' email.

Could Scarlett audition for the role of the young Baby Jane in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Tomorrow?

You would think the Matron would've detected a pattern by now. But no, she was unsuspecting, unprotected, forgot her facial gear and body armor.

Matron: "Scarlett? X is doing a play called Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. She wants to know if you want to audition to play Baby Jane."

Scarlett (bursting into tears): "NO NO NO!"

Matron (surprised): "Really? Okay then. It's good you're making your own decisions!"

Scarlett (weeping): "Why are you yelling at me! You're yelling! I can't believe you're yelling at me!"

Here, the Matron pauses to consider what planet she had just landed upon. As far as she could tell, no yelling had transpired. The Matronly yell is undeniable and penetrates walls. In fact, she considered her response 100% appropriate and on the perfectly sane parenting page.

Matron (very very gently, as if talking down someone from that roof): "Scarlett, I apologize if my voice was loud. I think I was surprised and my voice registered that? I'm really not yelling, okay? This is totally not a big deal and it's great to be clear about what you want to do and what you don't! That's a very good quality you have."

The Matron pats her daughter's head, reorients herself to Earth and starts upstairs.


Matron: "To email X and tell her that you're passing on this."


The Matron was suddenly, profoundly, permanently exhausted.

Scarlett? She had phone calls to make! If she did not immediately watch that movie, the big one would hit California and send millions to their death! Without that movie, she would probably be felled by a mysterious coma or Satan's Familiar hit by a car.

Hmmm, hums the Matron as she considers the latter.

Back to reality, as such. And after Scarlett located said movie, she breathed fire and impatience down the Family Neck until one parent picked up and drove to the video store.

She's watching the movie at this very moment. The Matron even heard Merrick sing a bit of "I'm writing a letter to Daddy." She apologizes in advance to her youngest child's future therapist, having to tend to all the trouble that keeping up with the big kids caused him.

Given the theatrics of the last 24 hours, the Matron is not entirely happy to note that her daughter seems somehow well-suited for Baby Jane. Don't they share such placid temperament and easy-going ways? She also now more fully appreciates that all the world's a stage to her daughter. The Matron and her family are captive audience (and supporting roles) for the next decade at least. One wild ride.


Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, good times. Makes me wish I had had a daughter. Instead, as a single mother I fear I may have raised a girly man. Oops.

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

'reorients herself to Earth...'

I know that feeling often. Very often. When I think I am being reasonable - in fact, quite amazing in my mothering - to only hear I was yelling at her or worse.

We shall be exhausted by the time we pull up to the Women's Colony, but it shall be sweet...

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

The Matron? She writes a good post whilst Scarlett cries three times. Blog This Mom? She's reading the Matron's good post amidst the repeated hollering by her husband at the Laker game on TV. *sigh*

smalltownme said...

Oh, I'm glad I'm not the mother of girls. So much emotion!!! My tween boy is a wanna-be actor slash architect. He's not a girly-man but he does have long hair.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I wonder why she's attracted to acting?!

Jocelyn said...

And you are, of course, baffled as to where Scarlett got this penchant.

No idea.

I do know that I can't comment upon her objectively, for I fear I rather AM her. At least my mother-in-law was kind a few years ago when she pointed out how "healthy" she finds me, since I don't tamp down emotion but rather feel it and let it blow through in those quick bouts of tears.

Tell yourself that about Scarlett.


Saucy said...

Scarlett has a streak of the Loopy within her. As in, my sweet, wild-tempered Loopykins. NOOOOO! I JUST NEED TO CRY! is an oft-repeated plaintif wail around here. Just cry it out. You'll be okay.

Anonymous said...

For some reason, I keep forgetting you are in Minnesota, despite the fact that it's emblazened upon your header. Duh. So when I was looking at storm pics of my friend in St Cloud, I didn't even register your peril. So sorry Matron, I am ever so glad you survived!

Scarlett sounds tired. Must be time for a mother/daughter spa day.

Anonymous said...

That one needs to be sent off to RADA!

Anonymous said...

and...thankful once again that I have a boy. :)


Anonymous said...

That's pretty funny--"I just need to cry." I've felt that way. Her frank attitude about it is pretty precious.

Ann said...

Drama, who said drama? I didn't see any drama here. Yes, you indeed have a thespian here - a definitive actress. As painful as it may be at times, I salute you for nurturing this part of her. Very entertaining! :)

Anonymous said...

I think you chose the perfect name for your daughter. :P

Angie said...

At least she knows what she needs, right? Knowing you just need a good cry is great.

Not sure how old Scarlett is, 11 maybe? Can't remember, but she is acting a bit like my girls did right before the visit from 'Aunt Flo' - just what you need to really stir things up, huh?

Talented, bright children often feel overwhelmed and frustrated, but her love of acting will get her through.

Hang in there, Matron - from a mom with 3 of these girly creatures - it's a wild ride for sure.

Julie said...

Oh, the drama! A good cry puts everything in perspective. I have a budding drama queen at my house and am grateful that you are writing about this so I can be prepared...or not!

Irene said...

Well, I just need to cry about this, okay? I need to emote. The drama is coming all the way from my toes up to my eyes and I need to cry.

Actually, I wish I could. I have reason enough to. It would be healthy if I did.

Jennifer S said...

Sounds like you couldn't have picked a better name for her! It's exactly like that at our house, by the way. My girl, when she's upset, will find a mirror and practice her looks of distress or sadness. That part of it is hilarious.

The rest just makes me wish I had wine in the house.