Thursday, June 25, 2009

my children are talented at freaking out

Yesterday I noticed several pages, stapled together with an illustration on the cover, lying on the coffee table. I picked it up and took a look. It was a short story, which I assumed was part of Iris's schoolwork which she'd brought home on the last day of school (Iris had brought home some similar documents, including one short story, "The Killing Dude", which had deeply disturbed the school's lower school librarian. I swear that I do not watch horror films with the children or worship Satan about the house; it comes to the child naturally. Maybe she'll be Clivette Barker when she grows up). I started reading it. It was a very well-written piece about a girl who had moved and was taking skating lessons.

Nine year-old Iris uber Alles walked into the room and freaked out. "You can't read that!" It turned out that it wasn't a school assignment; it was something she'd written recently on her own (she often uses computers to do some creative writing). She started crying uncontrollably and couldn't calm down or explain why she was upset. In yet another display of terrible parenting, I paid her ten dollars to let me finish reading the story (which was really very good; obviously writing comes naturally to her and equally obviously she has profited from her writing classes at 826 Valencia Street). She didn't stop crying for hours. I told her (and later her father reiterated) that, if she wants something to be private, for the love of God don't leave it on the frigging coffee table and that it was excellent and nothing to be embarrassed about, but our evening was ruined by all the uncontrollable crying.

Then six year-old Lola started playing the DvD of her recent dance recital. Lola had nagged me about this DvD repeatedly, saying "ISABELLE has a copy of it; why don't I?" and "I KNOW there is a DvD but I don't have it." I had finally picked it up that day, and Lola had eagerly asked permission to go watch it, but the moment it started playing, she freaked out crying uncontrollably (joining her older sister), saying that she was embarrassed and couldn't stand to watch herself. "So why the hell did you ask to put it on?" was my thought; "honey, just watch the parts you're not in" was my ineffectual attempt to calm her down. One might assume this was Lola's attempt to copy her older sister in the hopes of attention and ten dollars of her own, but she was upstairs while Iris had that freakout and got the payout and had witnessed only Iris's later inconsolable, inarticulated crying.

I went down to the kitchen and had a couple glasses of wine. The Sober Husband arrived home to a house filled with neurotic, crying, talented children and a very cranky wife. "We had a GOOD DAY," I tried to explain. "Right up until mid-afternoon, we had a GOOD DAY." The children wailed.

1 comment:

Silliyak said...

I think there's a category for that in "America's Got Talent" but the competition is fierce.