Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mama Scheherazade

Seconda loathes going to school. I’m not positive how she feels about school itself – though it doesn’t seem promising – but how she feels about going to school and the saying goodbye to her dear old Mama, we’re quite clear on. Every morning, I’m charged with the task of getting The Most Uncooperative Preschooler on the Planet and her significantly more helpful older but still not terribly jazzed about school either older brother over to their classrooms by 8:40. There are several obstacles. First is the fact that since the little one doesn’t go to bed til 10pm most nights despite the fact that she’s in bed by 8, and consequently doesn’t wake til I force her to at 8am. When she does wake, she is grumpy grumpy grumpy and refuses to get dressed or eat. When I beg and cajole and bribe and threaten enough that I manage to put some clothes on her (I give up on the food), she refuses to leave the house. When we leave the house and she realizes she must use her legs to tackle the 15 walk, she pitches a fit. When I carry her on my back as long as I am physically able, and then set her down to complete the rest of the walk on her own, perfectly capable legs, she pitches another fit.

The only way we move forward at this point – with no time to spare, incidentally – is by me becoming Mama Scheherazade.

“Ooooooh!” I’ll gasp to get her attention, “Did I ever tell you the story about the witch who was allergic to peanut butter Girl Scout Cookies?”

“Tell it to me!” she’ll demand.

“Ok, I will but you have to walk.”

She takes one angry step as I launch into creating original context, customized for her taste preferences (the witch gets a bloody boo boo, the witch has a baby, the witch gives the baby away because it cries too much). If I stop the story for a second, to catch my breath – or if the story gets too boring or goes off in the wrong direction – she stops walking and starts screaming.

“Ok ok ok, and then the witch gets a terrible rash on her nose!” I hasten to add.

My life in on the line here. There is no room for plot missteps.

Adding to the complexity of my storytelling prison is that Seconda is not my only audience member. Primo is there too and has narrative preferences and needs of his own.
Usually his tastes incline in a radically different direction – battling, spooky twists, surprise endings – and he wants his voice heard, too.

But if he so much as adds a sentence in, or lends an idea, Seconda is all over him like a feral monkey. That or worse, she stops walking again.

“Fine, then I’m not going to school.”

And I have to remind Primo that at this juncture, he can not have any needs of his own but after school it can be all about him and I’ll tell him ANOTHER story one where people use black magic and disapparate and shit that like. Because I am an unending font of original context.

So if you’re wondering why my blog’s been lacking luster or looking a little anemic remember that before 9am, I am forced to give away my BEST SHIT to the gremlins. It’s the price of getting them to school.