So, in my last post I mentioned I should blog about Julia and "Over the Hedge". It's a Dreamworks animation. I think it's Dreamworks.
So, one evening a few weeks ago. Julia picks up the DVD jacket, looks at the picture and says, "You're her, mommy."
Me: Her who?
J: (pointing) Her.
Me: Who, Julia????
Frank: Stella the skunk?
Me: Who's daddy?
Frank: The squirrel.
Frank: And who are you, Julia?
**RJ is the star of the film. He is a rascal of a raccoon, voiced, pretty perfectly in my opinion, by Bruce Willis. I gave birth to the animated Procyon lotor version of Bruce Willis. Go figure.
Frank & Me: Stunned, amused, deferential, silence.
Frank: Well, Stella is a smart and sassy skunk. And she cleans up well.
Frank: But Hammy is the one who gets manipulated all the time.
Me: (In my head: Deep) Aloud: Hee-hee.
So, there ya go.
Talk amongst yourselves.
Driven to blog about today. Truly not sure where this is going to go. Maybe some connections to acting but none guaranteed. Kind of feels like the few times in my life that I've been driving and impulsively turned down a road I had never been on. Glancing down to make sure I had enough gas, feeling secure I had a couple of bucks in my pocket and time to kill, I would reassure myself that if I got lost I could always just backtrack.
I hope to do that more in my car one day. For now, let's metaphorically do it here.
So this morning was tough and fruitful. Mommyhood seems to have that as a mandate. If you are fruitful, even simple fruit, you are going to lose some hair, skin, blood, and parts of your mind. Metaphorically (sort of).
Phone calls, emails, appts made then unmade then remade, text messages. Creation of random to-do list of things I know I'm not going to forget mixed with things I probably will once the to-do list is misplaced: pot roast, email Jackie about play, ask hubby about nasal spray, mammography appt, toothpaste, orientation on the 19th, check on Misty, skype with Erika?, buy calendar for 2013, use damn calendar on droid, flu shot, Vilma....
Somewhere in there was also a shower, breakfast and a lot of shushing Lady J. Then there was a moment. I looked at the clock. It was close to 10 am. Lady J was in my bed entranced in PBS kids. I mention the PBS kids because I have to. It's the only way to manage the guilt. The guilt. Across my upper back, about two inches below my shoulders, I feel heavier. Like my muscles took on water. This is followed by a tingle in my nose. Then pressure against my chest, right below the collar bone. Pushing in. My legs feel unsure. She's been watching tv since 7am. She looks like a sweet angel zombie. Thanks to Super Why, then Martha who speaks, Curious George, The Cat in the Hat who knows a lot about that, Word Girl, the gang in Word World and now Mrs. Pteranodon on the Dinasour Train, I have been fruitful. I have been fruitful and my child has been watching tv for 3 hours. Correction PBS kids tv. Lady J learned the word "downtrodden" from Captain Huggy-Face, this keeps me from removing more hair, skin, blood and parts of my mind. Not metaphorically and not really.
10 am turns into noon in 15 minutes. We are running out the door to get to preschool. "Mommy, are you staying at my preschool today?" Yep. It's time to co-op. Plus, sixteen three-to-four year olds and four adults are walking to the grocery store for a special Thanksgiving Day shopping field trip.
I could write a teeny book on this trip alone. Wow.
I will share this: - and hey it has an Acting Thingy!
So, we're walking back with our groceries. I'm bringing up the rear with Lana and Johnny. One on each hand. My Lady J is off ahead. She's running. She's testing to see how far off to the side and how far ahead she can venture before getting called back. That's my girl. Oh! - to do list addition: blog about her analysis of the central characters in the movie "Over the Hedge" as attributed to members of her family including herself.
Ok, so walking back with the groceries. Lana, Johnny and I are strolling. Stroooooolling. It is a beautiful Fall day. What do we have to do really? We're just going to the playground until our caregivers come get us? I felt myself give in to their peacefulness. It was nice.
Lana said, "Look at that big tree." It was big. It was really big and all that other tree stuff, like majestic and beautiful. Its branches were spaced just right and I truly had an urge to climb it. Johnny said, "We need ladders to climb it." I was kind of quietly gasping from this wonderful connection between these two little people holding my hands with such trust and camaraderie when they both dove into an acting exercise!
Ha! Ha! They both started talking to me at the same time about the tree. Two completely different and separate conversations. They did it soooooooooo well. They never got distracted by each other. They never tried to drown each other out. They just spoke, evenly and peacefully, about the tree. I was looking straight up at the blue sky. I could feel that my mouth was open in a huge silent laugh. I didn't want to distract them or interrupt them. I was marveling at how funny and surreal this was.
Then I realized this was the best experience I had ever had with this exercise. I was hearing them both. I was actually hearing, not listening to, but hearing both conversations simultaneously. Easily.
The moment soon passed as most moments do when you're 3. So did the rest of the day, and now this night.
Tonight, I let Lady J brush my teeth for me. A whole other blog entry should be devoted to that experience. She was so delighted to do it. I like being eye to eye. No zombie in her look tonight, just bright, mischievous, happy, angel. PBS kid angel. Fruitful angel.
Ok, it's after 11:30pm. I think about 16 hours of fruitfulness is good. I'm not really sure where we went tonight, but I'm glad I turned down this road.
First, I hope all fared well through Sandy and a quick recovery for those still going through the challenges.
.....so....."the bunny" (formerly known as chef) with tissue wad still encased in derriere decides to do a little dance. Seems appropriate.
I wait, patiently, for about 7 seconds before proceeding to encourage her to wipe her damn behind and move this process along. I just thought the word "damn" didn't say it and tried not to express it in my tone.
Unfazed by my prodding, she takes her time bringing her dance to a halt and reaches back to grab the tissue.
Here we go........
It's, of course, soiled and looking a little tired. Probably wondering if its predecessors normally spent so much time.....wait, am I really being anthropomorphic with poo-poo toilet tissue?
Acting reminder: Don't stifle your own creativity. If your mind wanders into strange territory, why squash and judge it? What glorious (albeit disgusting) ephiphany might you have?
Julia looks at the abused wad and proceeds to "fly" it over top the toilet seat. In a delightful, fairy-like, squeal she makes the tissue cry, "Oh, nooooooooo, Mommy, Daddy, save me........ahhhhhhh.......the tornado!"
Acting reminder footnote 1: Now, see.
Unfortunately, I do revert to mommy mode. Some of these acting lessons, admittedly, come in hindsight. I do believe my inner clown was holding mommy mode back a bit (S.C. Jr. for those of you who have met her but forgot her name) because I didn't lose it completely. "Juliaaaaaa..." I offer a melodic, half-amused, warning.
I was to lose it soon.
She switched from a bad, natural disaster movie to basketball. She missed the shot.
"Julia that is it!" My tirade included very important life lessons like: "Wiping your butt is serious. It's not a game." and "The bathroom is not a playground." The aforementioned S.C. Jr. wept a bit.
But, Julia didn't. She turned her back to me. Very seriously and incredibly slowly gathered another piece of toilet tissue. Very seriously and incredibly slowly wiped her behind and put it in the toilet.
I almost drew blood from my lip to keep from laughing.
Acting reminder: You know how mad you get when a playwright has a character go from furious to giddy in a split second because real people don't do that? whoops.
Luckily, I had just enough time to pull it together. Julia turns to face me. Remember now, I'm sitting on the edge of the tub so we are eye to eye. Now, also nose to nose because she leans in.....seriously and slowly....and says, "You make me so unhappy." My face is trembling.
She continues..."I am so unhappy for you." "FOR!" Why did she have to use the wrong preposition!?!?!?! Face trembling, I was still holding it together but the "FOR" sent me over the edge. I guffawed. I guffawed hard.
Acting reminder: try to remember what this joy is like.
But there's one last bit to the story.......
Acting reminder from Julia: learn how to ride the laughter. When you know you've got the last killer comedic line still coming that's gonna slay them.... hold through their guffaws....wait for it....wait for it....then deliver it clearly, concisely and with all the serious intent in the world you can muster:
"Mommy. Go. Have. A. Time. Out."
I have in the past been anti-blog, the way I was anti-text, the way my mom was anti-microwave. I think she still is. But, I text like a fiend, now. So, seems natural I should try blogging. Besides that, folks say that as a "maturing" actress of color, with a hubby and a kid, I have some interesting things to say. And since I write the way I talk....