I just landed the lead role in my daughter’s latest production, “Sally, the Unicorn’s Mother.” Ironically there are no unicorns in it, but there is a poodle and a treehouse. It’s a musical comedy.
Playing with a high maintenance child means being on your toes. My daughter is a sweet, adorable little girl with a panache for scripting and directing play time. In other words, she can be quite precocious. Just the other day I told her she was being bossy. She said, “I’m not bossy, Mommy. I’m angry because you won’t do what I told you to do.” I guess there is a slight nuance there that I just can’t discern.
Playing with my daughter consists of her giving me my lines for whatever scenario she has decided we will act out–’bears who adopt wayward woodland creatures,’ ‘super secret spies that make donuts,’ and ‘clumsy zookeepers who trip over stray penguins.’ The zookeeper scene is my favorite; I created it to showcase my talent for physical comedy (and nothing is funnier than mommy pretending to trip over invisible, cheeky little penguins).
Games like “Fashion Model” are not as easy for me. This is a game where we dress up and parade around the house with lots of pizazz and flair. My daughter had me run through my scene eight times giving me directorial advice like, “That’s good, but next time try looking like a sassy peasant from France.”
Sometimes the pressure of this high maintenance kid gets to me. I can usually escape for a moment by telling my daughter I need to ‘find my character’s motivation.’ That’s when I turn to my husband and say, “I hope you’ve rehearsed your lines; today’s the big production of ‘The Bear Family Goes to England in a Spaceship.” Unfortunately, all of my husband’s accents sound like pirates, so my daughter quickly demotes him to a nonspeaking role; he’s now a back-up dancer for the final number. Luckily the only thing better than my physical comedy is my British accent. I nailed all my scenes and my daughter tells us, “That’s a wrap!” Then she’s off to write tomorrow’s play. I know my husband is secretly wishing for something about a pirate.
There’s no doubt–my daughter is a high maintenance girl. Not only does she script all of our play time, she makes me take her to the pet store to sing “Happy Birthday” to the ferrets, she requires a fork when she eats Cheez-its and she follows everything I say with, “Yes, mommy dearest.” And I wouldn’t want her any other way.