It started in the backseat of the Accord. Three bored, hyper children and one small, yellow(ish) gumball, molded out of chewed-up yellow and white Chiclets and old-fashioned ingenuity.
"It's a hard-knock gumball for us, it's a hard-knock GUMBALL for us! No one cares for you a gumball, when you're in a guh-um-ball... It's a hard-knock gumball..."
Honestly. At this point I'm regretting my decision to let these weirdos watch Annie, the special edition DVD of the musical my mother sent me for Christmas. Which, thinking about it, is funny in itself, her sending the DVD, that is.
When I was a young, theatrically-minded child I used to listen to my Annie 8-track, Sony noise-cancelling headphones firmly in place (all right, it was the 70's, they were just honkin' big headphones, you remember, the ones with the self-adjusting headband and those squashy earpads as big as saucers that made your ears sweat and your head ache but you didn't care, by golly, 'cuz you had the music cranked so loud you could feel it in your soul), belting out such classics as "Maybe," "Little Girls," and-- of course-- "Tomorrow."
Let me just say, not so much encouragement from the parental units, folks, nor from the sibs. Quite a bit, however, of "Mom, make her stooooooooop!" and "Will you go outside and play now, please!" Oh, and "Shut UUUUUUP!" I guess Mom felt it was safe, you know, now that I live 2500 miles away from her. But this is beside the point and I'm totally not scarred from the experience and have absolutely no remnants of stage fright or performance anxiety whatsoever. Or repressed feelings of inadequacy. Or self-loathing.
Anyhoosy, as I was saying, at this point I'm regretting my decision to let my children watch Annie, and also, I'm regretting the copious amounts of Hi-C fruit punch I allowed them to consume at Chik-A-Filet. Because, gooooooooooosh (said with Napoleonic Dynamite fervor). These kids are loud. And there's traffic to deal with. And maneuvering.
So, just as I'm this close to squashing their inventiveness (did I mention how loud they were?) they brought it home with a rousing "The sun'll come out, two gumballs! Bet your bottom gumball, there'll be gumballs, come what may!"
A medley! I think to myself.
Suddenly, a giggle escapes me, erupting from some hitherto deep-rooted, faraway place. A place where the pure joy of musical expression outweighs the heckling and abuse. A place where the sun will come out tomorrow, you can bet your bottom dollar. A shadowy glimpse of my chi, perhaps?
Because, come on. Three sugared-up kids, in the back of my car, in rush-hour traffic, singing an ode to the slimy, saliva-covered, yellow-with-random-chunks-of-white, misshapen gumball painstakingly wrought, and lovingly held aloft, by my six-year-old daughter? I am aware of the irony here. Fate's little pay-back, if you will. Oh, and a culmination of that curse my mother invoked upon my head of me having children just like me someday, so help her God.
Then Hannah bursts out, her penetrating voice soaring above and beyond those of her brother and sister, louder than you would think possible from such a teeny person, "Two GUMBALLS! Two GUMBALLS! I LOVE ya! Two GUMBALLS! You're only a GUMBALL!... A!... WAAAAY!!"
I laughed so hard I got the hiccups. And that, my friends, is what you call pay-back.
Are you happy now, Mom?
- LadyBug commented:
Love, love, LOVE this post. I, too, am a recovering Annie-and-other-such-musicals-aholic. My family had to listen to me belt out tunes from "Annie," "Grease," "Oklahoma," and "The Music Man," not to mention "Mary Poppins." ("Chim-chim-e-ney, chim-chim-e-ney, chim-chim-cha-ree, a sweep is as lucky as lucky can beeee") Now I listen to my girls belt out songs from "The Cheetah Girls."
And I love those giggles that sneak up on me, when I'm definitely irritated with my kids, but suddenly I remember that Hey! They're kids! and I look at them and remember how funny and silly some things are when you're a kid...and then the giggles start to take over.
Enjoyed reading your blog. Look forward to visiting you again.
- » 1/18/2005 10:40 AM
- Cat commented:
For the love of God, don't get me started on Grease. But I do a mean Stockard Channing! "Elvis, Elvis! Let me be! Keep that pelvis faaaaar from me!" Oops, too late.
- » 1/18/2005 10:48 AM