Thursday, March 29, 2007

Callas Quarter

Can someone please explain to me why shrieking is a pre-teen form of expression?

Can they also promise me it ends at a sullen age, like… 12? Okay, I can hold out mean, I thought I was hormonal. This kid takes the cake.

Ben? You need to go to your room. You cannot shout at me like that. Go. Now.

And honestly? I’m very calm when I say this. It’s hard to get upset about … shrieking. It wears on me, yes, but mad? It’s like living in a cartoon.

There is Ben the sweet- this is usually a performance piece. He does have sweetness in him- somewhere. All great actors have to pull from some experience deep inside. For Ben? Very deep. In fact, he may have borrowed it from someone else.

There is Ben the goofy- also a performance piece, Ben is never relaxed enough to be casually goofy. Therefore, goofy behavior always ends up being so over the top, one feels as if they are at a vaudeville act. I remember him dipping his chicken nuggets into a coke to impress a girl at the table. Need I say more?

And then there is Ben, I got away with it. Ben is never afraid to challenge rules, to grab candy from some forbidden spot and then tuck the wrappers in his clothesbasket. Problem? I wash his clothes. He has sat, hands on hips, and told me with a swagger that would shame Maria Callas, You don’t know half of what I do.

Oh, Ben. Don’t ever challenge me.

Walter said to me the other day, you can’t tell when Zachary is lying but Ben? Just bluff him. He spills the beans every time.

Yup, I agreed.

Jake is still learning the skill, a transparent 6 years old, he will stand in front of a mess clearly of his own making and shrug, I dunno how it happened.

YOU HATE ME!! Ben shrieked at me… uh… about ten times yesterday, five today- but, you know, I had to leave early for a meeting.

We have a fine of one dollar for being a Negative Nancy. A dollar fine for swear words, which at this point I seem to be the only one paying. I handed over a five after the weekend in New York City.

I think I should get half price. It is New York, I said to Allan, the collector of debts.

I didn't get anywhere with my plea.

I am going to recommend a Shrieking Sheila dollar fine for … well… shrieking.

Or should it be a diva dollar?

With the way Ben is going, it better be a Callas Quarter.


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