I’m Blaming the Opera

Sunny had a fever and a seal-bark cough Saturday, and I’m at home today with the same thing—surprise, surprise.  When you’re a parent, you don’t come down with viruses, they climb up to get you.

But I can’t pin my truly righteous sore throat on her.

I’m blaming the opera . . .

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It all started Sunday when Janie said, in a suitably indignant tone, that she didn’t whine.

You don’t say these things in front of your mother or your aunt, especially when they’re us and especially in a car.

I reminded her of the Strawberry Festival last year, when she belted out a prodigious whine over a raffle basket.  “I had to sing you out of it,” I said.  “Remember?”

“Oh.  Right.  Sorry.”

We explained to my SIL that I kept asking Janie to whine with feeling and higher and lower and less pitchy, please, until we were both laughing and doing off-key, overblown aria bits at each other and the woman behind us in line was in hysterics.*

This explanation led, as these things do, to Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd . . .

. . . and eventually, to a spontaneous, ad liberetted production, which my SIL and I agreed was not set to Ride of the Valkyries, but to Kill the Wabbit.  More or less.

Here’s a selection from our performance, omitting most of the giggles and snorts:


Janie:  Mom, can I HAVE that? 

Me:  No, you CA-an’t.

Janie: But  I WANT it—I really NEED it!

Me:  Use your ALLOWance

Janie:  I don’t GET one.

Me:  You don’t do  CHORES  and I’m not made of MONey.

SIL:  Clean up your ROO-oom?

Janie:  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO(breath)OOOOOOOOO!  Do I HAVE to?

Me:  Yes, you HAVE to.

Janie:  But Mooooom!

Me:  Get GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.  Ing.

Janie:  I don’t WANT to, why do I HAVE to?

Me:  Because I SAID so—I’m the MOMmy . . . 

Act II (in a store with nervous clerk):

Me: Don’t TOUCH that—keep your hands to yourSELLLF!

Janie: Ooooooooooo!! Look at this!

Me:  Use your EY-ES and not your FINGers!

Shopkeep/SIL: You break it you bought it.  You break it you BOUGHT it.

Janie:  It’s oKAY, I’ll be CAREful.  OOPS!

(Opera momentarily delayed because of laughter and clapping)

Grande Finale, all on stage:

Janie:  Mooom can I have—

Me: No!

Janie:  But Moooooom!

Me:  I don’t want to heeeeeeeeaaaaar iiiiiiiiit.

Recitative:

SIL:  You know, Janie, y’all should so do this for your next school musical.

Janie:  Yeah!

Me (burying face in hands):  I am NOT writing an opera for the school.

Sunny:  But MOMeee!

(Fourth wall obliterated by howls and ovations from the cast, scaring serious hell out of the car one lane over)

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There’s been talk of tackling Rabbit of Seville once I recover.

I’m not sure I’m planning to recover . . .

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*I jettisoned the remnants of my dignity two months after Janie was born.  Surprised it took me that long—no, wait, maternity leave.