Of Sharp Crumbs and Drama Queens
June 7, 2008
With three daughters in the house, drama is always right around the corner. Sometimes it’s right in your face if you dare. Even my son is prone to the frequent dramatic episode, running around for hours on end only to claim with much gusto that his legs “aren’t working” when it’s time to walk upstairs for a bath.
My wife is the farthest thing from a drama queen – she seeks attention like a vampire seeks daylight. I’m not exactly the guy wearing the lampshade at the party either. Truth be told, though, I CAN turn a simple stubbed toe into a performance worthy of Daniel Day Lewis, complete with the hopping, the swearing, the cursing at the stationary table that ran into my foot, etc. I guess my kids get the drama from me, but don’t be mistaken – they have taken it to an entirely new level.
Let me color you into my life a little. A normal day starts with at least 50% of the children in my house whining about nothing – she can't reach the cereal, his shoes won't put themselves on right, her bed is too difficult to make everyday, his blah is too blah, she blahhed the blah blah BLAH!! Something as simple as “go get a sweatshirt” turns into a body flop on the floor of epic proportions. Tears are shed, and sometimes even the kids cry. It is at this point that I leave and drive to work. Sweet, sweet, work.
Worry not, though, for I spend plenty of time at home, thanks to weekends, vacation time, and a comfortable work schedule. It is during these precious moments when I fully realize that my children are under some false belief that they are on a permanent audition for Hollywood stardom. Skip dessert one night and you'll hear more screams of horror than in the first three Halloween films combined. On the flipside, the simple gesture of suggesting a movie elicits promises of lifetimes worth of chores, complete with hoots and/or hollers. The euphoria lasts only until the movie is chosen, at which point it is guaranteed that at least half of the former angels will whine and complain until... well, sometimes until the movie is taken away. Then, strangely, they all want to watch it again. Funny how the drama begins before the movie even starts.
Movies and desserts have nothing on minor injuries when it comes to the next level of dramatic acting in my household. For some reason, a bump on the head that causes my wife and I to start the car and head to the ER does nothing for the kids, but a simple scrape or cut to the knee sends them shrieking with terror to the nearest box of Band-Aids. I'm not sure what kids think a Band-Aid can do for a scrape that is still about two skin layers away from drawing blood, but it's a magical cure-all in their eyes. That is, until it's time to yank that bandage off. Then it's another visit to Screamsville.
Many of the parents reading this are probably thinking, “That's nothing. My kids do the same thing. I go through a box of Band-Aids every week!” But wait. There's more. The event that prompted this article occurred last week during a normal dinner at the kitchen table. My oldest daughter and current reigning queen of drama, hurt herself while sitting. An injury while remaining seated isn't unusual for her, but this case was special. According to her, she hurt her leg on what she described as “sharp crumbs” on her chair. Sharp. Crumbs. Sometime during the meal, my level-headed daughter stared danger in the face, intentionally eating a roll over her chair, knowing the risk she was taking in letting those dangerous particles of bread dance their way to the seat of her chair. Throwing caution to the wind, my flesh and blood took bite after bite, and in the end, she suffered the consequences: leg damage by way of sharp crumbs. Nothing a box of Band-Aids can't handle.