And… I’m back.
The past month or so has been completely crazy, so I have to give many thanks to the #whirlwind blog tours, that allowed me to entertain the word-hungry masses (all three of you) with guest posts from fellow authors.
What have I been up to, you ask? Why, I’ll be glad to tell you.
First, as most of you already know, I made it through another NaNoWrimo. I’ve still got a long way to go on the novel, but it’s getting there. In my non-writing time I’ve been helping out The Peeswhank’s Odyssey of the Mind team. Fundraisers, after-school practices, and lunch with the gang every Tuesday.
The biggest “Occupy Jenmac” perpetrator was The Peeshwank’s budding acting career. As I mentioned in a previous post, he was cast as Randy Parker in our local theater’s run of “A Christmas Story”. Yes, the “how do the little piggies eat” kid. That’s my boy.
"I can't put my arms down! I gotta go weewee!"
We had loads of rehearsals and it was truly a great experience. He and I both made lots of new friends and had a wonderful time even in the midst of working so hard. (I ended up becoming the production seamstress and occasional backstage child-wrangler. So I managed to keep pretty busy while at the theater myself.)
Peeshwank mentioned how much he loved being onstage and I thought back to his first live audience. WAY back. All the way back to when he was two years old and Debbie Gibson… er… pardon me, Deborah Gibson came to town with The Monkees for a lupus benefit concert for one of the Backstreet Boys’ older sister. No, seriously. It happened. I promise I’ve consumed no alcoholic beverages yet today.
We were hanging out on the second row and P was playing with the fun bouncy theater seat. “Look, I push it down, it comes back up. Yea!!!” Debbie… er…. Deborah’s backing tracks went all batty, so she decided to sit at the piano and play acoustically until they could correct the problem.
Just as she started to play a nice, soft ballad, SWAP. The seat hit Peeshwank in the chin and he screamed bloody murder.
Debbie Deborah stopped playing and looked out into the audience.
“That didn’t sound like a happy scream!” She announces. I sweep P up into my arms, shoving his face into my chest to muffle his screams and haul ass for the exit. (Of course, our seats were in the middle of the row. Of course. I’ve only ever sat on an aisle seat ever since.)
Debbie Deborah says, “Turn the lights up and let’s find that baby. Then we can point and laugh at his mother and throw rotten cabbages at her for bringing a baby to a fancy benefit concert.” She may or may not have said that last part.
The lights come up and she catches me before I can get out of the concert hall. Then she uttered a sentence that I still have nightmares about:
“Bring that baby up here and let’s see if we can’t get him to stop crying.”
The building could’ve fallen down on me at that moment and I would’ve welcomed it. I tried to make a run for the fire exit. Alarms be damned, I’m out! But an usher caught me by the arm and dragged me to the bottom of the stage stairs.
Heart pounding, face burning with embarrassment, I made my way up the steps onto the stage where
Debbie Deborah had her stage manager bring out a bench for the screaming Peeshwank to sit upon. The minute the lights were on him, though, he stopped crying and started waving at the crowd. I realized at that moment that my toddler had planned this all along. He was faking some grave injury just so he could get onstage and be in the spotlight.
So there we were – me, The Peeshwank and
Debbie Deborah Gibson just hanging out onstage in front of a concert hall full of people thinking “What a dumbass! We paid good money to hear ‘Electric Youth’ not see some damned kid and his idiot mother hang out on stage and hog the spotlight.” I wanted to die. In 1988 if you had asked me what my dream was, it would be to be at a Debbie Gibson show and get to sing and dance with her. In 2002? Not so much.
So Ms. Gibson sat down next to Peeshwank and serenaded him with “Lost in Preston’s Eyes”. He ate it up. He still refers to her as his woman. He didn’t want to leave the stage. Especially after she picked him up and hugged and kissed him and joked with me about how he was making her biological clock tick. Yeah, that happened. Me and Debbie hanging out, talking about child rearing in front of hundreds of concert-goers.
And thus began my son’s love affair with the spotlight.
Oh, and I know the big internet slogan “Pics or it didn’t happen”. So here:
The three of us just chillin'. For a whole song. Me standing there looking over her shoulder as she sang a love song to my 2-year-old. Not awkward. At all.
While The Monkees were playing later in the evening, Peeshwank was unable to understand why he couldn’t just go back up onstage, so we wandered around in the lobby for a bit, where Deborah’s creepy-ass stalker followed us around and kept staring at Peeshwank as if he were going to lick him where Deborah had kissed him.
So, he got a taste of THAT side of stardom too. I guess it didn’t scare him enough to rethink his decision to pursue acting though.