I spent some time with the girls in the van today en route to seeing a live performance of the musical Annie.
I feel a little like Jeeves the chauffeuse except that I’m driving a mostly filthy mini-van and not a Bentley. Oh and my hair is just greasy, it’s not hiding under a slick, beaked cap.
The Jeeves part is really just that I sit in the driver’s seat and the next closest passenger is two rows back.
When we listen to music and I sing along, outsiders observe a mother-of-three rockin’ to One Direction’s “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful” in what appears to be an off-key, solo act. If only they knew I was harmonizing with some talented singers just a few feet away and my part does require skipping a couple of octaves to hit that wow factor the girls are lacking in their duet.
The role of Jeeves also allows me to listen in on the conversations of a six and eight year old.
I overheard the girls simultaneously notice a young girl wearing a bikini. This always opens up a number of clasps.
For starters, “Mommy, that girl looks like she’s my age or younger. Why is she allowed to wear a bikini?”
I’m pretty sure she’s a University student or maybe the owner of the Henna/tanning parlour on the corner, though, since graduating from University, anyone over the age of eleven now appears old enough to vote and anyone younger than twenty-five could pass as a grade four student.
“Mommy! Not only is she wearing a bikini, it’s the kind with no straps!”
What she means is it’s a bikini with no straps, exactly as described.
Ellie: Hanna, how does she even wear that?
I think Ellie’s trying to take my side but she’s equally curious about the magical way this bathing suit stays on.
Hanna: You just wear a really, really, really, really small bathing suit and then it’s so tight, it can’t fall off.
Ellie: So Mom could wear my bathing suit and it would look like that?
Yep! I could wear a children’s size 6X and I would look exactly like the bronzed tanning salon owner and not at all like an escaped mental patient who asks random strangers for chauffeur’s hats with the name Jeeves embroidered on the back.
The girls continued to argue over seat space, Hanna telling Ellie she wasn’t rockin’ her sunglasses and my favourite plea, “Mommy! I need some After Bite! This mosquito bite is itching LIKE THE DICKENS!!!!!”
I decided to tune out (as I’m sure some chauffeuses might do from time to time) after the thirty-seventh approach to Annie’s “Hard Knock Life.” The closest the kids could get to singing the correct lyrics was, “It’s a hard ‘nuff life for us.”
Today brought back so many wonderful memories of my childhood and watching that movie over and over again.
Also, of the time I spent in an orphanage.