Posted by Jesse
Being at home with DJ by herself is easy. Basically she’d just prefer you not be seen or heard, but be on hand to drive in case the store calls and her shoes come in. Easy enough. Stephanie likes to hang out, but if I need to watch a basketball game or write something, she can get lost in a book or a TV show or listening to music. Michelle, on the other hand, believes being entertained is her birthright.
She has no concern for your sightline to the television if she wants someone to crawl upon. She is indifferent to the computer she displaces as she slides into your lap. And she does not care what else you have going on when she announces, “I’m bored!” with the expectation that you will make moves to reconcile the situation.
Which is actually a shame, because when she doesn’t have the crutch of someone else to entertain her, the kid does some wildly creative stuff. You’ve already heard about Zelia the fortune teller, who has made multiple appearances. But the list of characters doesn’t stop there.
Not too long ago, when we were at my mother’s house and I was watching my sister Sallie’s kids along with Michelle and Stephanie, Michelle got bored but realized I had to keep my main focus on the younger kids. So she started an impromptu “talk show” on the back patio furniture. She lined up family members as guests and asked probing questions like, “So, tell us what is up with you!”
Maybe she heard Oprah was retiring.
Recently Michelle asked what the paparazzi was and Danny explained it to her. The next morning she insisted I walk in front of her on our way to the car. I was curious as to why.
“To block the paparazzi, dear.”
She had created a new persona, this one half southern belle, half Hollywood starlet. I recognized this character when I saw her a few days later.
I was mowing Danny’s prize-winning lawn (two weeks in a row, for those of you scoring at home….I know I am) when Michelle comes out in a bathrobe, despite the fact that she had already been dressed for the day earlier. Her hair was also sassily done to the side. If I knew more about hair I could explain it better, and I didn’t have a camera because I was mowing the lawn.
As I finish the back yard, she is motioning for me to cut the mower immediately, and though she’s trying to look steamed, she’s having a hard time suppressing laughter. I finally cut the mower and saunter over. She lays into me.
“I am TRYING to get my beee-auty sleep and I cannot because of all this racket you are making!”
It’s the same character who was hiding from the paparazzi. She follows me as I finish the lawn, standing on the various porches, giving me the evil eye and telling me to shut it down, then giving me the “well, I never!” storm offs when I refuse to yield.
Later that day the whole crew is getting out of the car and Stephanie and DJ both have a few bags to carry in. Michelle doesn’t have anything, but she goes into character once again.
“I’m not really the carrying type, thanks,” she let us know.
We need to come up with names for all of her characters…the talk show host, the southern actress…I’m sure there are more to come. I’m not quite clear how she ever gets bored.