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Friday afternoon Maddie and Cora were
putting on yet another show in our living room when the inevitable
happened – bickering, squabbling, fighting over everything.
Who got to sing first, who got to carry the fan, you name it, they
fought over it. In desperation, I came in with a severe punishment.

“That’s IT! I’m tired of you two fighting like
this every time you do a show. As a consequence, you will not be
allowed to do ANY shows for . . .” wait for it –

The weeping. The wailing. The gnashing of teeth. The girls
weren’t sure how they’d get through the next day.

Saturday morning dawned, and Cora had
clearly been up late plotting how to get around the stricture.
“Mommy, I need to put my gymnastics leotard on and get the
trampoline out. I’m going to do some practice for a show
I’m doing another day.”

Dang, this girl is good. I really didn’t anticipate having to
draw up a detailed document for a three-year-old.

I finally parsed it out so they could understand: no dressing up,
no singing together, no dancing together, no speeches or scenes
together. Jumping on the trampoline: ok. Jumping on the trampoline
while a sibling does a coordinated move across the room: not ok.
Seriously. We had this conversation.

The girls moped the whole day, jumping or dancing around a bit.
I’d catch one girl singing under her breath to herself, and
she’d jump startled and guiltily when I walked in the room.
At this point, I realized I was fast moving to the whole
“wow, that forbidden fruit looks tempting” scenario; I
could easily see a Romeo-and-Juliet vibe developing between the
girls and their costumes. Wouldn’t that be ironic –
that the kids from a showbiz home would feel like they had to sneak
their monologues and dance moves around the house?

The day ended, of course, and Maddie and Cora expressed their
relief in their new-found freedom through over a dozen (yes,
dozen)short performances or recitals on Sunday. And as soon as
arguing began, I reminded them of the consequence and it shut down
faster than a liquor store in Texas on Sunday.

Heh heh. This is a good thing to have in my back pocket.


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