By Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for Back Up Singers and Chocolate
I am no longer worried about the job possibilities for my five-year-old if he grows up dyslexic. If he isn't drafted by the New York Yankees or the American Ballet Company, that's ok, too. He has a newly discovered talent that will probably earn him more money than the rest of us will make in a lifetime. He informed me that he can write songs for rock stars and win a "Granny."
To prove his point, he sang his latest song. Here are the words. See if you don't agree that he is right up there with The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, and The Everly Brothers
"I need chop-uh back up!
I need chop-uh back up!
I need chop uh back up cause there's a bad guy on the loo-oose.
He was singing his future platinum song over and over as I drove them to school the next morning. Somehow I don't remember as much bickering with the first six children, possibly because they were all older when we adopted them or maybe because I was already at work by 7a.m. or maybe I just can't remember. All possibilities.
The melt-down began with a simple question and answer session instigated by the nine-year-old which, I'm sure, was designed to halt the back-up choppers.
"How many diamonds are on my sunglasses", she asked.
"Nineteen million", replied the five-year-old.
"Ok, that is your final answer." She didn't quite catch the game show phrase here.
"No, I was just kidding."
"You can't change your answer. You said nineteen million."
"Can, too. I can change my answer."
"No, I asked and that is what you said."
"But I didn't mean it."
"Well, it's too late. You said it. No overs."
"I want to change my answer."
"Well, you can't."
"Cause I said so."
"Mimi, make her let me change my answer".
Each response increased in decibels and shrillness. Then the wailing and gnashing of teeth began… on my part, not the five-year-old's. What followed was a tirade of pent up emotions and words spewing forth from a coffee deprived being that will surely find its way into the lyrics of some heavy metal screaming soloist accompanied by an equally loud guitar.
I wisely paused in front of a stop sign as I began.
"Why are you bickering over the number of plastic sparkles on the sunglasses? (Silence) Why do you have to aggravate a five-year-old? (No answer.) You are nine years old; you should know better. (As if age had anything to do with when you can aggravate and when you can't.) And where did you come up with nineteen million in the first place? There's no way nineteen million diamonds could be on one pair of glasses. (As if logic has anything to do with a five-year-old's answers.)
At that point there was a line of cars behind me. Some of the drivers were laughing; others were craning their necks to see if there were casualties on the road (not yet). I drove off still providing lyrics for a multitude of other songs.
"This is why we don't go on a vacation. This is why we will never go on a vacation. We wouldn't get out of the drive-way before you two would start in with the bickering." At that point I missed my turn. "See, you've got me so upset I missed my turn."
By now the children had gone into ignore mode…eyes focused on a book, hot wheels car, dead silence, no discernable movement to indicate active breathing or heart rate or that I was continuing my song lyrics in the front seat. After I dropped them off, I felt a strong desire for a giant chocolate mocha frappe, heavy on the coffee.
When I picked them up that afternoon, the five-year-old told me he had a new song for me. Having had more than a sufficient amount of the three C's (coffee, caffeine, and chocolate) I listened patiently as I was driving home.
"I need chock-let back up!
I need chock-let back up?
I need chock-let back up cause Mimi is melting dow-ow-ow-own!"
I wonder if he will share the royalties?