One of the traits I inherited from my mother is the ability to relate any familial situation to a song from a musical. You’d be amazed how easily the world can be reduced to a Rodgers & Hammerstein number.
We’re having a problem with Pie. Picture the women from Music Man, standing around gabbing nonstop. “Pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little, cheep cheep cheep, talk a lot, pick a little more.” The girl talks. Nonstop. Seriously. But Music Man isn’t really the best fit, as “Pick a little” implies a malicious gossip. Pie isn’t malicious. She’s just unstoppable. More South Pacific, I would think:
Happy talk, keep talking happy talk,
Talk about things you’d like to do,
You gotta have a dream, if you don’t have a dream,
How you gonna have a dream come true?
Talk about a moon floating in de sky, looking like a lily on a lake,
Talk about a bird learning how to fly, making all the music he can make
Happy talk, keep talking’ happy talk, talk about things you’d like to do,
You gotta have a dream, if you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?
The. Girl. Can’t. Stop. Talking. Ever.
Now, I can talk. A lot. But I do occasionally come up for air. I don’t want to stifle her. I don’t want her to ever think that women and girls shouldn’t give their opinions. But it’s gotten to the point where I just don’t even hear her anymore. Not a single person who encounters here isn’t treated to a half hour monologue… if they’re lucky enough to get away in time
Last week I took Pie to Adam’s office to sell Girl Scout cookies. The boy was off skiing, so it was just the two of us. On the car ride, it went something like this:
Pie: So you’re favorite colors are green and blue, right?
Me: Yeah, I guess.
Pie: Well, what’s your absolute favorite?
Pie: And your second favorite?
Pie: And your third favorite?
Me: I don’t know. I suppose orange?
Pie: And your–
Me: I don’t have any more favorites.
Pie: Okay. Well, suppose you’re at the store. And there’s a shirt that’s green, blue, and orange. But there’s another shirt that’s pink and purple. But the pink and purple one is actually a prettier shirt! Which shirt do you buy?
Me: The pink and purple one.
Pie: Okay, now suppose those there’s another shirt–
Me: You know, I really don’t like shopping anyway!
This past weekend we drove up to New Hampshire to spend an afternoon with Dutchie and her parents. The questions in the hour-long car ride were nonstop. There were the general variety, “Are we there yet?” and “How much longer?” and “Who sings this song?” to “Would you ever wear a jumper?” and “What are the words they say different in England than they say here” and “Can we get my Fuggs [fake Uggs]? ‘Cause the Fuggs are just $30 and the real Uggs are like $90, so the Fuggs are quite reasonable, so when can we go?” to “When is the next Heidi Hecklebook coming out? Where did you hear of those books? How did you know I’d like them so much” to… Well, frankly, I don’t know to where. Because I stopped listening.
One the way home we instituted a five-quesiton rule. No more than five questions.
Pie: When does it start?
Me: That’s your first question.
Pie: That’s not fair!
Life’s not fair. But please. Let’s not talk about it.