Since my kids saw my show, Head Over Heels, (as shown in the above picture…which is terrible because it’s a screen shot from a boomerang we made at the theatre and we’re all in motion…but oh, well) our meals often follow an obsessive trajectory…
How many times did Peppermint change her wig in your show? (*Peppermint is one of the principals in our show, originally made famous by her appearance, last year, in RuPaul’s Drag Race.)
Um, three. No, four. Please chew with your mouth shut.
But Daddy? Did she change the wig herself, or did she have help?
She had help. Please stop kicking the table leg.
But how many people help her with her wigs?
I dunno. Um…two?
She has two people helping her with her wigs?
Sometimes. Please chew with your mouth shut.
(Chews for a little bit. Younger brother stares at both of us wondering how he ended up in this insane family of a drag queen-obsessed 6 ½ year old and an illogically-annoyed father.)
What if both of your characters are sick? (* I am a “standby” in the show, meaning I cover two of the principals. My stage presence is contingent upon laryngitis and twisted ankles. AND I’m the only cover for two actors…which is slightly worrisome, especially for my own kid.)
Honestly? I’m not sure, buddy.
Well, what if just you’re sick?
It’s alright, buddy. As long as the principals I cover aren’t sick. In that case, well, don’t worry about it. But please don’t shovel your food into your mouth.
But what if Peppermint and the people you cover and all the standbys are sick?
Then we would have a big problem and probably cancel the show.
CANCEL THE SHOW?!?
Yes, buddy, they might. Please chew with your mouth closed.
Daddy? You remember Peppermint’s finger nails?
How on earth do you remember her nails in the show?
Because they were amazing.
You’ve seen the show once.
Please chew with your mouth closed. What?
If I wore a wig and you and Tatty helped me put it on, then I would have two people helping me with my wig just like Peppermint!
Yes, you would. Please stop kicking the table. And buddy?
What? (His mouth full of meatball.)
If you had seven people helping with your wig, how many would you have, all together?
Stops and looks at ceiling while I take a moment to check in with the little peanut.
You OK, buddy? (To my younger son.)
He gives a single, affirmative nod.
No. But thank you for finally stopping kicking the table.
Buddy, the food in your mouth.
Now, you’re just guessing.
Let’s stop and think about it. If you had two and then another seven?
Hold two in your head…
Daddy! Stop! Just tell me.
Gosh, I don’t know it. Please stop kicking the table.
Good. Do you know how you got that number?
I’m not buying it,but…Buddy! Please. Stop chewing with your mouth open.
I know what my birthday party should be!
A Peppermint party!
Wow. That’s…um…different from your African Savannah theme.
Yeah. We can all wear wigs and make-up.
Buddy? Please stop chewing with your mouth open.
And that is how a simple dinner focused on badgering my son to chew with his mouth closed turned into the inspiration for him to have a drag queen themed 7th birthday party.