October 7 10

Emily auditioned for Willy Wonka this week. Because “playing Veruca Salt” is on my fourth grader’s bucket list, this was kind of a big one for her. Sure, she is no stranger to the stage, having played parts in Mamma Mia and Sound of Music and Wizard of Oz…but this one? God, this one is tough. Because she really wants this part. I won’t lie to you, she’s good. She’s very good. I wish I could explain to you that I’m not being a biased loving mother when I say that she’s good. If you have ever seen my child perform, whether it be in our living room or on the stage, you know. She becomes whatever part she is playing, and she has one hell of a good time doing it.

Typically, with the things she does best, she is overconfident. She thinks she’s the very best dancer, the best singer, the best actress. She truly believes that life will land her on the stage (the big one. The Broadway one) or on the big screen.

What’s interesting is that she has two modes – I’m the best. I’m the worst.

What I mean by this is that anything she doesn’t honestly believe that she is THE BEST at, she automatically thinks she’s the worst. “I’m bad at math.” “I’m the worst reader ever.” “I am the worst at Hebrew in my entire class.” She says these things all the time, and yet she’s an A student. She doubts her abilities, and needs constant reassurance that she is not, in fact, the worst reader ever…because they don’t put the worst readers in enriched reading. BUT, for Emily, if there’s a reader who is better, quicker, more efficient than she is (like her brother), she is automatically the worst. For Emily, SECOND PLACE IS THE SAME AS LAST PLACE.

Usually after an audition she comes homes happy. Thrilled, even. “Oh yeah, baby. I totally nailed it!”

On Tuesday, though, she came home in tears and didn’t tell me much except that it was BAD. I couldn’t imagine how she could have had a bad audition. Emily has been singing that Veruca Salt “I want it now” song since she was about 18-months-old. I’m not going to lie to you, either. On most days, I’m not convinced that my child isn’t Veruca Salt.

After Josh and Isabella went to sleep, she snuggled in close to me.

“Was it really that bad, baby?”

“Well, I wasn’t the best at the audition…which means that I was the worst.”

“No, child, that is actually not what it means.”

“I was the worst.”

“Emily, how many girls tried out for Veruca?”

“Six.”

“So, even if you totally bombed the song, you’d have a one in six shot, right?”

“Right.”

“And those are good odds…are they not?”

*shrugs*

“You are a good singer, right?”

“Right.”

“You are a good dancer, right?”

“Right.”

“You are a good actress, right?”

“Right.”

“So, I wouldn’t worry. Even if you don’t get to play Veruca…maybe you will get to be something even better. Maybe you’ll be Charlie! He has the most lines! Or maybe you’ll be Willy Wonka! Even Violet, Emily…even Violet would be fun.”

“Mommy. I know I wasn’t really the worst.”

“I know, baby.”

“I just really want this.”

“I know, baby.”

And I wish, more than anything, that I could make it happen for her. I wish I could give her the world. I wish I could lock it all up in her pocket and give it to her now.

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  1. Uchhh… disappointments of The Littles. The. Worst.

    You’re a good mum, Ali.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Grumble Girl on October 7, 2010
  2. Awwwww, Emily. She is still a child at the end of the day! Who knew? I really hope she gets the part! *fingers crossed*

    [Reply]

    Comment by Camels & Chocolate on October 7, 2010
  3. I think that’s what all of us want for our kids. You handled that really well – she’s lucky to have a mum so supportive. Hope she gets it!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jessica on October 7, 2010
  4. I can definitely understand that feeling of being the worst if you’re not the best, and you handled it perfectly. She really is amazing, too – you’re not being subjective when you say that.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Avitable on October 7, 2010
  5. Oh, Emma! This breaks my heart. Because she is AWESOME! And she will be super famous one day (I’ve already hit her up for invitations to the Tonys and the Oscars).

    Whatever role she gets, she’ll nail it. And she’ll be the star of the show. So if she doesn’t play Veruca this time, there will be others!

    Tell her I’ll be there in TWO WEEKS to give her hugs!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kristabella on October 7, 2010
  6. ((hugs)) to her and to you. You handled it so well and I truly hope that she gets the part.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Heather on October 7, 2010
  7. UGH. This brings me back to tennis and cheerleading tryouts. I really, really hope she gets the part.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Rhi on October 7, 2010
  8. Aww, sweet girl. I guess she employs the Ricky Bobby school of thought on winning: If You’re Not First, You’re Last!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Home Sweet Sarah on October 7, 2010
  9. You handled it superbly. I really hope she gets it – disappointed kids are one of the hardest things about being a mom.

    [Reply]

    Comment by pgoodness on October 7, 2010
  10. Oof, my heart. I know this feeling, and it’s so hard to navigate as a parent. Fingers crossed that she gets it (lord knows that child has the skillz), but on the off chance she doesn’t, you will — I know — have the exact right thing to say to comfort her. Just as she is objectively talented, you are an objectively amazing mom. xoxo

    [Reply]

    Comment by metalia on October 7, 2010
  11. oh, the heart ache! she’ll get it and if not, she’ll get the part on Broadway instead.

    [Reply]

    Comment by gorillabuns on October 7, 2010
  12. My fingers are crossed for her… I was the same exact way as a child. Who am I fooling… I still sometimes still think that way…

    [Reply]

    Comment by Hilary on October 9, 2010
  13. That would be a fun part to play. Hope she gets it!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Wombat Central on October 9, 2010
  14. You need to just relax. Let it come as it will. If after ralxeing, you aren’t getting what you want from her – tell her. Be honest, upfront, and make sure you’re both on the same page about your relationship boundaries.Sometimes people aren’t good together after realizing what else is out there. Not to say either of you aren’t “good” enough for each other, but, you both deserve to be happy right?You aren’t being controlling, and the natural feeling of being obsessive towards her will go away with time.So, again, my short answer is to tell her exactly how you feel, or, be content with how things are.Let us know what happens after you talk, if you’d like.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Edvina on February 9, 2012
  15. ErzNQN kelahtdoecfs

    [Reply]

    Comment by ccqiun on February 9, 2012
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