Because my daughter woke at 6:45 a.m. and I was not ready to be awake, and because it was my very favorite movie as a child, and because it can be downloaded instantly on Netflix, I let my daughter watch a few selected scenes from the musical Annie.

And because she loved it, and because she asked so nicely, and because each song brought me back to my own childhood, I let her watch it again, and again, and again.

And because I still love to sing with a mop in my hand, and because I love to dance with my daughter, and because I know most of the scenes by heart, I asked if she wanted to pretend to be Annie.

And because I want to empower my daughter, and because I want to encourage her creativity, and because I really would love playing any number of the characters, I asked her to choose who I would pretend to be.

And because she is two-and-a-half, and because there is probably nothing more satisfying than watching a grownup pretend to be a dog, she assigned me the role of Sandy.

And so it came to pass that I spent the majority of the past seventy-two hours on all fours barking like a mutt.

Before dinner we rehearsed the scene where Annie meets Sandy (the dog) for the first time. She saves him from a dogcatcher (my husband) and then brings him home to the orphanage.

After dinner we performed this scene seventeen times. I knew after the first go around that this play would consume our lives. My daughter was like a method actor dropping into character. She truly became Annie. She adopted Annie’s orphan story as her own. Suddenly my kid had no parents. She was alone in the world with only a dog as her companion.

At bedtime my daughter did not call out for Mommy as she often does before settling in for the night. Instead she desperately shouted, “doggie, doggie”!

And the following morning, when we woke, she did not lovingly turn towards me and sigh, “oh mommy.” Instead she gave me a pat and happily chirped, “Hi doggie.”

Now when it comes time to eat she suggests that I put my bowl on the floor- just like Sandy, of course. And when I’m having a conversation with someone- say my mother-in-law, or a colleague-she shouts in the background, “Hey doggie! Hey doggie! Why are you talking doggie? Bark, doggie, bark!”

And for some reason, probably because when I am being Sandy I don’t have to do the dishes or the laundry (dogs don’t clean), I just let this go on.

So because I didn’t draw the line, and because I am a chump, and because I have no intention of stopping any time soon, the next time we are at the grocery store and my daughter asks me to “fetch some goldfish crackers, doggie!” and I get down on all fours and trot over to the snack isle and people stare and wonder what kind of crazy lunatic I am… I really have no one to blame but myself.

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