For everything you can call Little Morgan -- Heathen Child, Little Rat, Big Chunk, Snaggle[tooth], Clone, Number 2 ... and, I'm wont to call any of these things -- you can't call her Dumb. She long ago mastered the art of getting her way in an increasingly creative array of approaches.
In the mornings, when I'm asleep in my room, on my bed (read: in the living room, on the couch) after having taken Mama G to the metro around 5:30am or 6am (woe, woe), if she happens to awake before noon, she begins her tricks.
Normally, if the phone rings throughout the day, she has the habit of turning the phone on, then off if it's someone she doesn't recognize (I can't fault her there, it's one of her redeeming qualities); however, when I'm snoozing, suddenly she's interested in whomever is calling and races to the phone. I hear her big Flinstone Feet running across the tile, though I don't open my eyes so I can assure myself that she's the Devil Incarnate.
"Hello??? WHAT?? Hello??" she bellows, her country-accented voice, grating to any human's ears, carrying its way to my couch.
"Who?!? Ummmmm..." she draws out, as she starts stomping around the living room. "Ummmm, let me see if they're home." She knows that no one's home (I don't count, because I, well, because I adhere to the phone on/off approach), but nevertheless she plods over to me.
"Aunt Morgan?" she whispers in a pseudo-sweet voice. Tap, tap. "AUNT MORGAN??!? DO YOU WANT TO TALK TO [insert anything]???"
I snap my eyeballs open wide and glare at her, not moving my neck -- which has been undoubtedly propped up in some crick-inducing way, while she's been sleeping soundly in my old room all night -- as I mouth, "No."
After that, the games begin.
Yesterday, I was sitting at my desk, working on a story (an ongoing one that involves her), when I see out of the corner of my eye her peek out from the hallway. She must've been honing her approach. I didn't acknowledge her and kept typing.
"Well, umm, I was wondering..." she began quietly, sweetly.
Oh, here we go, I thought.
"Well, if you're not too busy..."
A likely jab, I thought, she's commenting on how I'm not at work.
"Could we maybe do something?"
"Maybe," I said with a gravely doubtful intonation, "I really want to get some work done on this."
I could feel the pouting, but I was going to be adamant today. Right.
Oh, I'd say ten minutes later, after some careful conniving in her (my) room, she came out in her rollerblades, putting her grubby paws all over the walls as she tried to steady herself and slide her way across the tile.
"What are you DOING!?" I blared, "You know you can't rollerblade in the house. Jesus, you Big Rat, take 'em off."
Attempt 1 averted. I didn't last much longer, after she pulled out the big guns.
A bit later, I heard her again stomping out of her (my) room, and I could hear some heaving and things dropping in the hallway. She entered with a huge mound of clothes, her new school clothes, replete with all the new underwear that Mama G recently bought her (no shame, this kid).
"What are you doing?"
"I just wanted to show you my new clothes."
"They look nice. Lots more than I ever got, that's for sure." (Can't help throwing those in any chance I get.)
"I wanted to do a fashion show for you," she said, smiling as if she didn't know she'd just won.
"I'll check the movie times."
So, we saw "Julie & Julia."
I must say, that in all the headache and frustration this Horrid Doppelganger causes me, yesterday she brought me much unintended joy. I neeeeeever would've seen that movie, but it was the only one we both hadn't seen or that I absolutely wouldn't go see ("Aliens in the Attic," "G-Force," "The Ugly Truth," etc.)
I thought it looked awful, something like "Mamma Mia" (which I admittedly never saw, but -- whoof). It's the story about Julia Child (played by Meryl Streep) and her rise to success, alongside a contemporary story of a New York City girl named Julie Powell (Amy Adams) who hates her job and begins blogging in an attempt to assuage at least a part of her drive to be a writer. (I think my teary-eyedness began there, and didn't stop throughout ... though I'll never admit it.)
The film does a great job depicting the parallels in the two womens' lives. After portraying yet another setback to Child's attempts to get her masterpiece cookbook published as she and her ambassador husband move all over Europe as Joseph McCarthy and Co. were conducting their witchhunts here in the U.S., we jump back to present-day Powell struggling with her horrible work life while trying to achieve her goal of cooking everything in Child's book in one year (and blogging about it). And each time one of the women has a meltdown or becomes a raging mess, we see a scene where their doting, adoring husbands (Stanley Tucci as Paul Child, Chris Messina as Eric Powell) save the day and stick by their sides, which would normally make my stomach turn.
But, it was probably after one of these parallel scenes when I began making Little Morgan hold my hand like a big baby.
I really just loved the movie; it had its faults, but Streep was so great as Julia Child -- and the ever-adorable Amy Adams was characteristically cute, even as she treated her husband like dirt.
I'm sure lots of people won't see it, but I hope they do.
And, after all that emotional boohooing, I suddenly thought the Rat Child wasn't so bad after all and took her to get ice cream; but I made sure it was just a cheap McDonald's cone -- got to keep her honest.
Today, I believe we'll see "500 Days of Summer."
Julie & Julia trailer: