Thursday, October 04, 2007


Our two oldest kids have started taking piano lessons this fall. This is something that is really important to their Dad since he never learned to read music. He blames his older brother (which is always fun to do) because he fought the piano lesson thing , so his Mom never tried with the other boys. Both of his sisters are great pianists. So it is important to him, but he is never around to take them there or make them practice!

The lady they are taking piano from lives out in the country, it isn't any further than going to "town" but it feels like it is. There is nowhere for us to go to do errands or kill time during the hour so we just hang out in the van.

Week 1: I thought it would be easy. Everyone could sit nicely in their seats, eat a snack and watch a movie. The kids could get their reading out of the way while they waited. I actually brought a book for me to read (on parenting of course)- funny that I am still this naive and idealistic about mothering! They roamed all over the van, smashing crackers and leaving wrappers all over; Kept honking the horn, crawled all over the seats with their shoes. They just didn't sit there like I thought they would. We got a bigger van last spring, but apparently is wasn't big enough! The hour seemed kind of long!

Week 2: I didn't bring a book and tried to work on Abby's letter and sound recognition. But apparently her dogs were in heat and that caused great excitement amongst the kids. What better time for a "birds and bees" discussion?

Week 3: Thunder, lightning and heavy rain! The kids were scared and I just sat there with the van running and my eyes on the clock, ready to get out of there as soon as possible. I let chaos reign because I just didn't care!

They keep talking about appropriate punishments in the criminal justice system - maybe they could get those people to take my kids to piano to pay for their crimes!

Week 4: Meltdown, yelling and crying before we left! I realized that I am making this miserable for all of us. They are enjoying piano and actually don't mind practicing. It was nice outside and the kids played in her yard. The horses were out, they got to pet the dogs and they had a fun time. It was actually fun. Imagine that - fun with all my kids in tow! I hope I can turn it into a time we look forward to - away from the housework, phone and other demands just to be together - even if it is the van in a thunderstorm!

Soon enough, when football is over I won't have to bring all the kids with me. I will be able to bring and READ a book. But maybe I'll miss hanging out with the kids, I know it is crazy but isn't that what its all about actually being with them and not hating it. I think I should take all those little moments and hold on to them and try to make the best of them.

On Saturday I had to take Annie to Urgent Care and then to the Emergency Room. Mike wasn't available or in cell phone range so I had to take all the kids with me. I had the double stroller because I couldn't carry both the little ones. People kept asking me, "Are all these kids yours?" I replied that I just thought it would be really fun to bring a bunch a kids to the doctor with me so I picked up random neighbor kids. Duh - what kind of question is that? But it wasn't a disaster. The kids thought it was a fun adventure and I was amazingly relaxed about it all. And I was complimented over and over by doctors, nurses and other people in the waiting rooms about how well-behaved and beautiful my children were. I think I expect way too much sometimes. Of course there is chaos and fighting at times, but for the most part they are pretty good. And sometimes I forget that I am supposed to like them and like being with them because I am too busy "training" them.

When we used to go to gymnastics, I saw a lot of interesting ways people deal with their kids while they are waiting - usually it was not very positive. But there was one lady that brought a bag a games along and sat there playing fun board and card games while they waited. What a great idea - a little planning and proactiveness and it can actually become a time to look forward too.

Fortunately we have a few days before the next "Monday" comes around! Maybe I can do better this time.

1 comment:

SingerMamaMelody said...

Hey Michelle! :) I giggled a lot reading this post, especially since I grew up with so many kids coming and going for piano lessons. I can really understand how it must be so trying to have to wait and not have somewhere to go. Does the teacher have anything inside that the kids could play with or another room where you could sit with them when it is winter and cold outside? My mom keeps a bunch of toys, books and games in the corner of her music room for the siblings to use and it really helps a lot. But I think your idea of bringing some stuff along sounds really great. I love your sense of humor too and laughed at the part about your response to onlookers at the're so funny. :)

I hope that Annie is okay!

Oh, and I thought of you when we drove through Wrenshall last weekend on our way to and from the North Shore. I don't know if I already wrote that to you or not...

Anyway, hope all is well! Lots of love from this part of the state...