Monday, August 2, 2010

Mom of the Year

I joke frequently that I'm competing for the "Mom of the Year" award. I also joke that I typically lose it within the first few hours of any given year.

Years can start at various times - for instance, now is the beginning of the school year, so I can be in the running for "Mom of the Year" again... just this time it's a school year.

Yeah, well... that's already gone.

Today - Open House. That went pretty well.

Afterwards - School supply and grocery shopping. Just a few incidents between the two darlings.

Then... piano lesson time. About an hour prior DD2 is practicing. She hit a part that she struggled with, kind of asked for help, then burst into tears. "I want to quit piano" she exhorted. Followed by this, and so much more:
Why won't you let me?

I hate piano!

It's not fair, Mom!

You love DD1 more than me!

I don't want to!

I hate you!!!!
Amazingly, I remained fairly calm during all of this. Fell into the arguing with her trap once or twice. Sent her to her room when she got really out of hand where she could kick, scream, yell to her heart's content without being in my face. As it was time to go to piano, I made her go. Didn't yell at her, although I will admit I threatened spanking at one point. Pulled her from the house to the car, placed her inside, shut the door behind her, and quickly got in the car and got it started so the doors would be locked and she couldn't run away. She cried and screamed all the way over there [a whopping 2.5 miles]. When we got there, she grabbed onto the arm rest in the back seat, and I pried her off. I drug her into piano lessons, and informed her teacher (whom I adore) that I would be staying.

She finally calmed down during DD1's piano lessson, and then asked to sit in my lap. I welcomed her with open arms. Held her tightly for a good 15 minutes. Kissed her forehead. Told her I love her.

Then she proceeded to have a great piano lesson.

Ok... whatever.

It's one of those things I struggle with. I think she needs piano, and I've told her that when it comes to piano, it's non-negotiable. Music works your brain differently than reading, writing, math, dance, etc. And I've been concerned that when she gets to something difficult, she just stops. Gives up without even trying. Turns on those beautiful eyes of hers and somebody comes to her rescue. And I know, deep in my heart, that if I let her stop now, at some point in her life she will regret it. It's not like she's a horrible piano player... she's fabulous. Has a natural gift.

But geez, Louise, this one was tough today. It would have been easy to just give in. We had this argument a number of times last year, too.

And while she fought me today, she really didn't fight me all that hard, other than yelling at me and saying, "I hate you!" with such venom and ferocity that she clearly wanted me to react. She didn't appreciate that I didn't speak to her while she was screaming at me. She really didn't appreciate it when I started to chuckle several times. I told her before, just as I told her today - I'm not interested in conversing with her when she's upset or screaming. I also know she's tired - we got up early today for Open House, and we will have a readjustment period to school.

Yet when it comes down to it, I really have no idea if I'm doing the right thing. God, I hope that I am.

Despite all of that, what is most clear to me is how much this whole situation is like God's love for us. We kick and scream. We think we know better. We tell the Divine that we hate him/her, yet the love just never stops. The lap is always there ready for us to climb into it.

Unconditional love. I get it.

Mom of the Year? It'll never happen.


  1. I agree with you, kids need to have something musical to learn, or at least a hobby. I hope you know that bad things happen when children are bored haha :D. I think you did the right thing regarding her little tantrum. Gosh if I said "I hate you" to my mother, I wouldn't even be able to talk haha.

  2. You are an awesome mom. I think piano is a wonderful thing. My biggest fight with my mother was one day when I couldn't find middle C (okay, I didn't try so hard).....and after about two years when she finally caved and let me quit, I regretted it for years.....

  3. Ahhh, but I think what you just described DOES put you in the running for Mom of the Year. It takes a great Mom to do what you know is best even when it isn't the easiest.