“It’s like she’s not even practicing.”
Audrey’s piano teacher was standing in front of me, giving her honest assessment. Her eyes were kind, and her voice soft, but my parental guilt turned her statement into a question. One I couldn’t answer. So I just faked a diarrhea attack and ran to the restroom.
Once we got home, I was determined to show Miss Amanda that my daughter could be the next Liberace, only more bedazzled than the original. So we opened her music book and got to work.
We sat side-by-side at the piano for all of 10 minutes when Audrey began to fade. She wasn’t even looking at the notes. Her back slouched. Her fingers barely pressed the keys. I tried to be encouraging, but every half-hearted effort from her quickly depleted my well of schmoopieness.
“Sweetheart,” I said, in a tone that didn’t match the pet name. “Don’t you want to be good at this?”
She didn’t say anything. She just made a weird sound. Like a dolphin moaning. So I asked again.
“Honey. Don’t you want to be good at piano?”
“No.” She answered, with a look.
Has my 6-year-old mastered the art of spitefulness?
“Fine,” I said, calling her bluff. “I guess we just won’t practice anymore. And we’ll keep wasting Miss Amanda’s time going over the same things every week.”
I got up and walked to the kitchen where my son was busy not doing his homework.
“Jake! What are you doing?! Finish your homework! We have to leave for basketball practice in 10 minutes! Let’s go! You’re not even dressed!”
Not my best parenting moment. The entire evening went on like this, with me incessantly jabbing at the kids and them fighting me every step of the way. Piano. Basketball. Homework. Hygiene. Lather, rinse, repeat. A never-ending well of cajoling. I thought to myself,
They are both getting saddles for Christmas. That way, at least I’ll be comfortable when I’m riding their asses all the time.
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