Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sour notes

It's no fun at all when you see your child exhibit what you feel is one of your own bad character traits.

I got the dinner dishes cleaned up, and because Thursday is my TV night, I asked Jeff if Biscuit and I could practice piano before bathtime.

Biscuit and I got to the piano and started to practice.

I have to interrupt myself and say that Biscuit's lesson Monday night went SO well. It went especially well for the little amount that we practiced last week. It just seemed like we had something going on every night, and we would remember at bedtime that we didn't practice. Or some nights, we wouldn't remember at all.

It's been hard figuring out the timing because as soon as we walk in the door, I'm starting dinner. Then I'm cleaning up the kitchen as Jeff gives Biscuit a bath. Some nights, I have to finish up with work stuff. And there's all the usual household stuff to do, and before you know it, it's time for Biscuit to go to bed.

Anyway, Biscuit was completely tuned in to his teacher Monday night, and he was doing so well, the teacher actually kept him past his 30-minute lesson time. Biscuit seemed to be just soaking it all in, and he literally skipped down the driveway as we were leaving. It was a wonderful thing to see.

Then Tuesday night, Biscuit had a good practice here at home. He was remembering everything. His fingers just seemed to be exactly where they needed to be.

And then there was tonight.

When I told Biscuit it was time to practice, he said, "Mom, my hands are tired."

"Come on," I said. "We need to practice."

"But Mom," Biscuit whined. "My hands really are tired."

A fleeting thought crossed my mind. I thought, "It's not a big deal if we skip tonight." But I chose instead to push it.

So Biscuit and I were sitting at the piano, and he was all over the place. He was naming notes wrong. He was just guessing out of the blue about things he already knows. He just wasn't doing well at all.

"Okay," I said. "You're done. Go play."

And Biscuit burst into tears.

"What's wrong?" I asked him.

"I'm just so sad, Mom," Biscuit wailed.

He was defeated. He felt like he failed, so he just collapsed.

It seems like a simple thing. He had a bad practice. It was 15 minutes of his whole day. But that 15 minutes managed to just wreck him. He was so, so pitiful. He just cried and cried, and I know exactly how he felt. I've been there before. 

And the worst part was that he wasn't sad that he lost a board game. Or upset because he didn't get the toy he wanted. He was crushed because he couldn't do what he thought he needed to do. He does not deal well with failure. And he got that from me.

I am my own worst enemy. Jeff says that I am nicer to strangers than I am to myself. And I don't want Biscuit to be that way. I've seen it in him several times already, and I just hope and pray that somewhere along the way, Biscuit learns to handle those feelings better than I do. Because they eat at you and make you question yourself, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

The good news is that within 10 minutes, I had hugged, consoled, tickled and pestered a smile onto Biscuit's face.

I assured him that this was one bad practice and that we'd try again tomorrow.

And as another Southern belle once said, "Tomorrow is another day."

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