Biscuit's piano teacher wanted him to perform in a second competition this year. He'd get to play the same song for both competitions, but he'd have to add one from a special list for the second one.
So that's where we went yesterday morning. His timeslot was 9:40 a.m., which doesn't sound early, but after a week of the flu, I figured he would be dragging.
I was wrong.
My plan was to take my shower then go up and wake up Biscuit. But Jeff came into the bathroom to tell me that Biscuit came downstairs fully dressed and ready for breakfast.
He decided that he wanted to wear the same outfit he wore for his competition two weeks ago. I'm not sure if it was superstition or just something easy to pick out. (Jeff did say that Biscuit has misaligned the buttons on his shirt, so he had to do some re-buttoning.)
This competition was at the same college as the last one, but instead of being a citywide competition, it was a nationwide group.
Biscuit was just as nervous about this one as he was the first one, but I figured out a strategy.
"Hey," I said to him. "How did you feel after the last competition?"
"I felt so, so, so, so, so, so, so proud of myself," Biscuit said.
"Then instead of being freaked out, why don't you just think about how you're going to feel when this one is done, too?" I told him.
Aha! I got him.
We got there and signed in. Then comes the worst part. You're supposed to get there 15-20 minutes early to make sure you have time to sign in and get to where you're supposed to be. But then, you have to wait. Biscuit's time was 9:40, and we got there at 9:20. By the time we signed in and walked upstairs, it was 9:30. And then they were running about 10 minutes behind schedule.
I handed Biscuit my phone so he could play some games while we waited. And then it was his turn. The door opened, they called his name, and I had to hand them the book and the sheet music for the songs he would be playing.
For the first competition, it was just Biscuit and a judge in the room. For this one, there's a judge and a monitor. Biscuit was nervous to play in front of one total stranger, much less two of them! But apparently, years ago, there was a dispute between a parent and a judge that caused the federation to put a monitor in each room to oversee everything.
You know those parents on the sidelines of the soccer fields who go nuts over their kids' games? Well who knew that some of those same parents show up for piano competitions, too?!
Anyway, the competition is in the university's music building, and all the practice rooms are soundproof. So when Biscuit is in there playing, we can't hear a single note. It's nerve-wracking!
The door opened again, and Biscuit was just getting up from the piano. He stopped in the middle of the room, looked around and said, "This is a nice room you have here." Then he walked out. By then, he was cool as a cucumber.
He came out and stood with us, and they closed the door again. It takes them a few minutes to decide what score he should get. So we wait again.
"How did you do?" I asked Biscuit.
"Good, I think," he said.
When the door opened again, the monitor stepped out and handed Biscuit his music and a certificate.
Poor thing, the judge had written his score in cursive. And he can't read cursive yet.
He looked at the certificate, then looked at me.
"Can you read this?" I said. "I can't read cursive!"
"It says 'superior'!" I told him.
"My second superior!" he said, grinning.
"Mom, is it lunchtime yet?" he asked.
"No, why?" I asked him.
"Then I want my treat to be doughnuts!" he said.
I think we might have gone a little overboard, but hey, it was time to celebrate.