Singing The Blues At The School Music Recital

So, as a musician, I am very passionate about encouraging performing arts programs for kids. What I am not passionate about is going to see these performances. My older child has just started Junior High, so while I am holding out hope to see some improvement with school orchestras in the future, so far, the best way I can describe the performances I’ve seen, is ‘plodding along tunelessly’.

Probably my least favorite performance so far was the one I saw this weekend which was comprised of everyone in the class getting up and doing solos. Yes they are adorable, but once they put bow to string it’s almost as if Satan has condemned me to a life of eternal damnation on earth.

And if there’s anything I’d rather see than my kid going up and butchering a classic in front of a hundred people, it’s someone else’s kid getting up and butchering a classic in front of a hundred people, oh yeah, times about 40.

Now I know you’re all thinking what a horrible person and mother I am for being down on kids who are trying to perform and learn art, but talk to me again after you’ve heard about 20 different kids butcher ‘Ode to Joy’, an excruciatingly slow version of ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ played on stand up bass, some tuneless attempts at Jingle Bells (in February no less), and, oh yeah, a version of ‘Wrecking Ball’ on cello, which sounded nothing like the original but may have actually been an improvement.

Now I understand that many of these kids are just learning their instruments and to those I say, hang in there, don’t give up, it will get better. After all, I know how it was when I started out, believe me.

But there were some kids up there who, unfortunately, had no hope. I know it must be awfully upsetting to try to encourage a child to take up an instrument and then realize you have made a terrible, terrible mistake. I would persuade you to nip this in the bud as soon as possible before any further suffering is endured.

There are many approaches you can take with this. First there is the Simon Cowell method where, you very bluntly tell your child, “I know that you have practicing, and working very hard, but your father and I feel it would be a great service for violins, ears, and humans everywhere if you were never to go near a musical instrument ever again in your entire life.”

Or you could be a bit more subtle. For instance: “You know there are so many great musicians, but someone has to be a fan. How about you?”

Or just simply: “Wow that was a really great performance. How about next time we try origami?”

Dating In Your 40s

In your 20s it’s all casual
An age when girls and boys
Are getting schooled at playing games
And all their lovers? toys

30s, time to reel them in
The long and short of it
Your favorite Friend With Benefits
May be ready to commit

But if you’re in your 40s
It’s quite a different thing
Cause he’s wondering what’s wrong with you
And you what’s wrong with him.

images-7

It’s an 8 Years Old’s Birthday Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To

Remember the good old days when, if your kid was invited to a birthday party it meant you had a chance to put your feet up, relax, and take the afternoon off? Well now, in the days of child predators, and when every bump on the head could mean a concussion, and don’t even get me started on food allergies, parents are required to sit with their children for the duration of the party (often a minimum of two hours) cutting a considerable chunk out of their weekends.

My husband and I used to go to parties thinking of any conceivable way to get out of staying, but the best we could do was having the host’s parents reluctantly agree that it was okay to be the ONLY PARENTS to leave our child. Some odd hours later, we would return to the judgmental looks of parents who feel we have done the unthinkable. Needless to say, we have since given up and resigned ourself for a good couple of hours of:

Getting To Know The Other Parents: I, for one, am terrible in social situations. Often I lurk on the fringes of these parties trying not to look like the miserable social leper I truly am. After a bit, I may glom on to one of the parents, more often than not because someone has taken pity on me and decided to introduce me to the poor woman. It is then up to us to try and fill (yikes!) two hours trying to come up with a topic of conversation when it turns out that the only thing we have in common is that we both have young children. Just imagine what happens when I try telling them I used to play in a rock band.

The Deathtrap That Is The Bouncy Castle: I can not tell you the amount of joy that will fill a child’s heart when they realize they will be spending the afternoon trapped inside the rubber walls of this Tower of Terror, bouncing against their out of control cronies. (Sounds a bit more like an insane asylum to me.) Usually, at some point during the course of the festivities, this inflatable holding cell will collapse much to the horror of the many screaming children that are trapped within. We watch in trepidation as a few brave parents escort the terrified children to safety and look on glumly until such a time that is determined whether or not the damn thing may be resurrected lest they be left with hordes of disappointed children.

The  Food: I don’t know about you, but I find it very difficult to enjoy the food at a child’s birthday party. No matter how appetizing the food may be, no matter what it is, no matter in what sort of a sanitary manner it is being served, once it has passed the lips of tens of young children, to me, it immediately becomes re-regurgitated vomit mixed with saliva.  Usually I have to decline the food so many times that I run the risk of offending the hosts and making everybody there think I have some kind of strange eating disorder, which may or may not be true.

Those of you who are looking forward to the inevitable deterioration of my sanity, will be pleased to know that my daughter had been invited to, not one, but two birthday parties this weekend. At best this inspire will me with material for my next Miserable Mom blog. However, if you don’t hear from me within a few days, you can bet I am bouncing around in a very small room with rubber walls.

images

I’m A Bit Worried About the Grandchildren

I know this is a bit alarming, but it seems my daughter has informed me that I now have grandchildren, seven of them in fact. They’re lovely girls don’t you think?

Image

Well actually, the truth is, I’m a little concerned about some of them. I think their color is a bit off. And frankly, they look like they could use a good meal.

Image

And one of them even turned up at a sleep over party with no panties. (Actually, I’m not just being perverted, at $25 bucks a pop, you’d think they could at least come equipped with underwear.)

Image

Barbie says she doesn’t like them at all, but I think maybe she is just jealous. The other day, I walked in to my daughter’s bedroom and saw…

Image

Barbie said she was just being affectionate but I think she was trying to strangle poor Frankie Stein! (Maybe she doesn’t like Jewish people.)

Anyway, my grandchildren also have these adorable pets.

Image

I know they look a little worse for the wear but I have to say these little buggers have really won my hearts. Of course Watzit is a bit of a problem on account that he constantly is rooting around in the garbage so we have to give him a cootie bath every night.

IMG_3056

This is Count Fabulous. I know you won’t believe this, but Count Fabulous is actually a boy. Draculaura just can’t resist dressing him in ribbons and bows. Of course, this makes my husband a bit uncomfortable, especially when Count Fabulous declares that everything is fabulous, in a very flamboyant manner, but I say, whatever makes him happy.

Image

Besides, I know it’s really not a grandmother’s place to butt in.

But I have to tell you…

I’m a bit worried about the grandchildren.