"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Life is Nothing if Not Ironic

I have often said, and I hold by it, that I would have been more than willing to go through another round of labor with each child (well, in the case of the girls, any labor at all), if what came out at the end was an individualized parenting manual. Would it be awkward? Certainly. Would the spiral binding be extremely uncomfortable? Without a doubt. But it would have been so useful in the quest to be four different sets of parents living under one roof.

Because that's what my children seem to need: four different sets of parents. That's how completely different each of them are.

Tuesday is dance and piano day. At least it was. I do not like dance and piano day. Every. Single dance and piano day, Princess has a tantrum to and from school, and Buddy has a whine fest at home as we pack up his piano book. Especially if he has not practiced that week. Learned that lesson the hard way. Anyway. In January I finally noticed that the after-school car rages defiantly had a pattern: every Tuesday. No other day. While it was a relief that they were down to one day a week, I felt it needed to be addressed, so I asked Princess what was bugging her about dance. She gave me a couple I don't knows and some shoulder shrugs and some nothings, and then came out with, "I don't like it that some people are better than me."

In reality, Princess is pretty on par with the girls in her class. But, you know, there's always The One. When you're an adult, The One usually has expensively highlighted hair, lots of time to spend on the treadmill, a handsome husband about whom you can find nothing to snipe, three kids, and two dogs. She has a bunco night, and all  her excellent desserts are from the new Ina Gar.ten  cookbook. There are kid The Ones, too though. The One in Princess's tap class is a charming little girl with tons of energy and charisma who always knows the answer and practices incessantly outside of class. And you just have to get used to The One, because not only is she always going to be there, but her hair is going to look exponentially better than yours as you age. Ahem. Not that I have issues.

So I tried to have a talk with Princess about finding joy in doing your personal best and improving through practice. I reminded her that car tantrums are not an acceptable way of venting one's anxiety, and I warned that we would need to make a decision about dance soon, as recital preparations were underway. She said she wanted to keep going to lessons and she would let me help her do breathing exercises on Tuesdays.

Only she didn't. She missed four lessons in a row because she either was unable to get dressed for lessons or unable to ride in the car safely (read: screaming, flailing, and throwing things). So this week I said, I'm sorry, but we're done. I'll keep helping you learn to manage your anxiety, and probably in another grade you'll be able to do it so well we can try dance again. She shook her head no several times, and a tear ran down her face. It was a struggle for me. I loved having her in dance. It was hard to say we're stopping.

AND, because life is like that, on the VERY SAME DAY I had this conversation with Buddy:

Me: You're going to piano.
Buddy: But I hate piano! Why do you keep making me do it? I hate it!
M: Because there are two things parents make their kids do no matter how much they hate it: school and   piano.
B: Why do you want to make me do something I haaaaaaaaaate?
M: Because everything is easy for you. It's good for you to practice working on something hard.
B: But whyyyyyyyyyyy?
M: I'll tell you why. Because adults who have had everything easy have big adult temper tantrums when they have to do something hard. And they are NOT pretty. And I don't want your wife to leave you. So get in the car.

Sometimes I get the sneaking suspicion I'm being laughed at on a cosmic level. But maybe I'm just paranoid.


  1. ROFL!!! His wife will thank you someday.

  2. i LOL at Buddy and the piano...your daughter-in-law will thank you, someday! ;-)

  3. LOL
    I just had to cancel Genea's dance class before it even started. She is on a pea streak again and now she is peaing in public. All over town. Lovely!

  4. I have that exact same sneaking suspicion. Our Kindergartner teacher says "meet them where they are." You are rocking that rule!

  5. Different mommas, different rules...oh, wait - that doesn't work for that, does it? LOL Your house isn't big enough for 8 parents and four kids, right?