Sunday, September 27, 2009

There's screeching in the house. . .

and it's not from the witches in the Halloween decorations we put up yesterday. It's from Bianca's viola. She started orchestra two weeks ago.

We decided on the viola because a friend of mine told me that there are shortages in orchestras of people who play this instrument (the lower-voiced big sister to the violin), so I thought it might be another college scholarship opportunity (I'm always looking for another "option" in bringing down the cost of college and I might as well start now). So here it is. It's really quite cute. Bianca totes around her little viola with her everywhere she goes. She loves the thing. She has been playing Mary Had a Little Lamb, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (as shown in the video below), and the Tarantella (sp?) which she came up with on her own. It's not so bad, if you can hear beyond the screeching. At least the viola's notes aren't as high as the violin's.

When I was a kid, my mom decided she wanted to learn to play the violin. Something she'd always wanted to do, she said. I don't remember how long it lasted, but it wasn't long. Our little dog Cuddles would sit near her when she practiced and howl--as if she were speaking back to some poor innocent, tortured fellow animal crying from within my mom's violin.

I guess I shouldn't complain about the screeching. With practice, it'll get better. And at least Tigger doesn't howl along.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm sorry

I'm quick to apologize. I always have been (to most everybody but my husband, he'll most certainly say). At my last job, this guy once referred to my willingness to apologize--even for things I have no control over or wasn't ultimately responsible for--as a weakness. I've thought about that for a while. I apologize to my kids when I need to (I'm a firm believer that kids need to hear their parents apologize or how else are they going to learn to do it too?) Despite what Eric believes, I apologize to him. I try to apologize when I've done something to hurt someone else. And I always apologize when I cut someone off at Wal-Mart with my cart (and we all know how brutal Wal-Mart shopping can be).

Today I took my girls to the new McDonald's at The District, since I had coupons. The place was a madhouse. My kids were golden (seriously, I don't know how I got so lucky to have such great kids). After Bianca finished eating, she went into the "basketball court" in the play area that was laden with children. Bianca had a basketball and was throwing it up into the air. When it richocheted off the backboard and began bouncing into the other kids there, she promptly apologized to each one she came near, "Sorry, sorry, sorry." I realized my weakness had rubbed off on her.

I'm still not convinced that being willing to apologize is a weakness. Isn't it a politeness? A couple minutes later, a boy about Bianca's age came in and started throwing the ball around, knocking over toddlers like he was bowling and then bumped into Bianca. No apology, not even the turn of a head to acknowledge that he ran her over. He kept fumbling around with his ball and rolling over children like a bulldozer. This is the part where I am glad that I've instilled on my kid a weakness: I would much rather have a polite child who is overabundant in her use of the phrase "I'm sorry" than a rude kid who has never used the phrase in his life.