Friday, December 13, 2013

The Good and The Bad From Adelaide's Winter Concert

  • Good:  I got Adelaide's Christmas dress at a garage sale last summer.  She was pleased with it.  I was pleased with it.  It cost $5.  Everybody wins.
  • Bad:  It turned out to be way too big.  The length was manageable, but the midsection was really loose.  I decided to try and baste the back of the dress real quick to try and create an inconspicuous gather, and lo and behold, it worked!  You have no idea how thrilled I was.  These little let's-make-this-work-ten-minutes-before-we-have-to-leave things rarely work out for me, so this felt like a triumph.  So this one turned out Good (I know, I know, it should be "turned out well," but I have a theme going here).

  • Good and Bad:  Listening to little children singing.  I know they're only two years younger than Adelaide, but those little kindergarteners are so darn cute singing their sweet Christmas songs, fidgeting, waving at their parents.  Their little voices are the most adorable thing you've ever heard in your entire life for exactly three songs.  At song #4, you feel the smile slipping from your face.  The end of #5, you give the most perfunctory clap possible, enough to satisfy the parents of the kindergarteners, but hopefully not enthusiastic enough to encourage the little beasts.  Halfway through song seven you wonder why you're being forced to listen to hell's soundtrack and your husband looks like he's contemplating mutiny.  Then, thank the sweet baby Jesus, they're done, the ticking under your left eye abates, and all is well with the world again.  Until you realize you haven't even heard your own kid sing.  It's not over.  Some part of your brain goes walkabout and you wonder if it's possible to get PTSD from a children's concert.

  • Good:  Adelaide's music teacher expects much from her students; as a result, they learn a lot more than one might expect from a standard elementary music program:  by the end of kindergarten our daughter could read music (just basic treble clef), and this year she had the second graders singing in a round, and although she allowed them to sing I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas, she stressed that the voice of the girl on the original recording was of a poor tonal quality; too nasal.  All this meant it was far less painful to listen to the second graders than it was to listen to their younger classmates (it also may have helped that they sang half as many songs).  Adelaide was one of the students chosen to play the metallophone:

Ours is the farthest to the right of those standing behind the metallophone.  If you click to embiggen you'll see she's also the weird one.  This is surprising to exactly no one.  I think she liked the feel of the fur collar on her chin; she kept unconsciously doing it when not singing.  Better than picking her nose, something a couple of her classmates felt no compunction about doing in front of an audience.

  • Good:  Atticus and Caedmon sat so still and quiet throughout the whole thing.  It was absolutely wonderful.  Last year Caedmon kept climbing in and out of his folding chair, which was only a problem because the chair kept folding him up into it, causing panic on Cade's part.  This did not stop him from doing it again and again and again.  Atticus was pretty good last year, but had not yet mastered the art of whispering things his parents really didn't want everyone around them to hear.  The year before that I hardly remember watching Adelaide at all because Derek and I were so busy trying to keep a one- and three-year-old quiet and seated for 45 minutes past their bedtime.  With these memories fresh in my mind, I did not take our sons' delightful social compliance for granted.  (It didn't hurt that the family in front of us had three small children they were trying to wrangle while watching an older sibling perform.  I felt such strong feelings of empathy I engaged in a tacit staring contest with the second-to-littlest, which only kept her busy for about 90 seconds, but still- 90 seconds can be a lifetime to mothers of littles.)

So: except for the nightmares I still have about those kindergarteners, it was overall very, very good.

Why, yes, that is a potty chair in the corner of the photo.  I'm not real sure what it was doing by the front door.  Nor do I know what's up with our children's faces.


  1. Bravo on the dress! It sounds like will probably fit next year, too, without any last-minute fixes.

    The kindergartners sang 7 songs? Oh, Lordy. Bravo to your other two kids for being able to sit through it successfully.

    The expressions in the photos are, well, memorable. But I am wondering why the children at school are singing in front of a large mural of icebergs.

  2. Wait until you're watching 6th graders through middle-schoolers who hate singing holiday songs. It's more painful than 7 songs by kindergarteners!

    I am loving the expressions on your kids faces. Those are funny kids, and that will take them far in life :-)

  3. That last picture of your kiddos--ha, ha--made me laugh out loud. Thanks for that.

    Your good/bad made me think of this: :)

  4. Well, I had about the same reaction to the Kindergarten singers. Although, my 1 year old LOVED it. She was so cute clapping after each of the songs, bouncing to the ones she liked.... until the 2nd graders came out. She was done being cute then. Ugh. Good picture of the instrument players! I will have to 'steal' this one, as we arrived so late that we were in the "nose-bleed" section of the bleachers. :0)


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