Friday, May 15, 2009

Highs and lows

Well, we've gone and done it now. Bought an upright piano from a church downtown last week--it was delivered today. I suppose this means someone around here should learn how to play it. Once my 7-year old arrived home, I observed that the piano is much kinder to new musicians than the violin is. Even not knowing what you are doing, randomly hitting keys sounds kinda sweet.

The violin, on the other hand, screeches like a bat being tortured, causing one's mother to yell at you to STOP practicing! I blame this childhood experience with why I don't play anything well today. Couldn't be because I was too lazy to practice...

DH was playing some random bits while the kids played upstairs and I was working in the home office. When he stopped playing for a few minutes, Barley asked him why he stopped. "Oh, I'm not really playing, Barley. I don't really know what I am doing" Barley's response was "Well, you are really good at not knowing what you are doing, because it sounds nice. Could you play some more?" The really striking part is that Barley tore himself away from playing video games to have this pleasant conversation with his Dad. See, there is a sweet little boy in there someplace past all that anger...

Speaking of which, I got to see some of that later in the day. We had signed the boys up for an evening childcare center, and they picked out a video game to bring with them. When we arrived, we were reminded that their policy had changed--games from home were no longer allowed. Barley was extremely disappointed. Since we were in a public setting, he was working hard not to display it. However, I could tell by the way his shoulders slumped, his neck angled, and his avoidance of eye contact, how upset
he was really was.

Usually, I give the boys a hug and a kiss and reminder to behave before leaving. I was able to collect my hug from Teddy, but knew from past explosions that to interact with Barley in any way would only overload his emotions. I would not get my hug or kiss, and more likely, he would lash out at the person "bothering" him for causing all the ills of the world. I was happy he was not physically acting out, but I was still a little sad when I left them.

Luckily, the Star Trek movie was GREAT. Exciting enough to get my mind off dropoff, and interesting enough that I want to go see it again soon.

Upon pickup from childcare, Barley was in the midst of another pre-explosion, as he was dealing with a child who was hogging the computer games. He handled it well, telling the teacher instead of reacting physically. We praised him at home, and gave him points on his behavior chart for controlling his anger.

As soon as we were done talking, he asked to play a little riff on the new piano. We let him, and then he went to bed with his brother with no resistance. Perhaps the piano will unlock more than just musical talent in this child.

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