Emotional roller coaster week for Riley. She’s still not quite back to her baseline. So much screaming.
It feels like the family is holding on by a thread. Actually, Seth is seeming quite okay, but he’s gone a lot at school. He’s begging to be homeschooled next year too, but man little buddy, you might just need the break.
Riley’s cello teacher finally came out and said it; she doesn’t feel qualified to teach her. She thinks a different instrument would be better. Like piano. She’s taught cello for decades, and decades, but she can’t teach my girl. I feel like laughing one of those crazy laughs, one that might turn into a cry, but just hangs on maniacally instead.
So many people think we are making a big deal out of nothing with this kid. Let her be! She’s FINE! She’ll be FINE! You hover! I just don’t seeee it?
It’s the teachers who get it though. The teachers understand what we are dealing with. The slightest bit of constructive criticism is cause for self flagellation. This week at cello she had three meltdowns (in a half hour) and crawled under a piano to hide. All because the teacher was making minor adjustments regarding her bow grip and finger placement. In a kind voice.
At clay class today, Todd (he had the pleasure, since he was off work) had to take her out in the hall three different times. The last time, as he was trying to talk her off the cliff, out of the corner of his eye, he noted Jingle starting to squat. She proceeded to have diarrhea right there in the hall.
Insert Todd’s maniacal laugh.
The good news is, it jolted Riley out of her meltdown. The bad news is, there wasn’t a paper towel on the premises, so Todd had to make several trips down a long hallway to a bathroom and sop it up with toilet paper.
Three cheers for Todd.
Earlier in the week, at a local park, Riley was trying to climb and it was not a good climbing day. She was on the play structure screaming, and we were trying to give her space to let her work it through (but that never quite happened). It was unseasonably cold. I was shivering and Todd said…, wait for it…
“I’m freezing my yippee off.”
A new term. Folks, this is what happens when you suppress your God given drive to swear. Let this be a warning.
And another HT anecdote, just to cheer me up from the cello bomb, is this: At the end of church service the congregation joins hands in a circle and sings Let There Be Peace On Earth (and let it begin with me…). Well,Todd is really only used to holding hands with me or the kids, and he absentmindedly, inadvertently locked fingers with the grown man next to him. It took a couple of beats, but this suddenly felt very uncomfortable, and he had to rather awkwardly extract his digits and switch to the regular fingers/palm hand holding position. He told me about the whole fiasco later.
I don’t know why I find this so funny, but I do. There is a hand holding etiquette, no? I wouldn’t be locking fingers with just anyone, that’s for sure.
“You’re not writing about yippee, are you?” he asks as he sees me chuckling and tap tap tapping on the keyboard. I’ve been threatening to out yippee all week.
“Not only that,” I say.
He pauses at the bottom of the steps, sighs, and says,
“Write whatever you want if it gets you smiling again.”
Then, he turns and walks up the steps toward bed.
Not just me having a less than great week then?!
A good swear in the privacy of your own company never did anyone any harm. 😀 yippee?? LMAO!
Hope Jingle’s OK, no more botty issues?
Not only did it make you smile, it made me smile too. I needed that!
I feel for you. Is it the weather with these kids–I swear. It’s been a rough week here too. Yikes.
Poor puppy, she okay now?
hahah I love HT. Yippee!!! LOL
Hope Jingle is ok!
Todd is my human.
And this? “this is what happens when you suppress your God given drive to swear. Let this be a warning.” Truer words were never spoken!
I would really love to hear more from you about what works when trying to teach your daughter. I’ve been puzzling over how I would go about teaching someone like Riley (I’m a violin teacher). Is there anything that has been done that’s really effective?
I was wondering if maybe giving her warning in advance would be effective. (like, this week we’ll work on bow holds, next week we’ll work on tuning, week after we’ll learn a new piece of music, etc.) Then maybe getting the actual feedback wouldn’t sting so much?
Also, when does the anxiety bit kick in? Is it when she gets the instruction (move your fingers like this…), or if she doesn’t get that instruction quite right. Or is it more that she’s upset that she hasn’t been practising properly?
Also, you said that she experienced the same thing with learning the piano and then was able to pick up from watching you learn. Would it help if the teacher started showing you the same thing while she watched?
Again, I’m just throwing out the ideas that sprang to mind, I have no idea how well any of them would work (or how many have already been tried). I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.
Just two days ago a writer friend was telling me what a huge GIFT it is that Ron lets me write about him. HT has given you such a gift, too!
I married Bubba because he makes me laugh and, I swear if it wasn’t for that, I’d have killed myself or my kids by now. He is awesome at breaking up tension by just being himself and cracking us up.
Hold on to that man! Any man who would clean up the doggie diarrhea while laughing is my hero!
Full moon hit last night. ‘Nuff said.
Anyone who does not believe the moon is a behavioral factor has never had a REAL conversation with a teacher.
I wonder what’s going on. I’m having a rough time too. Is it still the phenols? I think it’s work and having to act as normal as I can for so long, for me.
I love HT…and the whole fam-damily.
HT makes me cry.
Dear God and all the angels, thank you for this man who loves his wife and children so. Thank you for his laughter. Thank you for his willingness.
I’m not going to mention it myself, but Michelle may thank you for his yippee, too.
Hooray for Todd — but I believe in swearing, too.
“I’m freezing my yippy off” really is a better saying in front of the kids than my old saying of, “Gee it’s nipply out here.” I may have to adopt it. 🙂
Oh, Michele! What a week! It’s a good thing you and HT have each other as partners for this crazy ride you’re on. FWIW, B has been struggling with violin and experiencing frustration with it, but is sailing along with piano, which we just started about 8 weeks ago. It’s a much, much easier instrument to learn.
I’m sitting here laughing at the hand holding incident. It IS very funny. I do hope things start turning around for riley.
Love the humorous bits you provide your readers. Much needed comic relief. Can’t imagine the ongoing challenge of your family life.
So glad there was laughter in this difficult week. HT is a wonder. Yippee indeed. 🙂
My Michelle. My Michelle. Seems to be piling up. And you can laugh and make up new freakin cuss words. I just LOVE it. Those moments, like when Jingle had diahherea (I’m not correcting my spelling cause I’m tired as yippee at my cranky kid) are what I refer to as angel happenings. When we are having really bad mornings, I pray for an angel to intervene and break the behavior, and the good Lord answers. It may be a spider, it may be a burp, it could be Jingle doing her job, but what a blessing in the storm. Piano, cello, kazoo, whatever she wants to play. She’ll let you know. You guys are amazing. And Seth can stay in school with his homies, he’ll have more fun, cause home schooling is loney, tell him that.
I do plan to address your questions, probably in a seperate blog post. It has been busy, but I have not forgotten. I will let you know when it goes up.
I have no experience that I can relate to yours, but this post touched me so deeply in my heart! I really feel for you and your family, but I find it so wonderful to sense the joy that you seem to have in every moment, even the soulfully tiring ones. I have no idea how I happened upon this blog, but I am so glad that I did.