After nearly two years of constant badgering (like being pecked to death by an adorable chicken!!), I have finally given in and agreed to allow Ben to take music lessons.

It’s not as though I don’t see the inherent value of music lessons, of course I do, but I’ve never wanted to be one of those parents who overscheduled the heck out of their little kids, shuttling them back and forth to various lessons and sports, and not giving them a chance to be children. Soccer takes up a modest two days each week, and you know what? I admit that sometimes Dave and I get a little bitter about the imposition each and every Saturday morning, because who DOESN’T want to lounge around in their jammies on the weekend (okay, so that’s every day for me)?

Ben is thrilled, as I am not sure that any child in the history of children has ever loved music as much as he does. When we met for our parent-teacher conference this week, his teacher mentioned that he was “auditorially gifted,” which I’ve translated into “loving music” (mainly because people who mention in polite conversation that their children are gifted make me want to hurl. Remember when only the truly amazing kids were called “gifted” and not every player on a team got a trophy? I do. Hell, I still shudder when I see red ink!).

From the time that he was a wee babe, music has always soothed some savage beast within him. Having a tantrum? Put on music. Crying about having to eat *gasp* real food? Play some tuneage. All of his worries and cares vanished. I’m fortunate that things still work that way. This week, he’s gotten addicted to YouTube videos, which is nothing short of hilarious (mainly because I’ve gotten him hooked on “Electric Avenue” and Milli Vanilli.), and nearly as cute as his own renditions of “Ring of Fire” and “Jackson.”

My boy, he does love his Johnny Cash.

And The Beatles.

And The Rolling Stones

And Bob Dylan.

(My masterful plan of raising a child in my likeness is working! Cackle, cackle, cackle. Soon we will take over the WORLD!).

Interestingly (probably just to me), the only drama that we’ve had in this situation is between Dave and I. I cast my ballot for Ben learning to play the cello, not only because I played for a decade and a half, but because I OWN a cello (if I can get it back from my friend) AND it would be easier for me to teach him by myself.

(and I hate, hate, hate, hate, there are not enough hates in the world to describe the loathing I feel for the violin. Not only do I dislike it’s timbre and pitch, unless it is played extremely well, it sounds like teeth on a chalkboard. And I might argue, especially if I’m feeling superbitchy, that it NEVER sounds good. Maybe I’m a bit bitter from years of having to play the bass line, and therefore never playing the melody, but it’s the one instrument that I am not thrilled about. Oh, and the drums. Ew.)

Dave, on the other hand, PLAYED the violin for a couple of years, so is convinced of his own expertise with all things violin-related. Therefore, HE is not concerned about having to listen to squeaky-awful renditions of “Mary Had A Little Lamb” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” scratched out over and over again in our house. Nor is he the slightest bit upset about having to attend orchestra concerts FULL OF CHILDREN WHO CANNOT PLAY INSTRUMENTS AND THEREFORE MAKE MY EARS BLEED. Or maybe it’s simply because he works approximately 1,795 hours a week and thereby will not be home to listen to and direct said practicing of this instrument.

And as for me, I’m just going to invest in some industrial strength Valium (I should’ve named this blog Mommy Wants Valium or Mommy Wants Percocet.) and those huge Bose noise-cancelling headphones for both myself and Alexander. Then we’ll be set.

(is it just me who has to listen to other parents drone on and on about their “gifted” kids? I mean, I love my son with all of my heart, don’t get me wrong here, but I’m shy to use the word “gifted” on ANY of the kids I’ve met.)

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

13 Responses to Flight Of The Grumble Bee.

  • Gail says:

    Becky, you seem to be implying, or even flat-out SAYING that my kids aren’t gifted!!! I’ll have you know… oh, never mind. I just can’t be bothered. :)

    And honestly, to me, Ben seems kind of young for cello OR violin. Why not something easy like the tambourine?

    All kidding aside, we have had major discussions at our house as to whether or not I should teach my kid piano. For Pete’s sake, I used to teach piano. To kids. But I do think it’s actually a bad idea. Let the kid learn something that nobody in the house has a clue about. WAY less pressure.

    Just my $.02.

    (Luckily, Gabriel’s preschool is now giving him (and all the other kids) weekly piano lessons).

  • Calliope says:

    so which won out? the cello or the violin??

    I think the cello will get him more babes when he grows up. Not that you should concern yourself now, but he might thank you later. :)

  • Chris says:

    Having played both Violin and Piano (concert and Jazz), I understand and believe in the importance of music. Therefore, I would like to cast my vote in this all-important debate (Cello, since playing the violin will guarantee he get picked on). I would also like to offer a couple bad-ass musical suggestions:
    1. Bass. Because, seriously, it’s fucking BAD ASS
    2. Snare drum.
    3. Bass Guitar.

    And of course, the most bad-ass instrument of them all: AIR GUITAR!!!!

  • Tony says:

    Bass.

    thats the ticket.

  • becky says:

    What I didn’t mention is that when I was a kid, it was my nearest and dearest wish (in all seriousness here) to play the bass. But they told me that I was “too short” despite the fact that they let a BOY who was SHORTER THAN ME play. Why yes, I am STILL BITTER about this.

    I agree that he’s too young here, but if he’s THAT interested (and motivated) then I will agree to it. The battle of the instruments has yet to have a clear victor because I cannot tell someone who played said violin that it’s a chick’s instrument (insert OTHER adjective here).

    (The main problem with cello, is since he is a peanut (Alex is closing in on him in weight), he may not be quite tall enough to play it. And if he cannot play cello due to his stature, he won’t be able to play the bass.)

    Gail, I am jealous of the weekly piano lessons. VERY jealous.

  • Cara says:

    After hearing thirty-odd fourth graders play, with varying degrees of competency, “As the Saints Go Marching In” on violins, I would do anything in my power to help prevent Ben and, really, any other child from taking violin lessons.

    Otherwise, I’m all for the cello and the upright bass. However, he may have to grow into those. How about the glockenspiel in the meantime?

    Now I must listen to loud, angry music to get that horrifying noise out of my head.

  • Josh Hawkins says:

    Violin, not so cool, fiddle, way cool. Another great option, up-right base. They’re always cool people, not to mention they must get so much tail. Not that this should be a factor, but nothing wrong with insuring the survival of your genes.

  • becky says:

    Upright bass is EXACTLY what I’d love for him to play. But he’s teeny-tiny and probably cannot play it right now. Here’s hoping for a growth spurt.

  • becky says:

    CARA YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!!! It’s a horrifying thing to hear and not only am I going to have to hear it at home and pretend that it’s grand I’M GOING TO HAVE TO SIT THROUGH CONCERTS AND SAY THAT IT WAS BEAUTIFUL.

    AAAAAAHHHHHH!

    Maybe I’ll just get him Guitar Hero III for the Wii and call it a day (and WHAT a day).

  • melissa says:

    I’m rooting for the cello! what a wonderful instrument.

  • Kristin says:

    I still have my old clarinet. I’ll sell it to you and throw in a few cases of migraine meds.

  • becky says:

    Dude, that would be a bonus.

  • Kat says:

    I am quite surprised about the whole violin comment. To be honest (when played right) I think it sounds just fine. I have yet to hear my husband play his old (it’s his great-grandfather’s) violin but I have heard him play his viola. It makes me want him bad, it does. XD

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