Congratulations! It’s a healthy guitar.

There is a lot of music in our house. Piano, guitars, drums, flute, tambourines, bongos. It’s a noisy place. It’s a lot of fun. We’re working on our family band. A Piper loves her microphone.

Sissy got her very own guitar for her birthday this year. Last night while Sissy and Piper were sleeping, we hung up the guitars. When Piper came down for breakfast she blinked hard at the wall. Then she announced, “Our guitars had a baby!”


Put Another Dime in the Jukebox, Baby

In two weeks Piper will turn 5. It feels very big. Yesterday I was pregnant with her. Today she walked in to her room, took off her pajamas, put them in the dirty laundry, dressed herself, and brushed her own teeth. How did that happen? Piper’s birthday wish list seems to be growing by the minute. She’s gotten the idea that your birthday is a magical moment where all of your dreams come true. Here are a few of my marching orders:

1. A turtle birthday party (whatever that means)

2. A breakfast picnic at the park (this I can do) with water balloons (for sure)

3. All of the American Girls (not a chance)

4. A drum set (Lord, help us all)

5. A beach ball for every single friend at her party (a definite yes)

6. Vegan muffins for her playmates with dairy allergies (works perfect for the breakfast picnic)

7. Every single cheap plastic toy at Toys R Us (umm…no)

8. An all-expense paid trip to Build-A-Bear (not likely)

9. A tambourine (to got with the drums, of course)

10. Bongos (I’m sensing a theme)

There will be a breakfast picnic party at the park across the street from our house. It will be simple and fun. We’ll throw water balloons at each other. We’ll eat muffins and watermelon. We’ll toss around beach balls because beach balls make everything fun. The kids will play. Piper will feel special. It’s enough. There will be presents, a few anyway, and there will probably be a very noisy, musical house afterwards. I’m ordering multiple sets of ear plugs right now. You might want to, too.

Hearos Rock n' Roll Ear Filters 2-Pack  Package

To the Beat of Her Own Drum

Piper took a piano lesson last year. Really. Just one.  We have an actual live piano taking up half of our living room, so bribing Piper into lessons seemed logical.  Her sister has been taking for years and fills our house with melodies. I wanted Piper to learn, too. She looks like a natural, doesn’t she? (Note the rainbow dress, once again)

I romantically imagined thirty whole minutes alone with each kid while the other took lessons.  Okay, maybe I was hoping for an hour of reading in the car while parked in the piano teacher’s driveway but anyway…Piper didn’t want to go.  Until she realized that the piano teacher had a dog in the house. For many kids this would be a deal breaker, but Piper has always been unreasonably obsessed with dogs. The bigger, the scarier, the better. She thinks barking and growling is cute. To get her to take piano, I did what any well-intentioned mom would do.  I bribed her.  3 minutes with Fluffy in exchange for 30 minutes at the piano.  I know. I know.  But I thought if I could just get her to try, she’d fall for the piano.  I believed I could manufacture motivation and increase her desire through exposure.  I can hear you snickering at me from afar.

The first lesson actually went okay, but Piper refused to practice afterwards.  Not even for M & Ms. Not even with the promise of more dog love. “I already learned how to play, Mom!  Remember? I took a lesson.”  I reminded Piper that her Sissy takes lessons every week and that she learns something new at each lesson.  Piper ignored me and pounded away on the keys playing piano her own way.  She refused to go back.  I pushed harder.  Bribed more.  Failed.  I kept hearing my grandmother’s voice in the back of my head reminding me that my job as their mother is to help make them the best them they can be not the best me I want them to be. But Grandma hadn’t bought that expensive piano in the living room.  And what if Piper just needed a little encouragement to discover her inner virtuoso? So I gave her a choice.  “What instrument would you like to play?”

“Violin!” she declared pulling a harmonica from the toy box.

“That’s not a violen, honey. It’s a harmonica.”

“Alright, then.  The drums.  I want to be a drummer.  I love to hit stuff!” Then she flew through the house demonstrating her drumming technique on every piece of furniture and person.