My youngest son…he just tells it like it is. Last night we went to our homeschool group’s art show and recital. It was lots of fun, and went really well. I was so proud of my art students (despite the one grandmother who said she’d seen better artwork done by the preschoolers she teaches. HUMPF!) I was also really proud of my boys, too. Zach sang with his chorus class (a class he did NOT want to take, but Donnie and I made him do it because if he wants to play guitar, he needs to learn at least the basics of singing). And he did well! Eli sang and played these little shaker instruments with a large group of other early-elementary aged kids. They were SO cute!
Anyway, there were also performances by the band classes and a recorder class. I am not convinced that it’s possible to coax a truly pleasant sound from a recorder, regardless. But when you put a whole bunch of kids together playing them, it makes for interesting compositions of usually-recognizable songs. Still, we applauded the efforts of the children, and I didn’t think it sounded that bad.
But my son, Sir Talks-A-Lot, grimaced and offered commentary throughout the performance.
“What song IS that?” “That sounds terrible!” (We all hissed, “Eli, SHHHH!”) Then, after they finished one song, he virtually yelled, “I think one of those instruments is broken, because it sounded awful!” Donnie dragged Eli’s chair close to him and told him to be quiet already. But Zach was already about to explode with laughter, and all the adults within earshot were stifling their own giggles.
My son, the music critic. Last recital, he refused to applaud for one of the performances, and when we said, “Eli, you should clap for them,” he replied, “I didn’t like it very much.”
I swear we teach manners around here. You’d never know it, though. Oh, and he’s a food critic, too. We had a soup dinner at the recital, and I brought him a bowl of yummy-looking homemade chicken noodle soup. He scowled and picked at it, and (naturally, while others were quietly eating) he said, “Can someone tell me why they had to put vegetables in this chicken noodle soup??”
I used to look at kids like that and judge the parents, thinking there was no way a kid could act like that if the parents were halfway decent at teaching them manners. Eli has taught me that sometimes all the teaching and modeling in the world doesn’t really impact a six-year-old who has something to say.