Thursday, 21 March 2013

I am helicopter parent. And band parent. Oh many hats.

Bearsy.  Bless him.  He's a bit worn.  
Part 1: My Helicopter Mummy Moment.

Josh wants to take his favourite (only ever) sleeping toy "Bearsy" for news (he has to take a special artefact and Bearsy is the most precious thing he owns).  I am worried for Bearsy, just in case he is not treated with the respect he deserves, long suffering and loyal friend that he is.

Because he's a stuffed toy, and in some 7 year old boy circles, stuffed toys aren't cool.  Neither, apparently is holding your Mum's hand at school.  Heavy sigh.

I know most of the kids will understand the importance of a Bearsy and treat him with respect, but we only have one of him, despite my best efforts to buy/order several (hundred).

And he is in the appalling condition that can only come with 7 years of constant attachment so a new Bearsy just wouldn't cut it.  And he's a bit fragile.

So I've made a big decision, which goes completely against my parenting tenets.  I am going to helicopter parent for this one, I'm taking Bearsy up to school for news at 11, and I'm taking him home straight after.

Because if that bear gets lost I don't think Joshie or I will be able to cope.

In better days, with my Mum.  Josh is 18 months in this pictures, so Bearsy has been around a while.  
I am helicopter.  Just for tomorrow.  Just for half an hour.  Forgive me.

Part 2: A few notes from senior band (pun fully intended).

Wednesday is the morning I supervise senior band practise.  Because I share the role of Senior Band Coordinator.  Because I am mad.  And very fond of the person who asked me to share the job with her so I was never going to say no.  And it's not bad fun really.

So, each Wednesday I get all three kids up, dressed and breakfasted and we walk out the door at 7:30.  I am getting better at this and am becoming slightly less shouty about it which is much nicer for us all.

Senior band is not very senior.  It's just more senior than junior band.  The musicians are aged between 8 and 10 and they behave accordingly.

Some of them are impeccable, some are appalling, and the vast majority sit on the bell curve in between.  

For example.

I know a clarinet is roughly the same size as a gun.  It's long and fits nicely on the shoulder.  But it is not a gun.  It is a musical instrument.  An instrument of peace if you will.

But I know you will try and use it like a bazooka because you are a boy and you are 9.  And I'm saying it here and not at band practise because I understand the futility of what I'm faced with.

The same goes for a flute, while we're at it.  Not. A. Gun.

You cannot play an instrument while you are facing the row behind you, talking to your friends.  The same goes for the kids you're talking to, because you're playing woodwind and brass which need your mouths to operate.

I would love to say this to them, but I can't get in there because they are right in the middle of the band and to continually admonish would disrupt everything (which is already being disrupted).

Sometimes I stand, like a malevolent ghost, just behind the incorrigible talkers.  But as they are incorrigible, it makes little difference.

Standing near the door at pack up time prevents quite a bit of child leakage as those who feel it is not their job to pack up the band cannot escape.  They then out manoeuvre me by taking an excruciatingly long time to pack up their instruments, finishing just as the last chairs are packed away.

They are clever little tykes.  And I admire that.  They will go far in life.  They're just not going out of the hall a minute before I am willing to let them.

I don't care how cool your bass guitar sounds, please don't strum it when the conductor is talking.  Just don't.  Please.  

And finally, when the talkers stop talking and the weapon masters use their instruments for the purpose they were intended and the bass guitarist plays with the rest of the band, they are sounding PHENOMENAL.

There's talent in that there band I tell you.