Friday, October 29, 2010

Meaner Than Me

My children call me “the meanest mom” they know.  It’s a title I wear with pride as it really means, “You make me do chores,” “You monitor my computer time,” and “You make me do the schoolwork that I’m capable of instead of what the government/schoolboard requires.”  Also very high on the list of why I’m so mean is music lessons.  The kids take music lessons until they graduate from high school.

Cal and I both come from musical families so we think of music lessons like we think of math—it’s just one of those things you have to learn.  And the music teachers have agreed, the children all were given musical gifts.  Of course, just like math, they’d rather not study it, even if they’re good at it.  

Jacob was, according to his teacher, born with an internal metronome.  So he’s particularly good with rhythm.  His teacher’s given him lots of syncopated, swing, etc.  But she’s also given him sonatas. She claims he was created to play sonatas.  Jacob strongly disagrees. Here’s what happened at his lessons the other day.

Teacher: Take the second ending.

J: Can’t I take the first? (So he can replay the stuff he has just played and avoid the difficult stuff coming next.)

Teacher: No.

J (After finishing the section): I don’t like this piece.

Teacher: Too bad.  I do.

J: It’s really long.

Teacher: Honey, this is only the first movement.

J (After the stunned silence wears off):  What?

Teacher (paging through the piece): This is the second movement

J (grunts)

Teacher: Oh, look here is the third movement.

J: I really hate this song.

Teacher: This is my favorite sonata

J: When can I quit it?

Teacher: When you love it as much as I do.

Jacob sighs heavily and meditates on the fact that he’ll be working on the stupid sonata FOREVER.  And me, what am I doing during this exchange?  I’m smiling—there are way “meaner” people in the world than me.


  1. I just want to know how you found this jewel of teacher! Sorry, Jake, but she's awesome.
    I was a mean mom, and believe it or not, my grown kids actually seem to appreciate (most of) it :-).

  2. Heh.Heh.Heh...:}

    I know, they call my "mean" because I make my siblings do super hard stuff know, taking baths, watching the baby...impossible tasks.

  3. Anon-

    Luke and Ariel are now "adults," and they say how much they appreciated me. Mostly. :)

    And the music teacher, I love her. Jake's obviously very strong-willed, and she won't take guff from him. Sorry, Jake, she's perfect for you!

  4. We remember Jake's obvious signs of musical giftedness from the time before he could even walk. We were enthusiastically anticipating the 21 century Mozart, but that was grandparent bias.

  5. You do need to be proud of yourself girl. If more mothers would do the same this would be a much better world.

  6. I still remember the time I walked in on Jacob while he was practising "Maple Leaf Rag" at full speed. Of course this was while he was reading "Calvin and Hobbs".
    Nana Keller

  7. Good ol' Mrs Lindauere. . . She'll make you work all right.

  8. You are doing your job as a mom, and doing it fantastically. Don't waver. You're kids will thank you later.

  9. I actually think my mother may compete with the title of "meanest mom."

    Be that as it may, "mean" seems to be synonymous with "responsible."

  10. Yeah, as far as making people live up to their talents, no one beats our mom.

    But I definitely wouldn't say she's mean, especially given all the care she's poured into me these past few days.