Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

Fear me more

Parenting revelation for the day: I’ve decided that the kids need to fear me a bit more than they do. Not “please don’t beat me” fear, but “Daddy’s gonna be really mad at me if I disobey him again and I don’t want that” fear.  I’ve shared this with a few others, and they generally agree… my job is NOT to be their best friend.


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Thirty cheerleaders walk into your restaurant from their summer camp, and your first thought is, “Look at all those babysitters!”

As my dad said, “When I was in high school, my dream was to get the entire cheerleading squad into my car at the same time. Well, it finally happened! Unfortunately it was 16 years later, and it was my daughter and the rest of the 7th grade cheerleaders. Be careful what you wish for…”

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Some day at work when someone tells me something I don’t like, I’m going to try screaming and arching my back violently and maybe throwing something or giving someone a headbutt… you know, just to see if it works for me sometimes too.

Hmmm.  There are too many other coworkers who are also parents.  They’ll likely just take away my dessert and TV privileges and possibly my goodnight story. Or put me in timeout.

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So, not surprisingly given two parents in the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the 4 year old Jack has shown some musical aptitude. Specifically, his musical memory is superb — he does well at ‘name that tune’ whether we’re humming the theme song to children’s shows, lines from Carmina Burana, or “the hee-haw donkey song” (the Midsummer Night’s Dream overture). But every once in a while he does something that leaves us totally flummoxed.

This morning on the car ride to preschool, the overture to The Magic Flute came on WCRB. Jack piped up, “Hey — I know this song!” Being that it’s not in the heavily played WCRB rotation of songs and we don’t even own a recording of it, Katherine wasn’t sure how he had heard it.  “Where have you heard this song before, Jack?”

Jack responded, “I heard it in Symphony Hall.”

Now Jack’s only been to Symphony Hall once — in December we took him to his first Holiday Pops concert. He ate it up — loved The Polar Express
and Santa and the singalong, of course, and seemed to enjoy the Hallelujah chorus. Knowing that 4 year olds make up stuff sometimes, Katherine asked, “In Symphony Hall? When did you hear it there?” Jack replied, “It was from the five golden rings song.”

Holy crap. This tiny brain remembers THAT?  If you’re not familiar with it, the Holiday Pops performs a version of the 12 Days of Christmas that quickly departs from the original tune.  Day 3 is to “We Three Kings,” Day 5 is to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Day 7 is Saint-Saens’ “The Swan” and Tchiakovsky’s “Swan Lake” ballet.  Well, Day 11 (that’s the pipers piping) is set to the Magic Flute overture.  So, from a mishmash of genres put onto a carol for which Jack doesn’t even know the NORMAL melody, he remembered that?  Okay, I think he may have heard us play it in the car a few times from the practice CD but that’s it. Hell, I didn’t even recognize the parody when we first got the music, someone had to tell me where it was from.

And he remembers it five months later from hearing it effectively once at a performance. Now THAT’S pretty cool.

All parents automatically think their child is gifted, of course, and trumpet any sign of intelligence (look! Peter is signing ‘more’!) as evidence of superiority. I think it’s a natural psychological reaction put into parents via evolution… because you need reasons not to kill your spawn otherwise. Still, it made me  I wonder: what’s the normal level of music appreciation/intellectual capacity for young’uns growing up? He’s not composing his own concertos or anything, and he can’t remember where Middle C is, but between this and the whole “this is not mine” perfect pitch incident (a story for another time, but involves him rejecting a replacement lovey because its bell rattle was a half-step higher than his original), it made me realize that I should be paying some attention as to how to nurture this!

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