After blogging last week about our Suzuki success, I feel I must share with you our Suzuki failure last night. Last night was the final group concert – the Suzuki String Ensemble. The children (60+!) play together and the children play with the group until they reach the last song they can play and then they join their parents to watch the rest of the concert. This concert took place an hour away from where we live at the private school our teacher lives/teaches at.

My mom is in town to come to the concert (yay, for Nanny help!). After school we packed the car and headed out. We stopped on the way for a junk food supper, a rare treat for my kids (and in this case, perhaps a bad idea, given the effect it can have on them). We arrive and change the kids into their “concert clothes”. Everything is going according to plan….

Then Micah notices that he has lost his shoulder rest. How? How do you lose a shouldeer rest off your violin in the last 3 minutes! The shoulder rest is the piece you attach to the violin to support it on your shoulder. This is 5 minutes before the concert starts. The children are supposed to be lining up, I have Ariel trailing me as she doesn’t want to line up alone, my mom is saving us seats, and I am frantically trying to find this shoulder rest while not completely lose my temper! After all, we have only had 3 discussions with Micah this week about being responsible for his belongings!

I have a brief stroke of genius that maybe the shoulder rest fell off when Micah went in to the theatre to say hi to Nanny (truth: to sneak 5 minutes of Angry Birds on her iPad – he is obsessed). I rush in to look, don’t find it, and rush out, only to smash the door into Ariel’s head as I forgot she was right outside the door. It was a BIG smash, like I can see the egg forming above her right temple. Awesome. I pick her up and go find Micah in line looking up expectedly: “you found it?!”. Nope. He has to try and play without it.

Ariel calms down enough to take her place in line. They start their procession in (they play walking in to the theatre). I have a sudden thought that I KNOW Micah’s shoulder rest MUST be in the theatre, I saw a flash of green when he was in there (said shoulder rest is green). I race to have one more look and….it is there, hooked on the bottom of a seat so it didn’t fall to the floor and couldn’t be seen from above! Hurray! I manage to get it on Micah’s violin just as he is about to walk on stage.

I take my seat. Whew. Little did I know the drama was not over. First, Ariel lifts her violin up with the wrong hand and kind of plays the first demonstration with her arms crossing each other. She fixes this for the second part. Now it is time for her to leave the stage. She doesn’t. I wait. She is still there. I walk to the side of stage and try and coax her off. Nope. She is standing in the middle of the stage, so I walk to stand below where she is and try and speak calmly to her about how it is time for her to leave because she doesn’t yet play the next song. This is her response:

Her: But I play Long Bow Twinkle Star

Me: no you don’t, sweet heart

Her: I DO (insert foot stomp), I DO play Long Bow Twinkle Star.

She comes toward me then and I lift her off the stage at which point she starts to cry loudly, insisting she does play that song (she doesn’t and hasn’t even started working on it). She then spends half an hour crying pitifully about how I removed her from the stage and she didn’t get to play her song.

We watch the rest of the concert. Micah does well, although he starts every song late as he doesn’t seem to notice when everyone else puts their violin up to play. Oh well, at least he calmly left the stage when it was time.

Upon reflection, I try to remember what one mom of 4 (who never seems fazed by anything): “It was the best part of the concert if it wasn’t your kid!”

Yes, yes, I guess it was.