First off, this story is in no way some kind of judgment on parents. In other situations, yes, maybe, but not this one. This is just pure Me Being Amazing. This me and my mad diplomacy skills. This is a screaming, crying six year old showing up at my door and a happy, smiling one leaving 26 minutes later.
First, this little guy's parents had told me once before that he really wasn't enthusiastic about piano lessons--they wanted him to learn, he enjoyed it most of the time, but on days when he remembered that he didn't want to take lessons it was a little rough. He switched from his old piano teacher at the first of October, and with me it had been so far, so good. On not so good days, his mom would send me a text that it had been an anti-piano day, and we'd go back into the old books and only do things that he liked and already knew. No pressure. No work. Just getting through the lessons.
But all good things come to an end. Last night, with approximately 1.5 hours left before he had to be in the door of his Birthday Ball, Dad showed up at my door with the aforementioned screaming and crying offspring. He just kind of looked at me like, "Um. He seems to be crying. Good luck." So the kid came in, still crying, knelt down on the floor next to the piano (still crying) and proceeded to cry cry cry. It only took me 2 minutes to figure out what was wrong--he told me what was wrong. "I just DON'T want to PLAY the piano ANYmore!!!"
So I said, "Ok. We've got half an hour. Would you like to mow my yard, fold all my laundry, or change the baby's diaper?"
None of those things.
Oh. "Ok, fine. But please get off the floor, you're going to get it wet with the crying." Dad is still sitting on the couch, watching. No pressure, Jen. He's just a lieutenant colonel. Who is good friends with the General. Who is good friends with your father-in-law.
"Boooooohooohohohohohohohohooooooo." And he leaned over to put his head and arms on the piano.
I was like, "Hey! Be careful! You're going to play the piano, and you said you didn't want to!" And of course he still plops his head down on the keyboard. Noises issue from the soundboard. "See??" He shakes his head at me, still crying. So I shut the lid and told him it had to be that way just in case he accidentally played again. Then he started swinging his feet.
"Hey! Don't do that, either! You're going to play the pedals!"
The head comes up. What pedals? Dry eyes. Bright expression.
"What do they do?"
And the rest, my friends, is history. Actually, he played the piano for virtually 20 minutes straight, which is more than he normally does in a non-crying lesson. So, good for me. At some point, Dad snuck out the door, and when we went outside at the end of the lesson, he said, "Wow. I just can't believe you don't have a six year old. That was amazing."