samedi, mars 17, 2007

Singing lessons

If I had the permissive parent squad (close relatives of the La Leche ladies someone plants in in neighborhood playgrounds) on my case, they would probably nail me as one of those "permissive" parents. The proof of guilt?

The fact that my kids very often seem to barrel right past my sometimes feeble prohibitions and get what they want.

Take tonight, for example.

We have a rule that there will be no more than an hour of computer or gameboy time on weekends (half an hour on weekdays)-excepting when they are in the car, on a trip, or staying with their dad. Because they had a new game tonight, I let them play for an extra half an hour. After that, I was ready to enforce the shower rule-in other words, you get in, soap passes somewhere near your body, and your hair gets wet. But in a masterly feat of special pleading, Colin conned me into allowing him to watch a new half hour show on TV.

At that point, Sian confessed that she had made an awful error the hour before, when she said she didn't want dessert. Could she atone for her mistake by indulging in some hot chocolate? Having already given in to her brother, what could I say?

Hmm...what I can say is that, in the goofy way of young and older women, we very much enjoyed our kitchen time. Drawing back the veil that should cloak our private moments, I confess that after subjecting her to a medley of musical tunes that most likely will never make it onto her IPod (Life Upon the Wicked Stage (Showboat), If I were a Bell (Guys and Dolls) and If I loved You (Carousel) ) I was moved, possibly by by a leprechaun (?) to belt out King Tut.

Sian is attending the King Tut exhibit next week with the rest of her classmates from St. Joseph School. Perhaps she will now be capable of enlightening them as to what really happened to Tut:

Born in Arizona, moved to Babylonia...

Warmed by tea and hot chocolate, we ambled into my bedroom, where Ensued a heated but slightly muddled conversation about metaphors and Burmese mountain dogs (it is hard for her to tell the difference).

Gentle reader, you may think nothing much happened here tonight. But I beg to hope wish is that when and if she remembers our conversation, it will be as snatches of melody, moments of laughter, and my dogged, if often scattershot commitment to making even our most frivolous moments opportunities for learning.

If she approaches learning with the joy and curiosity she brings to our stolen family time, it will have been well worth my temporary abdication of parental controls.

I just hope the Permissive Parent Squad was holding court somewhere else tonight.

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