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Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I have only one left.  :-)

The performances have gone well, but I had no idea how many I'd signed up for. I forgot how to say no. Consequently, I've been performing almost nonstop since November 21st and on more than one instrument (not simultaneously) which equals insane amounts of practice time. This week I've had a concert every night. Most of them are at least two hours long. So if you've wondered why your Christmas Carol order has not been filled--now you know. It's probably not going to happen. However, I'll try to send out at least one email before Christmas.

Last night, prior to performing, I was sitting briefly in the audience (too crowded backstage), by a family with two small children. The four-year-old was whining about not having the pen he wanted to draw with. Mom was frustrated and trying to quiet him, dad was wrestling with the two-year-old, I was counting my blessings...when I heard Mom whisper with intensity, "You stop this right now! You're not behaving like I asked you to. When we get home, I'm calling Santa Claus!"

The four-year-old immediately dissolved into tears and I'm pretty sure my face disappeared completely because my shocked mouth and eyes were opened so widely. Do people really do that? Well, evidence would suggest that they actually do. I was even more shocked when, as her child sobbed, the mom looked at me and grinned and winked. Yup, you sure pulled a good one. You had to be mighty tricky to fool that innocent child of four. Nice one, Mom.

Maybe it's no big deal, but to me, if a child is misbehaving, chances are they're uncomfortable, sleepy, or simply out of sorts. Hmmmm...naturally, that never happens with adults...

And it seems to me that there are better ways to train a child how to behave outside of threatening them with a make-believe being who gives and takes away presents they don't need based on a naughty/nice list. Fortunately, I had to leave because it was time to be on stage, which was the best outcome for everyone involved.

But I still believe good behavior is a habit learned by positive reinforcement--not by punitive measures, nor by empty threats which have no factual basis-- and if you use them on your kids, and the time comes when they learn you've lied to them and everything comes full circle and bites you in the butt--I have only one thing to say:

You deserve what you receive from those kids of yours--every bit of it.

There's a reason adults are parents and not kids, but sometimes when I see what I saw tonight, I can't remember what that reason is.

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