Since quitting my sewing business and pursuing a writing career, I've been teaching piano lessons to make extra money. Although Doctor Jones (my one-year-old daughter) isn't supposed to be in the room when I teach, sometimes she'll toddle downstairs, hide in the corner and listen. Her big, blue eyes will stare over the side of the couch right before she ducks when I spot her. I always pretend like I just missed her and that's when she giggles. We had a moment like that this week, but after my student left, Doctor Jones started acting funny.
That one-year-old is hilarious and fun. She's short and petite. Her hair is so curly it barely hangs past her hairline although it's actually over five inches long in places. If I could pick one word to describe Doctor Jones, it wouldn't be about her obvious cuteness or her darling personality. Instead, I would pick the word "spicy." She'll face huge four-year-old bullies at the play land. When she met Melynda's dog (from Crazy world), that St. Bernard stood over twice her height. Yet, when the dog turned toward Doctor Jones--his head bigger than hers, his mouth open and tongue pulsing sporadically--she just stomped, glaring at his mouth, and said, "No. NO!"
Anyway, the other day, Doctor Jones, grabbed my hand and then her brother's (the Zombie Elf). She pulled us toward the couch and said sternly, "Sit," as if we were just huge dogs she faced.
We sat and watched as our little doctor tried spreading a blanket in the corner of the room. She put it as nicely as she could. After a moment, a pillow rested in the center--one of my NICE pillows I'd hid--and Doctor Jones delicately placed a toy piano on the pillow.
Now, that piano is hilarious. Grandma Gertie bought it for Ms. Jones awhile back. It has five brightly-colored keys. If you hit even one key, the piano will play a long classical song.
Doctor Jones looked at me and the Zombie Elf. She nodded like that was the height of classiness. Then, she awkwardly sat down on the other side of the piano. "Hi, Ma." She addressed me. "Hi," her eyes turned to the zombie, "Ma," she said again.
She did something as if clearing her sweet baby throat, put her hands toward the fake piano and closed her eyes. That's when she hit one of the keys, only one. She swayed as the music wrapped around us. My Zombie Elf who is normally a wild man, smiled up at me and tried not laughing. "My baby is so funny," he whispered.
"Shhh!" Doctor Jones glared at us and put her finger to her lips as the music continued. She closed her eyes again and the Zombie Elf tried even harder not to laugh.
As I watched Doctor Jones, I couldn't help feeling silly. So, maybe that's what I look like when I play. I've never realized, but my eyes always stay closed while at the piano. I probably sway back and forth while the notes resonate with beauty.
The Zombie Elf snuggled close to me and sucked on his finger (a habit we need to break before he turns four). At the end of the song, Doctor Jones stood on her shaky baby feet and started clapping. The Zombie and I cheered for her, after all, it WAS her first concert.
I couldn't help smiling as I gathered both of my babies into my arms. There are some moments of parenthood that make all the poopies, snot and crying worth it. That concert was one of those moments. I'll never forget the joy as I hugged her and said "good baby." I'll also never forget the Zombie Elf and how much love shone in his eyes. He'd called her 'my baby.'
Who cares that moments later, when I said the Zombie could have a concert of his own, a HUGE fight broke out between the two of them. They played tug-o-war with the piano. Batteries flew everywhere. My NICE pillow almost got ruined. The blanket became an even worse rumpled mess and I had to be the bad guy.
The Zombie Elf did get a concert where I clapped and cheered. But Doctor Jones didn't clap very hard, after all, she was watching from "the pen."
Who cares that the day quickly deteriorated AFTER THAT!
What I'll choose to remember is my baby Schroeder and her brother who was so proud just being in the audience of two. After all, isn't that one of the best things in life, being able to build each other up, so we can all succeed.