Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A hard life lesson

The Girl (who just turned NINE yesterday) learned a hard life lesson tonight. She's in third grade and since kindergarten she's been waiting until the third grade when she could try out for the school talent show. About two months ago the note came home from school to sign up to be in it--you have to audition and not everyone makes the cut.

The Girl decided she was going to sing in the talent show. My heart sank because, much like me, she can sing the hell out of something in the car along with the radio, but love her heart, she can't really sing. We were supportive though. She wasted about a month or more hem hawing around about which song she was going to sing. After Christmas break (which would have been the perfect time to practice) she decided on a song. Then changed her mind about a week ago. It's a song from the Cheetah Girls on Disney, Cinderella (never mind, you don't know it) but it has a good message about not needing a knight in shining armor to save me I can rescue myself etc.

Last week The Hubby bought the CD. We have not prodded her about practicing, but we've mentioned it a few times. Tomorrow is the talent show. Upon closer inspection of the information she was given last week you can't sing to a CD with lyrics. Great, the CD we have has lyrics. So when I got home tonight I searched for something to download that would let me take the vocals out of the song. Of course I'm technically retarded and couldn't figure this out. Meanwhile I printed out the words for her, for the second time, so she could practice. Note, this is the first night she's offered to practice and I had to get hard nosed with her about it.
I went back the Internet looking for help, looking for the song etc. to download, found it at the Evil Empire's Web site and low and behold for 88 cents I could download the karaoke version of the song. By now it's like 8pm and the kids go to bed at nine. So I'm installing and downloading and trying to figure this shit out and she's practicing in the background with the vocal version.

Sing louder I shout every so often--she's more worried about making up dance moves to go along with the song that she doesn't know the second or third verses to.
Read the words I shout--sing louder.
Finally at 8:20 I get the vocal free version onto a CD, she pops it into the CD player. I'm nearly bursting with relief that I got the damn thing to work and just a little proud at my perserverence with getting it.

The first time she listens to the music without the words she draws a blank. She can't do it. She can't sing without the vocals--and the rule is no backup vocals.
It's hard. She cries, I feel like a horrible mother for not making her buckle down months ago and practice.

I try to point out that 65 kids are trying out for 15 spots and I'm sure at least 15 of those kids have been practicing. I gently tried to explain that waiting until the last minute doesn't always work (yes, I know, me the world's biggest procrastinator giving those words of wisdom is more than ironic, it's hypocritical, but what else was I supposed to tell her?). She has another talent show opportunity in a few weeks with Brownies, I tried to stress to her the importance of practicing for that one and maybe, since she's come to the realization that she can't sing that well, maybe she needs to pick another talent. Like a skit or poetry or a dance or something.
She went to bed sad, which breaks my heart, but I hope not devastated and ready to give up on ever trying something again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Poor Girl! I remember being in a talent show in fifth grade. I screwed up the song I was playing on the piano, which I had played perfectly in my recital. This one was in front of the whole school, though. It sucked. It's hard, when you're so good at some things, to realize you're not the best at everything.

It breaks my heart, because I can feel her pain. It's a tough lesson to learn, but I think you guys made the right choices as parents. We all have to learn to rely on ourselves, and we will make mistakes. I just hope she bounces back, and doesn't get too discouraged.