Yesterday at school, the zipper of Rob's soft lunch box got stuck. So one of the cafeteria staff SLICED THE LUNCH BOX OPEN WITH A KNIFE.
Does that seem a little...extreme? Instead of treating this as an emergency surgery situation where the clothes are cut right off the patient, why not treat it as a Forgotten Lunch situation? Call the parent or have the child buy hot lunch or do whatever is ordinarily done when a child forgets a lunch box. Because I got that zipper unstuck with less than 5 seconds of wiggling, and so I'm pretty cheesed to have the lunch box completely destroyed.
Well. Anyway. Rob is in fourth grade, and in his school that's the year they get offered musical instrument lessons. They take them at school, so I don't have to do anything except provide the instrument and books, make sure he brings them to school on the right day, and nag him to practice. Well, and LISTEN to him practice. Perhaps that should be Item Number One.
Paul and I have decided to let him do it, and "let" is the verb we're using, too. Furthermore, we're not going to rent the instrument, we're going to buy it. Renting makes me nervous, and if we buy, we can reuse the same instrument for each child who gets all excited about band but then drops out after a year.
And so the question is, "Which instrument?" There is a list of seven instruments offered, and I've marked the four Rob says he's interested in:
1. Flute. After listening to my brother practice WITH DEDICATION for years and years and YEARS, I'm not sure I can bear to hear ONE MORE NOTE from a flute. And it didn't make Rob's list.
2. Clarinet. This is Rob's first choice, but his experience is limited to a short instrument demonstration given at school. My mother played the clarinet, and says that by the time she was done with it she never wanted to hear a clarinet again---and she's a musically talented person. Also, she says the reeds are disgusting and keep breaking. My dad says he thinks the reeds are synthetic now (and therefore less disgusting/breakable) for student use. Another issue: Rob has an overbite, and my mom thinks the clarinet could make it worse, since the clarinet pushes firmly against the inside of the front top teeth.
3. Alto saxophone. This has some appeal, but it's a more expensive instrument, and it's fourth on Rob's list. My mom says this one has the disgusting reeds problem too, though my dad again counters with the synthetic thing. My mom further declares that the sound of a child practicing on a saxophone "defies description." Then she describes it anyway: "absolutely nightmarish."
4. Trumpet. The dentist recommended it for overbites. It's second on Rob's list. But my mom points out that the trumpet is a LOUD instrument, and that we should take into account whether we want to subject the neighbors to a 30-minute daily practice session.
5. Trombone. Also recommended for overbites. Third on Rob's list. Loudness/neighbors issues.
6. Baritone. No. It's too large and it's too expensive.
7. Drums. No.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...