Sunday, May 6, 2018

Knees Together, Baby Girl. Knees Together.

"Pssst," I hissed from my seat. "Psst. Knees together."

Natalie blinked at me.

I started motioning with my hands. "Knees together." I brought my palms together. "Sit like a lady."

Natalie gave me a bored look but did as she was told.

I knew we'd have issues. She's not the best at sitting properly in dresses. She'd rather run. Climb. Kick. Oh, she's girly, but she's also sporty. So she has to be reminded to keep her knees together and not sit like this:


We were at her violin recital. Remember how she started violin at the beginning of the school year? Well, this was her last performance.

"Knees together," I hissed again, because Natalie started whispering with a friend and forgot. Thank goodness for bicycle shorts, let me tell you.

I sighed as Natalie brought her legs together and shot me another annoyed look. Ah, tween girls. They are super fun to be around. I gazed around the room as we waited for the recital to begin. My eyes rested on a pink bag and I nudged my husband.

"Were were supposed to bring a gift?" I whispered.

He pecked on his phone screen because he was playing some game where things blew up.

"Tom," I tried again. "Were we supposed to bring a gift."

Now it was his turn to shoot me an annoyed look. His expression basically looked like this the entire recital:

I don't know if he was bored. Irritated. Or happy. He wears the same expression 99% of the time. I don't know if it's the military man in him or what. People will ask me if my husband is upset over anything and I'm all, "No. That's just his face."


"She's fine," Tom grunted, returning to his game. "Not everything needs to be rewarded."

Tom, as you can imagine, is one of those people who hate the idea of everyone getting a trophy.

"I have an old Tic Tac in my purse I can give her," I said. "If she expects something."

So the recital started, and the kids sounded pretty awesome.

It lasted about a half hour, because the songs weren't long.

And then it was over. Natalie got her violin case, came out, and I presented her with a fuzzy Tic Tac while other parents gave their kids flowers or gift bags.

"Great job," I said as a baffled Natalie took the Tic Tac.

"I'm not eating this," she told me, holding it between her thumb and forefinger.

I dug in my purse again and presented her with a quarter.

"Great job," I tried again as a mother handed over a bouquet of balloons to her kid. I mean, really. For a couple quick songs on the violin?

We walked out to the truck, and Natalie gave a sigh.

"I guess that's it for the violin," she said.

"Unless you continue with it," I replied.

"I'm not. I picked art as my elective for sixth grade."

I froze. I always panic a bit when she mentions middle school. I mean. Wasn't she just this?

"But we can keep the violin. Just in case," Natalie continued.

"Nope. I'm returning it. We play a monthly fee to rent it. Say goodbye."

If she wants to play it again down the line, I'll re-rent it. But I know my daughter. She won't touch it unless she has to practice. Which she won't anymore, because violin is over. I'm not one of those parents who insists on daily instrument play because I'm not a Tiger Mom. I'm a "go outside into the fresh air" type of mom.

So that's it then. Violin is over.

For now at least. Maybe down the line she'll play it again. Or maybe it'll be an entirely new instrument.

We shall see.


  1. hah, I wear bicycle shorts under dresses and so does Scarlet. Whew. I had to when she tried to show everyone my underwear when I wore a short dress when she was three.
    Also I tend to sit cross legged and fidget a lot.
    Natalie is so lovely!

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  3. I'm glad that it went well!! :)

  4. My son plays trumpet and it costs us a pretty penny too. Glad the recital went well!

  5. I miss those days they grow up so fast. We have a few violins sitting around still and once in a great while like at xmas when they forgot to buy me a gift they play me a song. Lol

  6. What eve "sit like a lady" mean? Ahah With all those men manspreading in the tube she'd bette be prepared. My brother started to play the violin and gave up quite quickly, before he could perform in any recital so at least your daughter went further.

  7. I am glad it went well for Natalie <3 it’s great to see you are not like one of those pushy moms! Kids should practice activities that interests them :)

  8. She is so cute. And her reaction to Tic Tac was so cute. I'm glad she picked arts as elective for sixth grade. I'm all about having arts in our lives, but maybe that's because I was to art school and university as well.

  9. I enjoy seeing recitals, Zachary has been playing clarinet and they will have a concert at the end of school. I don't know yet if he is continuing next year!

  10. Really like the way your daughter tries out so many different things. From sports to instruments. Middle school a whole new chapter.

  11. Ha ha... I have to tell my daughter all the time also! and yes Thank God for bike shorts! My daughter has only kept playing soccer everything else she dropped.

  12. I'm an adult and can't remember to sit lady-like in a dress. I tend to wear shorts or leggings under mine (depending on the season).

  13. Glad to see that everything went well. I don't blame you for not keeping the violin as a keepsake. A lot of times kids lose interest in them very fast.

  14. LOL I did the same thing when I was a young girl! My mom had me wear shorts underneath everything all the time!

  15. Good job you had her wear shorts LOL. A tomboy at heart it sounds like. Hope she likes Art classes next year.

  16. LOL she was sitting nicely in that second photo though with ankles crossed. Love her dress and she has the prettiest hair! She was such a cute little one too!
    I was a lot like her when I was young, always trying something new.
    You never know - she may come back to the violin one day. I sure did with the flute!
    Your husband - cracks me up. YOU crack me up!
    "That's just his face"

  17. Oh my gosh this is too funny. She is such a sweet girl though; love seeing her talents shine through her silliness!

  18. I'm sure she will be just fine! Beautiful young lady with talent and great parents. :)

  19. eally like the way your daughter tries out so many different things. A lot of times kids lose interest in them very fast.

  20. I love how supportive you are when she decides to try something new! I love her dress, she looks amazing in it. I'm sure the recital went great!

  21. We don't bring gifts to our daughter either but our good friends/neighbor always bring her a bouquet every recital. I'm sure Natalie did well and if she likes violin, she will get back to it. My daughter decided to take a break for piano so she could concentrate solely on violin but she still play piano at home, I can tell she misses piano lessons.

  22. Playing any instrument is never an easy thing to learn. Have to give her kudos for the effort!

  23. My daughter is the same way! Every time I put her in a dress I am constantly yelling "Legs closed!". She is just so playful! haha

  24. We are the same when I was younger. My Mom and sisters had to always check on me when I was wearing a dress. lol! Happy to hear that all went well her.

  25. Wow! Now I don't feel bad when my niece forgets to keep her knees together. I think learning about the "knees together legs close" is part of growing up as a young lady! :)

  26. Aw, glad you tried to get her something as a reward. Hopefully she chooses another instrument. Fingers crossed.

  27. Haha! Those things definitely happen with little girls. I think that's a great job she gave playing an instrument a try!

  28. My daughter is a sporty girl too and I am constantly reminding her to make good choices when she's wearing a dress. Most times I convince her to add shorts but still she looks silly not sitting properly at events where people notice. Kudos to your daughter for being so well rounded and trying everything.

  29. I don't think I would remember to keep my legs together either, so uncomfortable. No-one ever tells boys to keep their legs together

  30. Just reading this made me look at how I sit, I must remember "knees together". The dress your daughter is wearing is beautiful.

  31. Awe how lovely she looked and shame it’s over, when it comes to sitting I was so bad it took a while before I changed

  32. I remember I used to be like Natalie! And I agree I find comfort when my knees are open (sometimes I do that when I'm at home). Constant reminder to myself helps me to erase that habit. Sitting properly in public as long as I can, coz I reminded myself that I will be fine when I reach home, hahaha.


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