I think I have mentioned before that Mrs. Bernstein, a Russian native, is fond of Max. This past week I apologized to both Max and Mrs. Bernstein for not having found the time to practice more than once the previous week. She accepted the apology, and then gently, with no evidence of guile (I am not saying there was none, just that the charge would never stick), spent the rest of the lesson inserting little comments here and there into the lesson addressing the issue of Max and his piano practice. "Oh, you are sooooo smart! You can learn the lesson right off the page the very first time! See? You don't even need your mother's help." and "Nine years old? Why that's such a big boy! A big boy like yourself can practice his piano without his mother around. [as if in confidence] I think she's babying you a little here. You can practice your lesson on your own, no?" And Max, not one to offer to do these kinds of things independently, found himself nodding and gradually being convinced that yes, he was old enough, responsible enough, and smart enough to do his own practicing as long as I made him a checklist and guided what he did for that lesson.
So for the past two mornings when it came time to practice, I made a checklist of the things she wanted covered. There is so much material now that we can no longer review it all in one sitting. So I break it up in to pieces. Some of this today, some of that tomorrow.
And then, by golly, he goes downstairs and I listen from upstairs in the kitchen and he does it all.
At first I was a bit resistant to the slight fee increase this program represented. I am over it now.
We had the first real meet last night and it was fun. I knit, decided the piece was too wide, ripped out the stitches, and knit it again. Max talked to me for awhile, swam races, and played with the other kids. It rained on us rather steadily towards the end and it occurred to me that seeing as how we're never, ever moving again, I should probably actually buy the family some umbrellas. As usual, Max swam faster and with more determination than he ever does in any situation other than a race. This morning they're having an intense workout involving cannon balls and Sharks and Minnows. I used to LOVE Sharks and Minnows. :::happy sigh:::
I also got to hang out with our baby sitter's mother, Beth. She's very nice and right around the corner and her second son is only a year younger than Max. Max was being ageist about 8-year-olds last night, which is a side of him I'd never seen, but I am hoping she forgives him and lets her son play with him anyway.
So we are three days into the new schedule, with two days and two nights under our belt. Yesterday I was enjoying some of the side effects of the new schedule -- spending more time with the kids, feeling like the proper phone calls were made and the dishes were done, that sort of thing. But I was just mind-numblingly exhausted the whole day. WHY!?! The new schedule is supposed to provide for more sleep! I should be feeling better than I have in, oh, months! What's going on?
Then as I was going to sleep last night I realized, duh, we started the schedule Monday morning, but I'd had only three hours of sleep the night before! So I am guessing that the chronic sleep deprivation of the previous two to three weeks will require a few more days to right itself.
[Max was just sharked. LOL, people here are SO incredibly nice. Get this, the kid who tagged him laughed, said, "SHARK!" and then followed this with a contrite, "Sorry, Max!" Max grinned and gave him a thumbs-up.]