Hero Daddy

Sometimes the heroic thing is not what you do, but what you choose not to do.

So tonight I was putting the kids to bed, and while they were getting ready, I was working on laundry. I came back and tucked Ollie in, and Evelyn was in the bathroom. So I did what anybody would do in that situation: I sprinted into her room and dove behind her bed, the better to jump-scare her.

Now, this all happened in a split second, so I didn’t really have time to formulate a plan: when you see an opportunity, you have to seize it! As I crouched there, hiding, I vaguely thought maybe I would wait until she got into bed and then reach up under her covers and grab her leg.

Except the minute she came in the room and tentatively called, “Daddy…?” I realized I had made a terrible mistake. Grabbing her leg after she was in bed would be TERRIFYING! What was I thinking? Who would even do that?? She would never be able to sleep again! I was hiding on the side where the closet is, which is already terrifying enough on its own; even to jump out and say, “boo!” would probably scar her for life.

She was already coming into the room, and now I was trapped. It was getting to the point that if I moved, or even so much as breathed, it was going to be just as scary. I wracked my brain for any kind of non-threatening way to notify her of my presence, crouched on the other side of her bed. Not even to explain why I was there — that train had left the station — but even to just get over the initial, “Hey, it’s me crouching over here on the side of your bed trying to scare you, not some axe murderer or monster or anything!”

And apparently what my brain came up with was to make a high-pitched, “merp!” (Evelyn later said, “Were you trying to make a guinea pig noise??”)

And it was so ridiculous and non-threatening that it totally worked, and we both had a good laugh over it, and nobody peed their pants, and nobody got scarred for life, so basically I am a hero who single-handedly saved my daughter from a lifetime of PTSD and therapy YOU’RE WELCOME EVELYN.

Tap Recital 2018

Evelyn and Oliver had their tap recital over the weekend, the second for Evelyn and the first for Oliver. They did great! In fact, as a special surprise, Evelyn received an award from the dance school for “hardest worker”! It was a total surprise for all of us, including Evelyn. (In retrospect, it said her name in the program, but we hadn’t read that far.)

I am so proud of them, especially Oliver because he adamantly does not like to perform and he worked *so hard* on this, especially going into the final week.

So, without further ado:

(In case you just can’t get enough, last year’s video can be found here.)

Magic!

At Evelyn’s school there is a yearly talent showcase. This isn’t one of those “everybody gets a participation trophy” kind of things; this talent showcase is no joke, man. There are more kids than slots, so you’ve got to try out, and it is cut throat.

So naturally, Evelyn needs to be on that stage like a man needs to breathe.

She knew she wouldn’t cut it with piano, after all this show is already chock full of┬ákids playing Tchaikovsky on the violin from memory, so she was forced to come up with a different plan. Evelyn being Evelyn, she started calculating: what was most likely to get her a spot on the stage? Music? Covered. Dancing? Yawners.

Evelyn’s answer? Magic.

Now, long time readers of the blog know that I tend to…collect hobbies. But what you might not realize is that, one of the very first hobbies I ever really got into, was magic. Don’t get me wrong, I was never tremendously *good* at it, but I did attack it with my usual penchant for intense research: buying various tricks, reading magic histories, practicing sleight of hand in front of a mirror. That sort of thing.

Needless to say, I was pretty thrilled with her choice!

Despite the fact that she hasn’t embraced magic the way I had all those years ago, I’d like to think I sent her down this road to begin with. I was so happy to practice with her and give her some tips. And, as with everything else Evelyn does, she took to it like a fish to water, practicing repeatedly until she had it down just perfect.

The main thing I tried to stress to her was that she needed to get good at “patter“.
Me: “Have you ever seen the other kids do magic tricks? What do they do when they’re doing the trick.”
Evelyn: “They just stand there, quietly.”

Nuh uh, not for my girl. I told her she had to tell a story. I told her she was performing, and was there to entertain. I told her any fool could do a trick, but the difference between a good magician and a bad magician was stage presence.

Well, you can judge for yourself how she did:

Evelyn’s First Piano Recital

Evelyn had her first piano recital over the weekend, and she did great. She has been taking piano for a couple of years now, but we have been pretty low key about the whole thing and this is the first time she has performed.

I was really surprised at how nervous she was! She typically has absolutely NO stage fright, and has performed on stage for audiences many, many times this size (including singing and dancing!) without being nervous at all. So I was really surprised at how nervous she was! She said later that it was hard not to make mistakes due to how hard her hands were shaking (just in case you’re not a piano player, I can let you in on a little secret: it’s really hard to play the piano without the use of your hands).

When she sat down afterwards she just gave me the BIGGEST smile.

I have to tell you that there is almost nothing the kids can do that makes me as happy as to hear them playing piano. Evelyn has long ago eclipsed my own musical ability, and Oliver is pretty close. When I see them playing it’s just like magic. Absolute magic. I often just laugh out loud when they’re practicing because it seems so crazy that their fingers are doing these things. How are their fingers doing these things!

I love it. I want them to never stop taking piano.

Boogie Shoes

Evelyn had her first tap recital over the weekend, and I have to say, I was pretty impressed! They go before I get home, so I had only seen a practice once when they first started learning the routine (and Jesse wasn’t even there that day!)

Not too shabby for only 6 months of lessons!

(Apologies for stupidly taking a picture in the middle of the video!)