Monday, June 13, 2016

Musical Family Night

The minutes leading up to family night were fraught with melodrama (as much of the day was; welcome to summer vacation) as well as peril (which, thankfully, most of the day wasn't).

Shortly before dinner I made the kids practice the piano and ukulele, which caused a little bit of tension. I lost it completely when we were practicing a fairly easy two-chord song and the girls "couldn't figure out" how to switch between C and F and "couldn't even remember" what the F chord was. I sent them both to their rooms to "figure out" and "practice" the CFG chord progression because we've seriously been working on these chords for three solid years (give or take).

I was like, "Other chords you may ask me about. Other chords you can make a face about or refuse to play because they are too hard. But for crying out loud YOU. KNOW. THESE. CHORDS. But since you claim to not know them you can practice them in your bedrooms until dinner."

Because, so help me, you will learn these chords.

True to their individual natures, Miriam went to her room and hammered out the chords until she was jamming with them. It took her all of two minutes because (surprise!) she already knew them; Rachel, however, went to her room and pouted and raged before practicing. But practice she did. And she played beautifully, and apologized without prompting (which is a lovely thing about this girl).

During dinner we talked about why we are "making" the kids learn the piano and the ukulele—and it's not just to learn how to play the piano and ukulele! It's because music helps promote brain development in language and math, it helps with memory and movement, and while I doubt my children will ever be professional ukulele-ists, I'm hoping the ukulele (and/or piano) will act as a gateway instrument for them (so that when we can afford to give them actual lessons they'll know they want to learn (though the piano I will probably keep pushing for longer than the uke)).

"Complain to me now," I said, "Thank me when you're thirty, or forty, or fifty."

"If I live to be that old," Rachel glowered.


So tempers were running a little hot in the Heiss household. We went for a walk to cool off after dinner, but it didn't really help because although we had an enjoyable walk everyone returned just as hot tempered as ever. Getting on pyjamas is such a terrible task! Right? Like, what kind of parents even ask their children to do that...and every night, too!? It's, like, so unfair.

Benjamin surprised me by actually putting his on pretty quickly but then he started wrestling with Zoë. Those two! They wrestle all the time, which is sometimes fine, but sometimes not. Zoë's really pretty good at pinning Benjamin down, but he's bigger and stronger and much more coordinated than she is so clearly he has the upper hand. He usually goes pretty easy on her, but sometimes he gets carried away.

Tonight they somehow ended up wrestling on the couch. Zoë can climb up there on her own, but she usually doesn't unless it's to get on my lap (at least, not that I've noticed). I think Benjamin carried her up there, truthfully. Anyway, they were wrestling away and were told to stop. Andrew even peeled Benjamin off of Zoë a time or two and told them to cut it out. But the next thing we'd know they'd both be on the couch wrestling again.

In a moment of terrible mothering, I ignored them a bit (I actually ignore their wrestling quite a lot because I figure if you can't beat 'em, join ignore 'em) but was called to duty when I heard a thud followed by the most terrible screaming I have ever heard my sweet baby girl produce. It was the kind of sound that shreds your soul and pours dread into your heart.

She'd gone right over the arm of the couch and landed on the wood floor, flat on her face!

I picked her up to comfort her and checked her over. Other than a slightly bloody nose she seemed to be fine. I was a little worried about concussion, but she was bebopping around during family night so I think she'll be alright. We'll keep a close watch on her.

For family night we sang Book of Mormon Stories with the verses I wrote last week, as well as Scripture Power with the verses from Heroes of the Scriptures. I accompanied Book of Mormon Stories on the ukulele (to spite my daughters a little bit) but couldn't accompany Scripture Power because I couldn't find music with chords and I'm not cool enough to pull chords out of my brain at the drop of a hat. We talked about D&C 25:12 "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me," and encouraged the children to sing out in sacrament meeting and primary (my kids have been guilty of mumbling through music at church (my kids!)). They agreed to try...and then asked to sing the songs again so they could practice singing out (my sweet kids). Zoë loved the extra dancing time.

Anyway, after we had the kids somewhat in bed I think I (may have) figured out the chords for Scripture Power:

         Gm                    F              Gm                F
1. Because I want to be like the Savior, and I can,

       Gm                  F                     Gm                  C
I’m reading His instructions, I’m following His plan.

       Gm                   F               Gm                      F
Because I want the power His word will give to me,

        Gm                   F             Gm                        F
I’m changing how I live, I’m changing what I’ll be


F              Dm     F                              C
Scripture power keeps me safe from sin.

F              Dm              G7           C
Scripture power is the power to win.

F              Dm      A7               Dm
Scripture power! Ev’ry day I need

        Gm              F            C        F
The power that I get each time I read.

It's possible that I'm way off, but I think it works alright.

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