Scenes from Saturday + True Grit

Joy to the World brought on a near epic meltdown at the piano this week. Always a fun situation that gets Michelle reaching for the wine and Ally scuttling to hide in the closet. It also brings to mind what might be the number one question I have as a parent: how do you teach your kids perseverance? Can you teach it? Can it only be learned through maturity and experience? 

Did I mention it was the first time she tried to play the song? Cecilia has some aptitude for music, which is probably why we’ve gotten this far, but often has little interest in continuing any activity where mastery doesn’t seem close. She’s still excited about the trombone, but I know we’re getting near that first whiff of resistance where things won’t be so easy. What happens then? What’s the best way bridge the gap between fun and actual progress? 

I realize she’s only 9 and perseverance is mostly learning to plod along in the dark until you stumble on a light switch, but I worry she won’t stick with anything long enough to see the results. She’s stubborn as all get out, but stubborn and persistent are slightly different, right? She will try it her way until her fingers bleed and we are all begging her to stop. I’d like to see her be resolute in getting to her goals, not just butting her head against that wall.

Perhaps Saturday would offer some life lessons….


Michelle recorded the NYC tree lighting so we started the day with some Al Roker, a surprisingly spry Tony Bennet, and some oddly retro graphics. 


Ally loved every minute. My reaction was closer to Dash’s.


It was a classic co-parenting day. Two events. Vast distances apart. Michelle and Cecilia got an early start and headed north of the city for the celebratory Girls on the Run 5k.


Team Donohue crushed it. Running actually serves Cecilia’s stubborn streak very well. She gets tired and wants to stop, but she puts her head down, snarls, and finishes the race. Unfortunately, this is also how she currently tries to play a any new piano piece or break down a math problem. We’re working on it.


In the meantime, don’t let all my yammering fool you, I’m very proud of her for running and finishing the race.


As every runner knows, going out with your running partners after a good workout or race is the best part. Especially re-carbing with a bowl of mac ‘n cheese.

See also:   Metrowest Places: The Kids Place


Meanwhile back at home, Ally had commandeered the kitchen desk and was….well, I’m not sure what she was doing, but she was smiling.

Soon after this, she got into an argument and got very upset with Alexa because Alexa refused to put on the “real” Jingle Bells. It was a very circular discussion. She eventually settled for the classic Sinatra version.


Note, we are not crazy in giving her a phone. This phone only works in the imagination of an (almost) 6 year old. She’s probably plotting her revenge on Alexa with Siri.


Given our schedule, no group run today (plus the Angel Run is tomorrow), but I did manage to get on the bike for a bit. I think Ally quite enjoyed turning the tables and having me at the mercy of the camera phone. I have about 50 more variations of this photo.


Next, it was time to head off for Ally’s friend’s birthday party. Unbeknownst to us, we actually booked Ally’s party next weekend at the same place. So a lot of the girls will be having deja vu next weekend. I don’t think they’ll mind.


Don’t let the cuteness overwhelm your common sense, all of these girls are trouble!


The party favor bags included a craft, which is like cat nip for Ally, and she immediately had to it when she got home.


Another birthday party, this time for Cecilia, loomed in the late afternoon, but first Michelle wanted to blitz some Christmas decorations. We have a busy three weeks coming up, so in her mind it was now or never.

Dash was not happy to see his nemesis the train again. They are mortal enemies that can’t be in the same room.


We eventually got our meager light display up in the dark and declared the house ready for the season.


The second party was a classic New England birthday party and brought back memories of 90% of the parties I attended as a kid: duckpin bowling!


And that was it. NYC was great last weekend, but sometimes you just need your couch and a book. I finished off the day by persistently working my way through this bottle of wine and put another Saturday to bed.