Refusal to Sing

October 4th, 2012

Miss Mouse started participating in Children’s Choir at our church a few weeks ago.  She had an absolute blast going to practices, which are run by a beloved “church friend” who also accompanied Miss Mouse to her first swim lessons.  There are about six or seven other kids in the choir and they sing such classic tunes as “I’ve Got the Joy Joy Joy Joy Down in My Heart” and “This Little Light of Mine.”

All was going swimmingly until this past Sunday when the kids were deemed ready to sing for the church during worship.  Miss Mouse was thrilled at the prospect…

…until The Moment arrived.

Then she did her inexplicable shy thing and flat-out refused to join the other kids in the front of the church.  I was baffled.  She loves to sing and makes up songs All The Time at home.  She feels entirely comfortable among our church members (as evidenced by the fact that she slowly migrates from lap to lap throughout the service, often ending up many rows away from where I sit!).

But something about the experience made her nervous.

And I had a major battle on my hands.  Not with her.  With myself.

It was one of those moments where it’s so easy to make it about yourself rather than about your child.  Big picture, this didn’t matter.  No one was going to have their morning ruined by her absence.  Nothing was riding on the event.  It Didn’t Matter.  But I wanted her to sing.  And I was irrationally embarrassed by the fact that she wouldn’t.  Like it somehow reflected poorly on me (dumb, I know).

So it was all I could do to keep from flipping out and trying to force her up there.  I held it together (barely), though I did suggest afterwards that she apologize to her choir director for not singing (which she did). I’d take that back if I could, but there you are.

Sadly, Miss Mouse declined to return to choir practice this week, even after I assured her that she would *not* be forced to perform in big church.  I’m hoping that by next week, she’ll be up for it again but am preparing myself to Let It Go if she isn’t!

11 responses to “Refusal to Sing”

  1. Debbie says:

    If only more parents figured out it’s often about the kid and not the parent. I can tell you that you have no reason to be embarrassed but … It happens. Ellie already has her own opinion about many things. You are wise to save your battles (and, mercy, sometimes that is just the right word !!) for the bigger things and the things when you have to bend her will to your’s to keep her safe.

  2. Debbie says:

    If only more parents figured out it’s often about the kid and not the parent. I can tell you that you have no reason to be embarrassed but … It happens. Ellie already has her own opinion about many things. You are wise to save your battles (and, mercy, sometimes that is just the right word !!) for the bigger things and the things when you have to bend her will to your’s to keep her safe.

  3. K.C. says:

    I hope I can channel your wisdom the next time the little man refuses to do something. It’s very difficult to make yourself pause and realize you’re getting upset for YOU, not him (or in your case her). I give you a world of credit for being able to do so with increasing regularity!

    • Kate says:

      Thanks, KC. It’s definitely something that gets easier with awareness. Just reminding myself that it’s not “about me” is helpful, though I don’t pretend to get it right every time!

  4. K.C. says:

    I hope I can channel your wisdom the next time the little man refuses to do something. It’s very difficult to make yourself pause and realize you’re getting upset for YOU, not him (or in your case her). I give you a world of credit for being able to do so with increasing regularity!

  5. Karol Crosbie says:

    Reminds me of “Peace Child,” a production that was ALL SUMMER in the making. A certain JMC refused to sing at the big performance, witnessed by unimpressed grandparents. Whoof. Peace child my foot.

  6. […] had one further thought related to Miss Mouse’s choir boycott that I wanted to share.  When you find yourself in a situation like that — with your child […]

  7. […] had one further thought related to Miss Mouse’s choir boycott that I wanted to share.  When you find yourself in a situation like that — with your child […]

  8. Cindi Frye says:

    I work with some 3 year olds who inexplicably change personality, or so it would seem, when called upon to say “hi” or whatever in front of the whole class of 9 or so. They suddenly seem to grow shy. Just to let you know you are definitely not alone in having experienced something like this. Try to be grateful she actually loves to sing, as I am certain you are.

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