Grocery shop with twins, cello students, Hazel at bedtime

This morning I went to the grocery store with the babies. I took the smaller backpack carrier and carried Emily in that and put Joanna in the shopping cart seat. That worked really well. I had to ask for help a couple of times, because I couldn’t reach quite as high with a baby on my back, but other than that it was no biggie. The small backpack carrier is a cheapy, and pretty tough on my back, so I think I might get my own (our larger carrier is set up for Ted and fits him very well, and fits me ok, but given the load it puts on your back, I want it to fit very well.) It’s funny to see people noticing that not only do I have the baby on my back, there’s a baby in my cart, too. It’s also funny to see, as I bend over to get something off a lower shelf, a small hand extending past my head, reaching, and to hear the accompanying coos of interest.

I gave Joanna a celery stalk to keep her occupied, and that worked for most of the time we were there. Otherwise, she reaches back behind her and starts shredding the kale or whatever hapless vegetable is within her grasp.

Before I went to work I went up to a cafe I found that serves a couple Paleo items. I got their Paleo bowl (eggs, sweet potatoes, a whole bunch of spinach), and ordered a veggie lettuce wrap to which she added the most delicious meatballs. I brought that with me for dinner.

I had a new student start today. She’s ten years old, very bright and determined. Apparently cello was the instrument on which the family was able to arrive at a compromise: she wanted to play an “unusual” instrument, but her mom drew the line at bongos. She said her favorite note on the cello was the C string, the lowest one and the lowest note. I take that as a good sign. (Go here to hear the pitch. It’ll open a midi file: click on it, and it will play the C, two octaves below middle C.) It’s been a while since I had a brand new student who was also entirely new to music. I don’t often use tapes, but I think I will for a bit until she’d got her bearings.

My first student of the day is a kid who is also ten years old. He and his family moved here from out of state last year. He’d been playing cello for some time already, but had not yet started shifting out of first position. I believe in getting students up higher on the cello pretty early, so they don’t get too scared of the fingerboard above first position, and therefore too attached to it. I find that when I inherit a student who’s spent all of his/her time there, at the bottom of the fingerboard, they tend to be reluctant shifters, and to return to the comfort of first position as much as possible, which leads to some pretty weird fingerings. So, it was a bit of a shock to him when he first started, but he’s doing really well with it now. And one thing he’s really good at which will serve him in very good stead, is that he pays attention and notices when he’s gotten off on bowing or fingering, or the notes. He will learn to be a very good diagnostician. He also really loves the lessons, and always says he wishes we had more time. That’s very sweet. I told him that when he’s older and playing longer and more complicated repertoire that’s certainly something that would make sense.

Tonight I tried something my therapist suggested with regards to Hazel and our bedtime routine: I asked her if she thought she could have a calm body and help us calm the babies down, or if she needed to work off some beans first. She thought the latter would be a good idea, so I went up with her to the bedroom, and counted while she jumped up and down on our bed, and then jumped off it onto the twins’ mattress, repeatedly. It didn’t quite tire her out all the way, but when we got into the upstairs playroom for our wind-down/pre-bedtime routine, there was a lot less exhorting her to be still, to leave the twins alone, etc. When the basement is done maybe we’ll have her run laps.

Because I did the shopping this morning, Ted was able to do some cooking tonight. He made the ground beef/veggies casserole we’d found, and oh my, it is YUMMY! It is so good to have food in the house again!


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