Can I Be a Quitter Without Looking Like One?

I want to quit ukulele lessons.

The thing is, I never actually signed up for ukulele lessons. My seven-year-old, who according to his teachers at school shows great musical promise, had been begging to learn an instrument. So Santa brought him a ukulele, and I signed him up for a class on how to play it.

It quickly became clear, however, that this was not going to be the drop-the-kid-off-and-run kind of class I was hoping for. The other kids in the class are a bit older and a lot more musically experienced than Brayden, so the lessons move at a fairly quick pace, and my boy really struggles to keep up. What this means, of course, is that I have to sit beside him and translate everything that’s going on.

So I’m learning to play the ukulele. He’s learning to ignore the instructor and look to me to tell him what he needs to know.

Except he doesn’t particularly enjoy listening to me either. In class, I’ll remind him that he needs to listen, and he’ll indignantly insist that he is listening…meanwhile, he’s swinging his ukulele like a canoe paddle while the rest of the class is playing Ode to Joy. Argh.

It’s even less fun trying to get him to practise at home. He’ll play the two chords he knows about three times each and call the practice session over (total elapsed time: 65 seconds). Then we show up at class for another hour of humiliation because he hasn’t learned any of the songs the rest of the class is playing. Good times.

Tonight is the final lesson. I’m desperately trying to come up with a reason why we can’t go that lets me escape without teaching my child that it’s OK to be a quitter.