Prevent The Adorable Problem

When my four-year-old daughter randomly breaks into the song ‘Let It Go‘ from Disney’s Frozen, for the seventh time of the day, it’s the most adorable thing in the entire world …
… to me.

To you, it probably sounds more like a drowning puppy, writhing in pain as water fills its lungs, still trying to please its master and look cute.

I fear that if I do not put a stop to this right now, she will become one of those American Idol contestants who truly can’t believe they have no vocal skills whatsoever, because their parents never told them the truth.

Except, she’s too young to have a reasonable, rational conversation about it now. So I’ll probably wait too long, like, until she’s thirteen. Here’s how I envision that future conversation going:

***

Child: “The cold doesn’t bother me anyway.”

[Takes a bow, raises eyes to mine, desperate for approval]

Me: “Honey, that was an amazing effort !!!”

[Sincere as long as the word effort is a qualifier.]

Child: “Umm … thanks. ‘Effort?’ You never said that before. You always just tell me I’m amazing.”

[Now obviously concerned.]

Me: “Well honey it’s the effort that counts.”

[Uncomfortable silence.]

Child: “Do you not think I’m a good singer?”

[Disappointment and anger begin to steamroll inside her chest.]

Me: “Honey, take a seat. You know how much I love you right? You know that I think you’re the most beautiful thing in the whole world, right?”

Child: “Yes.”

[Eyes begin to water uncontrollably.]

Me: “Because I love you so much, I need to tell you that your voice might need a little work. Maybe it’s time we get you a singing coach, because you love to sing so much. What do you think?”

Child: “Why didn’t you tell me this before?”

[Now utterly confused.]

Me: “Well I just didn’t have the heart to tell you that – “

Child: “That I’m a bad singer ?!?”

Me: “I didn’t say you were bad … just that you need some lessons.”

Child: “Am I really bad Daddy?”

Me: [deep breath] “Honey, it’s time I told you the truth. You are one of the worst singers I’ve ever heard. You’ve been straining the ears around this house for eleven years. I went to an ear doctor the other day to make sure my eardrums weren’t permanently damaged. The doctor told me I was lucky, but he recommended that I wear earplugs. Your singing is so bad that it might actually be capable of killing a small animal. You’ve never hit a note other than H for HORRENDOUS. All you do is make your voice louder when you think your making it go up and down. You wouldn’t be allowed inside a karaoke bar more than once. Your school didn’t drop funding for music classes because of the budget; everyone in the town was praying that you would just STOP SINGING!!!!

[pause]

Me: ” You know how much I love you, right?”

***

 On second thought, I think I’ll tell her now.

One thought

  1. Another great reason to tell your kids when they suck at something is so that they won’t think they’re GREAT AT EVERYTHING and then quit the first time they’re obviously not. Not that I have any firsthand experience with that or anything.

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