Dear Australian Idol, we’re working on it

Posted on July 22, 2010

There are a few statements destined to strike fear into any parent’s heart.

“I’m pregnant and dropping out in year 8.”

“I’m taking up base jumping.”

“I’m [insert your own worst fear right here].”

Given that my guys are so young, our statements of intent are not quite to that standard yet. Which is not to say that we don’t have our moments. The six months or so when Mr6 (then three) fell in love with Sam Moran, the then-new yellow Wiggle, and wanted to wear only yellow shirts and be addressed as Sam were trying.

“I am Sam,” is not as cute outside a Dr Seuss book.

Our current phase, what I like to call the Concert Phase, is proving to be more so. There is something about the statement “We’re going to do a concert for you tonight” that makes me thrilled and appalled, all at the same time.

I do love it – the earnest performance, the desire to be with us and make us happy, the fact that they want our approval. But at the same time…

A concert, I need to point out, involves Mr6 banging on a selection of makeshift drums for what seems like, oh, hours, while Mr3 blows on the ear-shattering whistle that keeps finding its way back into the house no matter how many times I lose it. All the while, The Builder and I sit with what we hope are expressions of parental love and pride. Inwardly, I’m wishing I could hide in a cupboard. He is no doubt made of stronger stuff.

Then again, we found ourselves having a whispered conversation in the linen press tonight. A concert had been announced. Whereupon The Builder decided to take himself off to the shower.

“You can’t abandon me,” I hissed over a pile of sheets.

“You’ll be fine,” he mouthed back, patting my hand. “I’ll be with you in spirit.”

My parents will read this and know that Karma is real.

They will remember the thousands of hours of ‘concerts’ they sat through in the living room, watching us sing and dance like the worst Idol contestants ever.

They might recall the epic concert performed in the neighbour’s garage to the entire ‘You Can’t Stop The Music’ soundtrack – and the coin donation they had to pay for the privilege.

My Dad will no doubt be able to bring to mind the thousands of hours of actual ballet concerts he endured. To the point where he perfected what is generally known in the family as his ‘Concert Face’. It’s an outward expression of polite interest, but you know that, behind it, the man is sleeping.

All I can hope is that the guitar lessons kick in soon and Mr6 at least will begin serenading us with something vaguely musical. Until then, I’ll be the one working on my Concert Face.


  1. Emma M

    Ha ha, too funny!
    And good advice from the mums who apply concert rules – I will have to remember that!

  2. SaveMumSanity

    I’ve got the concerts still to look forward to and I think I’m in real trouble if the boy takes after me.

    I distinctly remember my bff and I sitting my mother down as we sung and danced the entire Sister Act 2 soundtrack.

    I think she had to make up and excuse and bail midway through.

  3. Cate

    My girls like to put on ‘plays’ for us. I have a couple of rules though; 1. it has to have a point (you know, a storyline even?? begining, middle AND end)
    2. it has to be under 2 minutes
    3. Monkey gets to do *something* other than be a tree, ugly step sister or adoring fan
    4. Monkey gets to say at least ONE line
    But there is hope – the last show they did for us was actually really good – they had even written a script. AND rehersed it!
    I hope the shows in your house have improved too 🙂

  4. Lucy

    Kids “Can we do a show?”
    Me: “Yes, just as long as I don’t have to watch it”
    Kids: “Why don’t you ever want to watch our shows, Mum?”
    Lovely Husband “Because your mother is too polite to tell you that jumping up and down on the bed screeching is not actually a show. It is not fun to watch. Not fun at all”


    Kids: “Daaaaad. You are teasing us…”

    Errrrm, no. He is deadly serious kids….

  5. therhythmmethod

    How are the guitar lessons coming along? Or are we still in concert face mode?
    Funny post.

  6. •´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´•

    Oh the joys. I remember organising plays & concerts with my siblings & cousins.

    With #1 we rarely got concerts only a little solo on drums.

    #2 & #3 only want to show us what they have built with Duplo – no concerts yet …

    I visited a friend with 3 daughters 4,5,8 – 2 weeks ago and had to sit through a soft toy fashion parade *yawn*.

    My friend has the patience of a saint and regularly has to stop what she is doing to watch her girls dance/parade or whatever – 20-30 mins at a time.

    I just know wouldn’t be so patience.Thank God for boys. I didn’t say that did I.

  7. bigwords is...

    Aaaahhh concerts. My husband got up at the interval of Fame and said: “Thank f*&% that’s over”. He quickly downed two beers to get through the second half. And that was a professional production!

    Imagine how drunk we’ll be to get numerous kids concerts!! Great post xx

  8. Jodie at Mummy Mayhem

    My niece, nephew (both near my age) and I would put on concerts for my parents. But I remember one time we’d rehearsed and rehearsed and at the last minute, I pulled out. Can’t even remember why I did – I just did.

    Funnily enough, it was me who went on to enjoy performing at school, so…maybe I was making up for that! 😉

  9. Rhi@FlourChild

    We’re not quite at the concert stage here yet (3yrs & 1yr), but we are constantly being told to “clap” at the end of any song Miss 3 sings, so I’m sure I will be needing to work on a concert face pretty soon. Thanks for the heads up, I loved this post 🙂

  10. Naomi

    I have to say I have seen more than my fair share of concerts and have become very good at coming up with excuses for not seeing them again. I mean seriously, how many renditions of hot cross buns on the piano does a mother have to see before she goes insane!

    thanks for the laugh!
    N x

  11. Louisa

    Thanks for the laugh, you gave me a glimpse of my future! Today I danced around the living room with Bliss who instructed me on how to do it “properly”. Oh dear me… 🙂

  12. Melanie Waugh

    That is so funny I laughed out loud, you’re a great writer 🙂

  13. Stacia

    We put on concerts to Madonna … Papa Don’t Preach, Like a Virgin … How my parents masted the Concert Face and the Holy [Expletive], Do They Know What These Songs Mean?? Face is still a mystery.

  14. Glen

    I do not like Green Eggs & Ham!

  15. Lori @ RRSAHM

    Hehe. Believe it or not, I vividly remember doing magic shows for my mum as a kid. And grew up to be a clown. Ta da!! 😉

  16. Thea

    Awwww, my kids don’t do concerts.
    I don’t know whether to be sad or glad about that! 🙂

  17. Nic@OurParkLife

    Having you been sitting in my lounge room? My boys put on the exact same concerts! Except they sing Johhny Cash songs….Won’t back down and Ring of Fire are favourites at the moment!

    Nic x

  18. MultipleMum

    That concert with the Family W really was EPIC. Poor Mum and Dad.

    Nugget and Dew Drop have a nightly ‘breakdancing’ performance. I love it though ’cause it is hysterical. Where do they learn that stuff?

  19. Maria Tedeschi

    My 7 year old is learning drums. We bought an electric drum kit complete with headphones. Bliss.

    Love 7 stuff
    Mrs M

  20. Cinda

    Lol the “Concert Face”. My dad was very much in tune with his concert face and added the concert symphony (ZZzzz) as an encore.

  21. Maxabella

    You’re saying the rentals didn’t like our concerts?!?!?!?!

  22. Rachael (Tales from the Village)

    Oh god. We have at least one show a week. They’re interminable torture! Husband and I sit there with glazed looks on our faces, trying to look interested and not at our watches.

  23. allison tait

    @Motorbikes_Lady – a good reminder that I should be grateful that I get so many opportunities to practice the Concert Face. Keep working on her – she’ll be performing Glee-style musical numbers before you know it.

    @DeerBaby – would love to have seen your play. And the musical scores were a big hit in the Kingswood on long car trips as well.

    Thanks for sharing everyone. Glad to know there are thousands of One Night Only shows out there ever night.

  24. Motorbikes_Lady

    My oldest daughter when younger loved showing me what she learned in Jazz Ballett, but my step daughter doesn’t like doing concerts or showing anyone anything but thats more cause her mum is a loner. Although her father & me are trying our best to get her out of her shell

  25. Deer Baby

    Laughing at Tricia’s comment above. Might have been known to do that.

    My parents were so long suffering about it. I did a play once called Spick and Span. Still got the programme – I played all the parts. I didn’t put many shows on – it was the singing of scores from musicals they had to put up with on long car journeys.

    Wish we had a webcam so you could practice your Concert Face!

  26. Imperfectly Me

    Ah yes, we call it the “interested” face…it’s quite versatile too, can be used in a variety of situations that don’t always involve my children!! Our #2 split her chin open for the 2nd time (out of 3 in total) do a rendition of some song from High School Musical…a tad too enthusiastic!! You made me laugh Allison, good start to my friday morning…THANKS!

  27. Tricia Rose

    I remember one interminable concert in which our daughter played a tree. My husband had smuggled two little mixers of gin and tonic in brown paper bags – as we stealth-sipped I heard a groan from behind, “I wish I’d thought of that.”!

    When I was a child we really DID “put on a show in the barn”. Often. Glad to hear the tradition is alive and well in your household, and don’t forget, it’s your chance to recite too.

  28. Lucy

    Oh my, yet again we are leading parallel lives…today has been yet another day of Lexie’s “formances”. I may even have to do a post about the Gruffalo show….

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