Pre Exam Nerves by Proxy.
On Saturday, DD’s 1 and 2 will sit their piano exams. DD1 is sitting her Grade 3 and DD2 is sitting her Grade 1. The tension in our house is almost unbearable; everyone’s nerves are stretched and the slightest thing is setting them off.
We’ve kept the whole thing as low key as possible, but they have had to practice hard and spend a lot of time lately learning scales and doing aural tests. They know that they will fail if they do badly. Piano exams aren’t like written exams; if you get off to a bad start, you can’t rub it out and try again but simply have to forge ahead.
Both of them should pass. DD1, in particular, should do quite well as she is pretty good at staying calm under pressure, and as she’s done a couple of exams before so knows what to expect.
DD2 should pass, she’s very musical and has worked hard, but this is her first exam and there is always the danger that things could go terribly wrong in the exam room. And if they do, I’m not sure that she has the skills to pick herself up and carry on. But if she does get through the exam, then it will be a wonderful ‘I can’ experience for her.
As far as I’m concerned, Saturday lunchtime can’t come too soon. DD2 has been having trouble getting to sleep at night. DD1 keeps complaining she feels sick and has tummy pains. I am certain these symptoms will have all but disappeared by 11:10 on Saturday morning.
And as for me, I’m not sitting an exam this year but I feel as if I am. My stomach is churning right along with theirs. I’d much rather sit these exams myself than send my babies off to be judged by someone else, but I know it’s the right thing to do. I know we will have tears and cries of ‘I’m not doing it’ before the exam, and I’m hoping I can handle the situation well enough to keep everyone calm.
I have enough faith in both of them, that they can do this. But it’s so hard to relinquish the control and push them off on their own, isn’t it? The urge to say no, it’s too hard, you might fail, is overwhelming sometimes.
If they can just get themselves through their time slots on Saturday morning, without too many full on tantrums, then they have already passed the most important test as far as I’m concerned. Being able to give something your best shot, even when you are scared and nervous, is an important life lesson and I’m hoping it’s one that my children will benefit from.
By happy coincidence, our school is holding its Christmas Fair on Saturday afternoon, so I can whisk the girls to the fair after their exam. They will be able to run around with their friends, eat loads of junk and spend all their money on tatt.
And no one will think about piano or the impending results for the rest of the day.