Is it any wonder that I don’t play my piano often? There are so many obstacles in my way. First, the situation has to be just right. The children must be either out of the house or soundly asleep, and my husband must not be in the living room watching TV.

Then, to get the piano ready, I have to move the clutter that has accumulated on it. Grr! When my husband first started putting things on my piano, I told him to cut it out. But there’s nowhere else to put things, such as the remote control for the TV, so that Marshall can’t reach. That’s why my husband puts stuff there and why, though it makes me angry, I put up with it.

Next, I have to pull back or remove the cover. We keep the piano covered so that the cats can’t do any damage to it. We know they would eventually harm it. If they couldn’t scratch it, they’d find a way to get their puke into it.

Then I have to fetch the key to unlock the piano. Once Marshall learned how to open up the keyboard, I had to start locking it. Can’t you just imagine him stuffing Cheerios between the keys and pouring milk over them? I can! That’s why I lock it.

I also have to move the piano bench in from the kitchen. Marshall figured out that he could pull the bench from under the piano and use it to reach the stuff on top of the piano (and also to climb onto the piano—yikes!). So I had to start storing the bench in the kitchen, where he can’t get to it.

Last but not least, I have to be in the mood.

Geez! It practically requires a special planetary alignment for me to play!

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