Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Dogs howled across the valley ...

After the 4 year olds terrible TV induced mood swings last night I vetoed tele-visual stimulus this evening.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Who was I punishing?

Instead the 3 and 4 year old fought like cat and dog whilst I prepared tomorrows packed lunch, washed up and made dinner.

I called time on the fighting and after a game of ‘I’m going to chase you and bite yer bum’ we ended up lying on my bed in a heap. Debris from the 3 year olds early morning alarm call was strewn across the bedroom floor; a drum, bells and a maraca.

Like a scene from a hippy dippy commune we each picked up an instrument and started jamming. We sang ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ and ten rounds of ‘She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain When She Comes’.

It must have sounded like a one man band being hit by an articulated lorry.

Dogs howled across the valley and cats keeled over.

When we’d finished I sat looking at the 3 year old who was working out how much brute force would make the drumstick go through the drum and wondered …

When did it suddenly become normal to sing like a fool in front of people?

OK, these are my children and therefore on a scale of 1 to 10 not embarrassing at all, but I can think of more than a handful of times that I have burst into song and shaken a child sized instrument in public, in front of other adults, in the last year alone.

Then I had a flashback …..

I recall distinctly sitting in my friend’s living room with my five antenatal buddies as we clutched our newborn babies to our bosom, ate cake and glugged Diet Coke (multi-tasking).

One of the group recounted a story which filled me with horror. The week before she visited a friend who had young children, more friends arrived and before she knew it they were all sat round in a circle singing ‘Wind The Bobbin Up’ … with actions.

Mortified she fled the scene before she was asked to join in.

There was a sharp intake of breath from all, except teacher friend mother of three who is also a brownie leader and thinks nothing of singing Kumbya My Lord to order.

I remember laughing as we said we’d never do that. Oh no, not us … NEVER. This was a time when I would rather blow dry my hair whilst sat in the bath than speak up in a group of people I didn’t know, let alone burst into a spontaneous verse of ‘Dingle Dangle Scarecrow’ in the supermarket queue.

My baptism of fire was when I joined ‘Sing & Sign’ with my 6 month old baby. The hint was in the group title and I should have avoided it at all cost. Desperate to get out of the house and hoping my child would become a prodigy and start quoting Shakespeare to her peers through sign language I went along.

Within five minutes I was sat cross legged on the carpet with a group of eight mothers and one father chanting a song about visiting a farm and seeing a cow.

The sign for cow is this;

… Which I like to call the ‘double knob head’.

It took three weeks of childish sniggering before I lost all inhibitions.

Now 4 years on I think nothing of bursting into song anytime, anyplace, anywhere.

I’ve just ordered a copy of The Sound of Music.

Soon I will progress from singing with actions and instruments to spinning like Julie Andrews in the local park singing ‘the hills are alive with the sound of music'.

My children will look on from afar before taking themselves off to the local adoption agency.

Picture courtesy of britishsignlanguage.com


Nicola said...

Oh Laura that is so hysterical! Just today I took the boys to the park after school and without realising started singing 'the ants go marching...' complete with rude lyrics that we had been giggling over in the car before arriving. The boys were nowhere in sight. However, lots of other mums, dads and kids were clearly within earshot and were giving me an exceptionally wide berth. But did I give a monkeys? Nope. Immune to all that now. Which should stand me in good stead for my first ever karaoke night on Thurs. I'll keep you 'posted'. x

Tawny said...

See I am a Guide Leader. So I can belt out songs to order too. Try taking 20 guides swimming and having them all stood on the side of the pool singing if you want embarrassing, nothing to do with me by the way, they decided to 'entertain' me. However, I used to dance round the kitchen with wooden spoons and a colander on my head, anything to keep K amused when she was tiny.

Robert said...

in find that bursting into song in the car is VERY successful. Keepos kids amused for up to an hour. Only prob - I get hoarse...

Kylie w Warszawie said...

When I was a kid I would sing at the top of my lungs in my garden. Once a kid riding a bike actually stopped and applauded when I was finished singing the song.

But I can not sing in public when I'm actually supposed to. Like I cannot do karaoke, was never in choir - except a church choir, and any other place.

Although, I do love to sing Rock Band.

CK Lunchbox said...

Guys do this all the time as soon as a good tune comes on the radio or we hear it at a bar. Then we play it off like nothing happened. At least singing with the kids has some meaning. My boys have no inclinations of appreciation for even humming a tune unless forced to do so at church. My girls are another story and frequently as me to join in. The only problem is, I don't know the words to "My Humps." Worse, I have no idea where they even hear songs like this?

Laura - Are We Nearly There Yet Mummy? said...

Nicola - Look forward to hearing about karaoke! I don't think I could do it myself.

Tawny - You GUide LEaders have no shame, I bet you know all the words to Ging Gang Gooly

Robert - I often forget that I have no children in the car and still listen and sing along to their CDs

Kylie - Clearly you are a natural!

CK - At weddings my husband mouths the words to hymns. As for My Humps - get on down with this ... http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/blackeyedpeas/myhumps.html

Mary T said...

This is excellent news as I am planning to spend my birthday night out at the Karaoke bar in town.

mothership said...

I was a professional singer for many years and have embarrassed myself in public so many times that making an arse of myself in front of the kids is small change compared to some of my previous debacles.
The really galling thing is that Four frequently tells me to shush because she wants to sing by herself/hear the 'proper' singers on the radio/would prefer it if I was just a bit quieter...

The Sexy Pedestrian said...

They should market that 'Wind the Bobbin Up' thing as a contraceptive. Holy crap!

Shiny said...

Ooo, yes, The Sound of Music! There's nothing like "High on a hill was a lonely goatherd..." at top volume. Especially the yodelly bits x

Expat mum said...

When my oldest two were little, I also decided against TV or even relaxing videos before bed time, as it really does wind them up. Instead, we used to play the latest pop songs and lyp sinch to them. We even had shiny blow up electric guitars and sunglasses, and would rehearse numbers like Santana's "Smooth". It was great fun. Not sure it calmed them down tho'.

Reluctant Housewife said...

I love to sing. I can't listen to music in public on earphones because I can't stop myself from singing along. It's a burden, it truly is :).

MGM said...

Seems like I've been there a time or two myself. Silly what kids will bring out in a person, isn't it?

Coding Mamma (Tasha) said...

I love singing with R and have done since she was born. I am pretty much, completely tone deaf. Sound perfect to me, but am assured by hubby that it is not, even remotely, in tune. But R doesn't mind. And she knows loads of songs off by heart now - and amazingly is mostly in tune, so it does no harm.