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