Friday, 12 September 2008

Teddy tunes

The toddler term is in full swing. Today was the first session at a local ‘musical tots’ activity, in which toddlers beat the living daylights out of a variety of musical instruments (and occasionally, each other) while their parents desperately try to synchronise the words and actions of a range of different children’s songs. Being the only man there does have some advantages – as I think I might have said before! But being the only voice singing down the octave makes me feel strangely self-conscious. Now, I’m not afraid of singing on my own: I’ve got quite a decent voice, and I’m even paid to sing from time to time. Over the years, I’ve built up a solo repertoire extending from the Mozart Requiem to Gilbert and Sullivan (with all the usual suspects in-between) – a list to which I can now add such musical delights as ‘Zip, zip, zip (goes the zipper)’, ‘Tickle Bird’ and – a late oeuvre from the composer, this one – ‘Wind the bobbin up (tap, tap, tap)’. I’m not afraid of making a fool of myself, either. (Coming in on the end of a conversation with the other mums, I almost found myself signed up for next Wednesday’s breast feeding class! They said that I'd be very welcome.) But there’s something strangely inhibiting about rumbling along below the sweet soprano voices. I’ll get over it in time, no doubt. But it surprises me I feel that way. Fortunately, Charlie has no such hang ups, joining in with so much gusto that at one stage he disappeared head-first into the musical instrument box. Like a slow-motion sequence, or one of those dreams when you’re running fast but getting nowhere, I could see it happening in front of me but couldn’t get to him in time. However, when I plucked him from amid the tambourines and drums and rattles, I swear that he was wailing in the same key we were singing. That’s my boy!


  1. Oh you poor man. Life is so terrible for you. I can only imagine the trauma you’re suffering.

    How’s your diary looking for Wednesday? :-)

  2. Wind the bobbin up - oh don't remind me, I thought that phase of my life well and truly over!!! - I am going to be humming it all day. Does your version wind it back again though??? I had been leaving mine unwound for 8 months before I was corrected by another mum at toddler group.

    Thankfully, no toddler groups within a hundred miles of us here. Squeak does not know what a bobbin is, let alone how to wind one.

  3. Yeah. Funny that. What an incredible coincidence!

  4. Breast feeding?!! :0

    I used to go to the singing toddler thing, sort of miss it now.

  5. Oh you've bought back memories of when my boys were younger!

    *wind the bobbin up wind the bobbin up..pull pull..clap clap clap. wind it back again wind it back again.. pull pull clap clap clap. Point to the ceiling point to the floor, point to the window point to the door...*

    I won't go on with that anymore, but thanks for putting that song in my head! (Sarcastic thanks!)

    I actually used to run one of these groups for my sins!

    The favorites were Jelly on a plate, row your boat (actions of course) and hop little bunny!

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  6. Try singing in falsetto, Mr D. It has a strange and enchanting effect on both women and animals (though your son may never forgive you).

  7. All part of the service (for those of you on memory lane). I'll be expanding the repertoire in due course, naturally! As for singing falsetto, Gadj, I'd have to invest in very much tighter trousers - and you're right, Charlie would never forgive me.

  8. The Bobbin song was made up by impoverished children forced to work in mills in England in the old days. Even before Tom Jones was born!

    As for the breast feeding class, I used to take Sam to something called something like "Baby Cafe" once a week, where dozens of young, foxy mums would sit around with their boobs out, allegedly feeding their babies but really just doing it to please me. Probably.

  9. LOL, the breastfeeding moms... so very inviting. :)
    I love Mozart's requiem by the way.

  10. Maybe not the way I sing it, freckles! (Only kidding, I think.) That sounds pretty awesome, Simon. I'm reminded of your last-but-one post, strangely!

  11. Oh that sounds like great fun, for both of you. I well remember those toddler mom and tot musical classes....we enjoyed them.... (in your case, dad and tot!

    Whoa...draw the line at breastfeeding ! ha ha ha

  12. I have particularly fond memories of Alice the Camel !

    You should check out The Singing Kettle, my children adored it beyond reason

  13. I think a discreet line has indeed been drawn, Lavinina. And I'd forgotten Alice the Camel, Gwen - thanks (I think) for the reminder!


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