If a house could have its own soundtrack, ours would be full of Five Little Monkeys, Wind The Bobbin Up and The Wheels On The Bus, interspersed with a few One Direction and Olly Murs hits.
My two year old has always loved music, from the newborn days when she’d stop and turn her head towards the direction of my (mostly awful) singing, to now, when she tends to do most of the singing herself.
As a baby, we did a singing session at a local church hall, involving lots of plastic instruments and bells. Then, at around 9 months, we switched to a different club that didn’t clash with sleep patterns, and we’ve been going there ever since. But, due to changes in lifestyle and childcare patterns, this Thursday will be Frog’s last ever session at that group.
On the one hand, it makes me sad. It’s a bit like the end of an era. The familiar faces of other mums at the group and the little Thursday afternoon routine that we’ve stuck to over the past year will be no more. The classes are in a local gym and I’ve become used to lifting my ever-growing tot up to the window, to watch the serene swimmers doing lengths in the pool and the polished professionals lounging in the jacuzzi. It’s a rhythm of our life that I’ve taken for granted but, as with all things child related, it has suddenly stopped and we’re now moving to a new beat.
Without the weekly singing sessions, my karaoke queen will have to be content with the regular dance and song classes run at her nursery. She’ll have to amuse herself with constant YouTube videos of her favourite rhymes. I have no doubt the evening family meal will continue to be punctuated by bursts of Old MacDonald Had A Farm and Row Row Row Your Boat. She’s nothing if not predictable.
There’s a certain infectious vitality in toddler song. When my tot is really belting it out, she’s lost in music, deep in a world of high notes and comforting stories. She sits back and closes her eyes, moving her arms as if conducting her own imaginary orchestra. The complete lack of self-consciousness is infectious. She could be in the middle of a busy supermarket or alone in her bedroom and her behaviour would be the same.
As loud and repetitive and often comical as her singing is, it marks the soundtrack of our lives: joyful and full of gusto. And for that reason, I never want her singing to stop.
(Just remind me of that next time she serenades me with a Justin Bieber track.)