I took Wills to a music group last week. We went to a trial session. The session was a pretty uncomfortable experience for me. Wills seemed to enjoy it.
Which is the main thing.
For starters, the session is held in a church hall. There is parking, but the spaces are narrow. So my first test was trying to shoe-horn myself and Wills out of the car, without damaging the car next to us. (No mean feat, my arse is considerably wider these days.)
We made our way to the hall, the flow of mummies and daddies alerted me to the right room. This is where we met ‘Beryl’ (not her actual name, but it’s fun to say) Beryl is the group leader and has worked with children for over fourteen years. She is one of those people who is so used to communicating with children that she has forgotten how to communicate with adults. Not that there is anything wrong with that. If you think of a typical children’s TV presenter, you have Beryl. Although I get the feeling Beryl is slightly hard of hearing. I have an unfortunate nervous thing whereby if I meet a new person and they say ‘pardon’ or ‘sorry I can’t hear you’ I repeat myself only more quietly than the first time I said it. So that was fun. Anyway Beryl said something about a name badge and disappeared.
That’s when I noticed Wills was missing a shoe. I had a quick look outside and couldn’t find it so I removed the other one and headed to the name badge table. I saw a sticker for Wills but no sticker for me. No biggie, there are blank stickers and a pen, I used my imitative and wrote my name down stuck it to me and put Will’s sticker on him. I then sat on the mat with the other parents and babies.
Oh wait, non of the babies are wearing stickers, the parents are. I hid Wills sticker under his bib. Beryl then decided to introduce the new members. This is when I learnt that the parents wear their babies names.
Oh balls. It was a little embarrassing explaining this one. I moved the hidden sticker and stuck it on my boob with the over one, slightly red faced. All the parents were looking at me and I felt like a moron as it was explained that ‘we wear our babies names’. Honestly I really should remember to bring my crystal ball out with me.
My initial faux pas over, we sang ‘hello’ to everyone. I sound very much like a dying moose when I sing and I didn’t know the words so I just made shapes with my mouth and looked down at Wills a lot. He was pretty bemused at this point. Beryl was holding a rag doll called ‘Arabella’ (actual name) Arabella was facing the wrong way, to which Beryl exclaimed ‘Oooh Arabella you’re facing the wrong way! Nobody told me you were facing the wrong way.’ There was a ripple of laughter.
I didn’t laugh. I did wonder how unpopular I’d make myself if I pointed out that Arabella was just a doll with a pretentious name.
Anyway, we shook pompoms (Wills enjoyed this), line danced (Wills did not enjoy this) played instruments. (Beryl pointed out I was playing a tambourine ‘wrong’, to be clear it didn’t look like a tambourine and with my primary teacher head on I’d have got points for experimenting with sounds. Suitably chastised I continued to tap the rhythm on Wills as he smacked me with a beater. And tired to put it in his mouth. Despite Beryl telling me to let him do what he wants with it I wasn’t letting him stick it in his mouth because I had no idea how many other babies had chewed it previously. We made a big noise, and I decided this would be THE WORST thing to do with a hangover.
So I felt uncomfortable the whole time. It’s the over enthusiasm of all involved, are they like this at home or is it for show? The subtle competition for parent of the year, the parent boasting about how their child is already creating rhythms/orchestral masterpieces/new instruments. The parent that continually refers to the huge number of classes and baby groups she/he goes to. That’s great I’m pleased for you, I love that you are proud of your little one. Mine synchronised poops with his cousin and made both the back of my car and the entire downstairs of my house a no go zone. Not something to boast about but I’m a firm believer in keeping in real. There is a real danger in pretending everything is perfect, you’re not a bad parent for admitting you’ve struggled, or got frustrated or sat down all day watching telly.
Wills was slightly bewildered by the whole experience, but seemed to enjoy it so I’ve coughed up the forty quid needed for us to return, and told hubs he’s coming to the next one. (So we can both feel like knobs).
In other news:
Captain has been very poorly this week, Wednesday I was told to prepare for the worst, daily trips to the vets and nearly one thousand pounds later he’s on the mend.
Weaning continues with Wills polishing of tuna fish cakes this weekend. (And the cats hovering up the bits he threw on the floor, they are beginning to see some pros to the bald kitten)
Wills new thing is chewing the curtains.