No sing

Dot writes: I take Hugh to a toddler group at 10.30am on Tuesdays. It’s a mixed blessing: on the one hand he really enjoys the free play part (the first hour), and I get to talk to other mums and coo over Frank while Hugh whizzes about on a toy horse or bashes play-dough into oblivion, but on the other hand the trouble starts when the toys go away and it’s time for half an hour of singing. I’d put this down to a) Hugh hates stopping something he is enjoying (i.e. the free play); and b) he has been waking so early recently that by 11.30 he is exhausted and consequently cross. Today he slept through until almost 7am and I thought maybe he would take a more benevolent attitude towards Incy Wincy Spider and the rest. But no. He was reasonably good about putting the toys away, but when the singing began he started to whine. He wouldn’t stay on his chair. He didn’t want to sit on my lap instead. Then he made his opinion quite clear: “No sing, Mummy.” So we left.

I love singing and find this rather upsetting. I do hope I haven’t spawned a child who actively dislikes music. He used to enjoy the music session back in October, so I hope it is just a phase. But it may be more personal. It is a just judgement on me for all the times I used to tell my own poor mother, “Mummy, DON’T SING.”

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13 thoughts on “No sing

    1. Dot

      Yes, though not as much as you’d think given how fond of music I am. Hugh likes watching The Wiggles, sometimes enjoys dancing to music, and at one point seemed to like the music session at the toddler group (though he always got a bit restless part way through). But he hates the hymn singing at church and always wants me to stop and read him a story or something instead. I do have a bad feeling that he dislikes my singing.

  1. Maybe he doesn’t like the sitting still bit. My daughter loves to sing, but she hates having to sit in a chair or on my lap and has been seen to fetch her coat and head for the door. We’ve had to abandon various music based activities, and she gets regularly criticised by nursery rhyme session staff for running about rather than sitting. We both ignore the criticism. I have a (very active) toddler not a student and it’s about her enjoying it not the staff.

    1. Dot

      You’re right this is probably a factor. You’re also right that it should be about him having fun. He’s only two and there’s time enough to get better at sitting still. I think he sticks with it a bit longer if he has something to shake or bash along to the music – does that work with Cubling?

  2. Amelia is the same – at both the library and playgroup she will be the child standing in the middle of the circle of children and parents dancing, bouncing and whooping like a mad thing.

    Part of me wants to be swallowed up by the floor as I have no idea who any of the other people are and they probably consider her to be an uncontrollable wanton miss right out of a Heyer novel, another part of me is pleased at how unconcerned she is and how happy she is to bounce and jiggle.

    1. kenanddot

      Yes, but with Hugh it’s more turning the chairs over (I’m not exaggerating here). Amelia’s behaviour at least constitutes a sign of enjoyment…in fact if I were you I’d be rather proud of her (and I’m sure you are).

      I think a lot of us spend much of our time thinking “Why does it have to be MY child?” And, presumably, we get our turn to think this and other people get theirs.

  3. Power. Every other things Clem says is “No Daddy sing” or “No Daddy doo doo” if I’m singing non-words. And “No Mama lie, no Mama pillow!” in the morning when he wants us out of bed. He’s asserting himself and his wants. It’s most likely nothing more than self-assertion with Hugh. He wants to be in control. Clem loves singing sometimes, so then it’s “More tinkle tar!” for us to sing twinkle twinkle little star again and again and again.

  4. Meri

    I don’t suppose you’ve considered that he may just object to ‘incy wincy spider’ etc? He always seemed to calm down when Bob the Builder music came on or the Musketeer tunes.

  5. Helen Conrad-O'Briain

    Having been a notorious ‘runs with scissors’ myself, I can safely assert there is still hope that all these children will still become extremely sedentary academics.
    God help them.

  6. kenanddot

    It occurs to me that some time ago he made it clear he didn’t want me to sing him lullabies any more. Let’s face it, he doesn’t like my singing…

  7. katimum

    Perhaps he is secretly one of those beastly people who can hear the difference between e sharp and f flat!

    I remember him making little humming sounds quite early on, so I suspect it is the sitting still and singing on command aspect which is causing the rebellion.

  8. Clem also loves telling Becky what to do and not to do, even more than he does with me. I think it’s how he’s trying to draw a line between them. He’s so connected to her and dependent on her that he pointedly pushes her away in various scenarios in order to establish himself as a person in his own right. I still think no sing is all about power. Clem likes controlling the sonic atmosphere and our singing violates his sovereignty.

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