Toddler groups are not my favourite pastime but I bit the bullet (and enlisted my mother) and took us along to a Music and Movement class at the local children’s centre. I was fully prepared to endure an ear assault of bells, maracas and plastic cups full of beans, but I was willing to suffer. The sacrifice of love for my firstborn was worth it. As long as she enjoyed herself.
She did not. She sat stony-faced, staring at the beaming, enthusiastic leaders as if they had a screw loose.
I felt bad for this poor team of workers who, let’s be honest, were doing a cracking job of staying upbeat and friendly in the face of such distain. To compensate for my daughter’s lack of zeal when it came to singing Row, Row, Row the Boat, I joined in and sang doubly loudly and passionately. This was a struggle as, bless their hearts, the leaders could not hold a tune.
Then we were to march and do actions and wiggle around. My daughter was dragged along in time to the songs. The objective of this part of the workshop was to make passers-by stop, watch and have a good laugh. I know this because we encountered a passer-by, who stopped, who watched, and who had a good laugh. Mission accomplished.
Watching my daughter turn her nose up at every activity could have been frustrating; after all, who did we even come here for?! However, my Mum and I saw the funny side and started to get the giggles. Such a shame for these very sincere children’s workers. One kid is giving them evils and two fully grown adults can’t control themselves and are laughing away at something which is instrumental in their child’s development. Mum whispers to me “you used to be like this. I never used to believe in karma” and sets me off again.
My favourite moment of the session was when the pompoms and ribbons came out. Maybe it was because they were sparkly, but my little magpie daughter picked one up and started to play. Fantastic! She’s showing interest! She’s getting involved! She is finally warming up. She is enjoying herself. The trip out was worth it. And then, three minutes later, the session finished.