Monday, 26 November 2012

Singing for the reluctant mother - A review of Tippee Toes

Having a baby is all about getting over hurdles and one of mine was singing baby songs in public. I just could not envision myself at a mother and baby group singing about stars and bobbins.

However, seeing the Boy’s glee as his father and I sang to him (largely, for some reason Kenny Rogers’ ‘The Gambler’), I realised that not going to such groups probably meant I was denying him something he would love.

So I bit the bullet and reluctantly went to a Tippee Toes class at The Dish and Spoon cafe in Nunhead.

And actually, it was fun. The class started with a welcome song aimed at each baby in the group and the Boy seemed astonished and thrilled as everyone sang his name to him. A variety of baby songs were sung, with movements and props, including the monkey who comes round for a hug, and maracas, which went straight in the mouth, of course. And Boy was open-mouthed and wide-eyed with excitement and pleasure all the way through. The leader of the class was welcoming, enthusiastic but not overbearing and it was clear that older baby-regulars adored her.

It was lovely for me too. I was initially cynical about how much babies gain from their mothers sitting around singing and jiggling them about but actually, I think there is a lot to gain, and not only for the babies. Singing songs that you remember from when you were small yourself gives you a sort of connection to your past and to your own mother, and, I felt at least, it also made me feel more secure in my own position as a mother. There is something reassuring in the idea that you are repeating the words and songs and actions that countless other mothers have before you. Somehow it gave me the sense that I was part of a longer tradition, and that was a good enough feeling to over-ride my default sense of embarrassment.

Tippee Toes runs classes around South East London. Check for locations on:

The class I attended was at the Dish and the Spoon in Nunhead:

Transport: 484, 363, and 343.


Want to know more about
singing sessions in the Lambeth area and beyond? Read the following:

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