Thank you for the music

22 Jul

Music is and always has been very important to me. In my ‘Baby Book’ mam wrote, “Enjoys listening to daddy playing his guitar”! I loved singing at primary school, soon got the recorder bug and was promoted to ‘treble’, then clarinet. I was in band at school and 6 form; took part in all the musicals – even got a part now and then! Loved being in choir – from Simon & Garfunkel to Mozart’s Requiem. As an adult I taught myself guitar; toyed with a mandolin; started clarinet lessons again 18 months ago [on hold at mo] and even started playing the cello!

When I was a kid, being involved in music stuff was an escape for me…it still works like that now. An hour or so of tootling completely chills me out. I love that it also exercises a different part of my brain and weird things happen! By weird I mean, you can play a tricky piece again and again and just not get anywhere. You keep getting the rhythm wrong, the notes wrong, it just doesn’t work. But you pick up your instrument 24 hours later and miraqculously it all comes together! The brain must surely be doing something!

Anyway, I want to offer Squidger as many musical opportunities as I can. She sings along to the radio in the back of the car, dances along to the tunes. My sis has a piano and when we were up visiting last week Squidge had her first experience of tinkling the ivories! I thought she was pretty good!! She used both hands, all her fingers and was trying to reach for the pedals! Sounded quite tuneful too! There was even some singing accompanying the playing! At home, my guitar and a borrowed keyboard are in the living room – she strums the guitar every now and then asks for the keyboard to be set up for her. We sing nursery rhymes and dance along to the 80s on The Vault!

Today we ventured out in the pouring rain [there was a flood warning later in the day!] to attend our first ‘group’…Tuneful Tots, a wee singing group for toddlers and their mums, carers, child minders et al.

Must admit to feeling a bit apprehensive about going…everyone would already know each other…I’ve only been a mummy for 4 weeks. But I got a grip and headed into the church hall. The leader, Lisa, runs several groups in the morning – one was already in, we were on at 10.15. In the meantime another mum told me how things work and we went into the waiting/play room. Lots of toys and a big hall to run around in – hurrah!

A few minutes later we were on our way into a little room. There were about seven of us, plus children and Lisa, all sitting on the floor in a circle [children slowly drifted to the middle]. Squidger sat very close to me for the first ten minutes just taking it all in. Tho I knew she knew some of the songs we were singing she was too busy watching everybody else and checking things out. Then, with the arrival of a puppet horse [this will please Aunty Dawn who hopes Lily will be the next Pippa Funnell], she suddenly jumped up to join the other children in the middle of the room and took part in the singing of ‘She’ll be comin round the mountain’ with incredible gusto!!

Indeed, Squidge ended up being the most animated of all the children! She jumped, she clapped, she shook her maracas! She spotted the piano in the corner [lid down] and attempted to play it! It was lovely!! She even started to sing along and at the end of each tune took the lead role in tidying things away! [She loves to tidy things away! See pic below]

All too soon our half hour was up. Squidge said thank you to Lisa and we went to get a cup of juice, a biscuit and enjoy further play in the hall.

The mums kind of broke off into three groups of twos. I plonked my chair in the middle feeling a little bit conspicuous, but soon got talking to one of the mums. I told her Squidge and mine’s situation [I am so conscious people will be thinking I’m not a good mum cos I’m not quite doing things right, I want them to know I’ve only been doing it a month!! I know other adoptive mums want to keep it to themselves…not me I’m afraid.] Anyway, turns out this mum was adopted when she was a baby! Was really interesting talking with her. She said her mum was only 16 when she became pregnant and we talked about the kind of families who put children up for adoption 30-40 years ago compared to the birth family situations of the 21st century. She has been considering finding her birth mum now she has children of her own but feels a bit guilty…her adoptive mum told her she doesn’t want her to do that until she’s gone. We talked about the fact that that’s a bit mean of her mum, a bit selfish. What if adoptive mum lives to 100?! I hope when the time comes I can handle Squidger wanting to meet her birth family. I want to support her if that’s what she wants. I won’t make her wait til I’m ‘gone’!

Another mum joined in and it turned out that despite the fact they’ve been coming to the same group for a while, they didn’t know each other’s names! So with introductions done we continued chatting – it felt so nice to be having an adult conversation knowing Squidger was having fun and was free to run around with the other kids. I was told I looked a natural and they wouldn’t have guessed Squidge and I have only been a family for such a short time – a nice confidence boost!

Well before we knew it two hours had passed by! I scooped Squidge up and we ran with another mum to the car park as we were pelted with rain!! I would hazard a guess that it was at round about this point that the flood warning was given. Seriously heavy rainfall! It prompted a rousing and rather repetitive rendition of ‘It’s raining, it’s pouring’ for the fifteen minute journey!!

We both had a great time for different reasons! I’ve signed us up for the summer and am looking forward to Squidge getting stuck in. I may get the clarinet out this weekend to see what Squidge makes of it. I quite fancy a bit of a tootle too! Not done anything since May when I found out Squidge was going to be coming home. Let’s see what she makes of jazz!!

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3 Responses to “Thank you for the music”

  1. Yvonne Johnston July 22, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    I hope she continues with this as it will enrich her life. BTW, have you caught the Jackie Kay Book of the Week this week – amusing and informative about being brought up as an adopted child.

  2. Dawn July 22, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    Awww I do love this picture!

    I’m glad she’s going to be a musical genius!

  3. mossop July 23, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    Sounds fab! I love taking my son to these groups and he’s definitely a little musician in the making (he’ll be 1 next week and he loves his daddy playing the guitar and is very curious about my *badly played* violin!) and loves dancing to any kind of music. Squidge sounds like such a lovely child, and it really sounds like she’s lighting up your life in so many ways, it’s lovely to read! x

    p.s. great photo, brought a wee tear to my eye!

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