- By trade I am a journalist with a background in current affairs, culture, health and fitness, travel and high profile interviews. I also own and run an outdoor fitness business aimed at people that hate gyms and bootcamps (www.spartanfitnesslondon.co.uk). Most importantly though, I am on Shared Parental Leave from May 31 to October 3. Everyday from 0730 to 1800 I will be in sole charge of a real and completely awesome baby girl.
Monday, 13 June 2016
DAY 13 - SING WHEN YOU'RE WINNING...
WITH football's European Championships having just kicked off I thought it would be an apt moment to discuss the importance of songs and chants in the lives of parents and babies. It may be just me, but I think many parents are in the same boat in that EVERYTHING you say eventually becomes a song. No baby book tells you to bring a tune to your words, but that's what happens. Your kitchen floor suddenly becomes the boards of Broadway as you warble about making breakfast.
Much like the football stadiums and streets in France, my house is very much a song-centric zone. I hasten to add that similarities between football fans and anything else that happens Chez A-Bomb end with songs/chants. The Fans aren't really setting a great example to anyone are they? Well done mate, you've spent 20 years growing your belly, you've taken your shirt off and you're hurling racial abuse at a people you've never met... all in the name of 'the beautiful game'. Congratulations on representing your country abroad. Anyway that's the end of that tangent. Back to songs.
Conversations with, and statements to the baby end up in some form of song, either a freshly penned tune or a re-hash of old work. From simply singing (to the tune of Oh My Darling Clementine) "Oh ma goodness oh ma goodness, she's a lovely little poo, doing plopsies on the mopsie, oh ma darlin' little girl" when she's woken up with a filled nappy to "One WEE! She's only done one wee / she's only done one wee" in they style of football's "one nil/ we beat the scum one nil".
Given that everything ends up in tuneful verse I find lyrics from yesteryear popping up at the forefront of my mind and getting an airing in the shape of baby songs. Not that they make sense or resemble anywhere near a good tune, but they're there.
One of the recent favourites, when needing a muslin cloth is "Mus-lin Mus-lin Mus-lin, we're Mus-lin like that... " to the tune of DJ Pied Piper and The Masters Of Ceremonies' "We're lovin' it like that".
Others in the repertoire are, following a bath and a need to rid The Lady of excess bubbles, "Shake, Shake, Shake, shake that booty"(courtesy of KC and the Sunshine Band; "Hey Dir-ty, buddy you've done a plopsie in your nappy, I said hey" (with thanks to Ol' Dirty Bastard); and, if we're practising sitting up without slumping forward like a drunk, I'll sing "Oh sit down, oh sit down, sit down next to me...". Hours of fun.
The fact is the munchbunch (plonker, you're just a munchbunch plonker) really responds to some animated singing, especially if I throw in a little jig for good measure. These little ditties are often the difference between a smiling lady and a whingy one.
If she starts to whine, with a faux cry, I'll belt out "Hey, what's that sound?, everybody look, what's going down" (courtesy of Stephen Stills/Buffalo Springfield). That usually puts an end to the whinge.
Then there are the songs that keep their words but have their style mixed up a bit.
For the all important sleep-inducing sessions singing plays a huge part in the proceedings. As you no doubt know, Twinkle Twinkle is the bedrock of my successful sleeping system, however I do tinker with the style... because I can.
This week I've been busting out Jazz Style.. Twi-nkle Twi-nkle littlestar... howa/ wonda... whachoo are/ Zibbidee pap pap zibbidee staaar. There is also the Ba Ba Black sheep rap and Amazing Grace sung in the style of Elvis, of which A-bomb is a big fan.
The crux of my point is that since having a baby my life has become a genuine musical and with the Euros on everywhere in the background, the football chants will permeate my song choices.
I'll steer clear of a few muggy terrace favourites but all others are in the mix. No talk of managers being paedos or sha*!in' wives with carvin' knives here, thanks. Nice lads, the football people.
In other news, today I turned out for the famous nomadic Squirrels Cricket Club (@SquirrelsCC), very much a beloved part of my extended family. The A-bomb didn't make the trip due to the forecast of wet weather and likelihood of a cancellation. Needless to say the weatherman was 100 per cent wrong and the sun shone down gloriously on our damp squib of a draw.
M'Lady was asleep when I returned home but I whispered "you could wait for a lifetime, to spend some time in the sun-sheeeeine" through the bars of her cot. Next time she will attend the Squirrels match, rain or shine.