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To think that a woman at MT should not try and impose her "parenting" on the rest of us.

29 replies

lucyellensmum · 16/11/2007 16:18

OK - so, i go to a lovely M&T group on a friday, and while the lovely old dears who organise it tidy some of the toys away and prepare drinks and biscuits (and cups of tea for mums) for the children, the mums (and dads and grandparents etc) have a little informal singing session with the children, just to distract them really and they enjoy it. So, twice while i have been there, a grandparent brings her GD (i dont have issue with this, she just happens to be a GP) and she thinks that we should sing each song twice because that way the children "learn" it better and know what is being sung (all under three!) the second time around. So, again she points it out to the lady who takes the lead with the singing, first time we repeat it, only a short song, then we do "wheels on the bus" so this is quite long and repetitive, not only does she insist on sining stuff like "the ticket collecter on the bus says fares please" quite a mouthful! we get to the end and she says to the lady, when we decide to sing a different song, um, and again!! in a rather bossy head teachery tone. I sat quietly seething but a rather forthright woman (who i am quite scared of actually) said, oh for gods sake, cant we just have another quick song.

I mean, she should wind her neck in, she doesnt come to the group regularly, it is hardly a teaching exercise, just something we do to keep the kids occupied while some of the toys are spirited away. Bossy baggage - i just sat there thinking, thank the lord she is not my MIL!!!

OP posts:

MrsSlocomb · 16/11/2007 16:21

I'm a tad confused, which of the 2 women are you annoyed with?


SecondhandRose · 16/11/2007 16:23

Being a bit old fashioned I think it is quite sweet. My friend who is a TA says very few of the children actually know the nursery rhymes.


lucyellensmum · 16/11/2007 16:35

was pissed off with the granny. It just made everyone feel uncomfortable.

This is a group of very young children, all under three, mostly either coming up for two, or two years and a bit. So hardly the time for learning nursery rhymes by rote. The singing session is more about just having a cuddle and a song and a laugh with our children.

I go to a more formal baby music group and yes, we do tend to repeat the songs actually now i think about it, but they tend to be very very short songs, anything longer like wheels on the bus and old macdonald has enough repetition in it. Anyway, im probably being unreasonable as im not that bothered if im honest, and i got talking to the "granny" a very middle class, just so, lady who turns out to be very nice.

As for the scary lady, i wasnt annoyed with her, i was just relieved i didnt have to sing the wheels on the bus over and over again ad nauseum. But really, its not a big deal. In fact, im not sure it was worth the finger exercise typing the post

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bozza · 16/11/2007 16:38

I think singing the shorter ones through twice is OK. But wheels on the bus (which has repetitive lines within repetitive verses) is bonkers.


Swedes2Turnips1 · 16/11/2007 16:43

I am confused too. I think children learn most things by constant repetition.


lucyellensmum · 16/11/2007 16:45

yes, thats it, it sort of hit the nerve that i guess many MIL and mothers hit when commenting on our parenting. I get very defensive about it, like, how dare you criticise what i do etc etc.

My MIL always comments when DP has changed DD's nappy, "oh, when my children were young, if they were alone with FIL then they would have to wait until i got home before i changed a nappy, that was a woman's job back then" FFS - on what planet?? My father always changed my nappies and DD1's nappies too and he is (was) the same age as my ILs. I am lucky i dont live too close to my ILs for them to visit, i am quite a laid back parent but there are things i dont want for DD and tea in a bottle is one of them, that seems to puzzle both my ILs and my mother. Oh, doesnt she have tea? No, why would she? Oh all mine liked tea, you should give her tea, its good for her (my mother, and MIL). Again, on what planet?? A lot of tea can interfere with iron absorbtion and they both would put "a little bit of sugar" in it Its madness, but of course its a generational thing. MIL gets really quite upset when i wont let DD have crisps etc, oh but surely she can have some quavers or wotsits, those are soft ! FFS, yes and they are full of SHIT!! i think DD will get by until she is older without them thankyou very much. Oh and the old picking things up off the floor and eating it, sitting where that cat has been sitting classic is enough to send my MIL apopleptic!! It would drive me mad if she lived close enough to be visiting all the time but as it is, i just think its really quite amusing.

Sorry, im just waffling with random thoughts today.

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unknownrebelbang · 16/11/2007 16:45

I agree with Bozza.


lucyellensmum · 16/11/2007 16:47

But that is my point, we are not trying to teach the nursery rhymes!! We are all more than capable of doing that AT home, not in the five minutes quick sing song we have before tea! We just like to get all the little one's "requests" sung for them - it doesnt always have to be about teaching and learning, or maybe im mistaken?

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Tommy · 16/11/2007 17:01

must admit when I do the singing at Toddlers we quite often do the short ones twice mostly try to avoid the Wheels on the Bus at all costs

but that's not your point is it lucyellensmum? The point is that the granny is trying to take over a bit isn't she? There really does seem to be somehting about that generation who think that their way si best - my Mum is a classic example of this. You just have to smile sweetly and let them get on with being mad IMO


lucyellensmum · 16/11/2007 17:23

yes tommy, i think that you are right, it was more her way of "suggesting" that we repeat and then then telling the song leader "and again" as is she was a naughty child who forgot, when rather she was just trying to politely please everyone. And anyway, everyone knows its the children on the bus that go up and down and not the passengers!!!

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morningpaper · 16/11/2007 17:29

You just have to smile sweetly and let them get on with being mad IMO


This is toddler group - it's supposed to be painful


lucyellensmum · 16/11/2007 17:32

lol at painful, i know what you mean!!!

I was just rather disappointed when it didnt kick off between assertive mum and assertive granny . Funnily enough i nearly turned to the mum sitting next to me and said "popcorn anyone" and then i realised i was in RL and not on mumsnet.

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bubblagirl · 16/11/2007 17:39

my ds is 2.6 and sees a salt and apparently best way for speech is to sing nursery rhymes i have been advised since before he was 2 to keep singing nursery rhymes as this helps them enjoy and learn speech

i know she probably annoys you but if the dc love it and are enjoying it then leave it be as this is a good way for them to learn anyway nursery rhymes are very benificial for dc this age


jellyshoeswithdiamonds · 16/11/2007 17:55

Like bozza said, I don't see a problem repeating the shorter songs.

If children go to M&T regular, they end up knowing the words and what songs they want to sing anyway, we used to take "requests" in our singalongs, and we'd ask dc "again?" at the end of the shorter ones, letting the majority rule


yogimum · 16/11/2007 18:16

I got annoyed at the M and T we go to on a Friday as there was about thirty kids today and it ended with only five of us mums singing at the end with ours. Some had already left (fair enough) but the rest stood around chatting.


edam · 16/11/2007 18:19

She sounds like an interfering old bat. Well done to forthright lady!

If old bat wants to teach her grandchild every sodding syllable in The Bloody Wheels On The Bloody Bus she's free to do it all by herself - she's not writing a curriculum for the M&T group. Grrr.


Habbibu · 17/11/2007 14:49

Could you also point out that "the ticket collector on the bus says fares please" is a) outdated b) a very badly scanned line and c) therefore bad for their knowledge of current transport practice and appreciation of poetry?


Smithagain · 17/11/2007 16:01

I think it is very rude to try and tell the person who is running the songs how to do it.

BUT there is some sense in suggesting that things are repeated.

I know toddler group is meant to be fun and no one wants to get overly educational about it. But there are also lots of concerns about the general deterioration in children's early language skills (I'm talking about nationwide - not necessarily in your toddler group!). Nursery rhymes are a fab way of picking up language skills. I guess most of us on hear are very good at singing and chatting with our toddlers, but there are also parents who feel jolly self-conscious about singing with their kids and might actually never do it other than at toddler group.

For that reason, I do try and gently "educate" the little ones at the toddler group I run, without being too obvious about it. So I do repeat some songs over and bl**ody over again, so that the kids have no choice but to know them! And I also introduce some less well known ones that people might like and take home with them. Am I being excessively precious or does that make sense?!


Smithagain · 17/11/2007 16:06

"here", not "hear" Talking about education


Niecie · 17/11/2007 16:14

We sing the same songs from a small group of songs every week and we don't do repetition unless somebody kicks off and wants to do it again (which very rarely happens). They learn perfectly well that way. It may take a bit longer but it is a M & T group not a pre-school!

Just tell the granny you will do it again but next week! Tbh I doubt children will pick up the words that easily by repetition anyway, not in a group. They wouldn't be able to hear the words early enough. Better off teaching them at home, one-to-one.

(Glad we don't have to do the ticket collector thing - doesn't scan very well does it. What is the action)?


Niecie · 17/11/2007 16:14

Not 'early' enough, 'clearly' enough!!


LazyLinePainterJane · 17/11/2007 16:35

I think that you are making a big deal out of nothing. What does it matter to you if you have to sing it twice? Do the children enjoy it?

If it pisses you off so much, just leave before the songs start.


cat64 · 17/11/2007 16:44

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

Notquitegrownup · 17/11/2007 16:54

I can hear in your post how the tension must be gathering each week as you approach singing time. The granny sounds rather overbearing, if well meaning. The assertive mum sounds as if she is expressing the group feeling, but not in the most helpful way.

If it were me, I'd offer the person leading the singing a bit of support, saying that you hope they weren't feeling put off by the comments and asking what they like to do. You could suggest that she diffuses any tension by making an announcement next week at the start of song time, so that everyone is clear that you will all

a) sing all songs twice
b) sing all songs once
c) sing short songs twice, but long ones once.

Maybe you could suggest a song sheet for the wheels on the bus with the agreed verses on. Agree that trying to sing about the ticket collector is just too much!


lucyellensmum · 18/11/2007 14:23

lol - lazy, it doesnt actually piss me off at all, just making an observation really. As for tension build up, im not sure anyone really gives a flying fart! But i shall look forward to singning time next week and i'll let you all know if it kicks off. The whole point of the singing is that the helpers can prepare drinks, it doesnt last more than five minutes and thats on a good day. At another play group i go to (about ten million children there) we have about half hours worth of singing and that is more structured.

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