Quartet Practice with a Toddler

7 years ago
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My quartet, Route 41, is singing on the news in two weeks. We are also microphone testers for our regional Young Women in Harmony competition, which is in about three weeks, so today we decided to get together and practice a new song we’ve been working on. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this post that explains my involvement with a women’s a capella barbershop harmony chorus)

Daddy Green is working today, so I packed up Nellie and headed to S (who sings lead)’s house. S has a 4.5 month old, L so I knew it would be interesting. Nellie hasn’t been around many babies who aren’t close to her age.

It started out well enough; I sat down with Nellie after she tromped all over L’s playmat and gave her a snack and a drink. Nellie was content exploring L’s toys, crawling around the living room and being inquisitive. She kept trying to crawl out of the room so S got her pack n’ play and we contained Nellie for a while that way.  After a short time in the PnP, Nellie decided she’d had enough of that foolishness. We barricaded the way out of the living room with the pack n’ play, so Nellie had free reign of the living room.

As time marched on, Nellie got more and more restless. L had woken up from her nap and was content sitting in her Bumbo and watching the scene. In true toddler fashion, Nellie was not. She was crawling everywhere and getting into everything. I had to move everyone’s purses toward the back of the couch so she wouldn’t pull them down. The TV tray that had cups of water, pitch pipes, and a digital camera perched precariously atop it had to be monitored at all times. My three singing sisters sang beautifully, while my part sounded more like this:

Goody goodbye, bye bye, I’ll see you never.
Goody goodbye, bye bye, so you think you’re – NELLIE, PUT THAT DOWN.
While playing with my – NO! you overplayed your part
I must have been dumb, dumb as – NELLIE ROSE, THAT IS NOT YOUR PACIFIER. GET IT OUT OF YOUR MOUTH PLEASE.
To believe you from the start
Goody-good luck to you, and to the – NO, WE DON’T PULL ON BABY L’S FEET.

I think that my absolute favorite moment was when I had to make a mad dash to retrieve Nellie, who had suddenly taken off crawling at breakneck speed across the living room floor toward L’s baby bottle… Full of breastmilk.

We managed to get a decent practice in, but let me tell you what. To all of you moms whose babes haven’t made it to the toddler stage yet: you think your baby is difficult now?

You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

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