That ol’ ego

My ego took a major beating this morning.  Major.  During today’s “Mother Goose on the Loose” program, there was one child who kept crying – not constantly crying, but intermittently crying.  Head down on the floor, hands over the ears, absolutely miserable crying.  About half-way through the storytime, I realized that she only cried when I was singing.  When I was reading a story, or doing a fingerplay, she still looked a bit grumpy and out of sorts, but she didn’t cry.  As soon as I started singing, she’d wail in agony.

Of course, I do think there was more going on here than just my singing:  the child was about four years old, far older than the other kids attending, and she had to share her mother with her little brother who is about a year old.  And, she just gave off the vibe of being generally cranky and “off” today (mom’s exasperation was palpable).  I’m guessing that she’s probably coming down with a cold or the stomach bug that has ravaged the town.

But even figuring these factors in, her crying made me very conscious of my singing for the first time in quite a while.  I’ve gotten to the point that I just go ahead and sing during my storytimes, without pausing to think about how dreadful I probably sound, and as a result my storytimes have become pretty fun and fairly popular.  If I’m not self-conscious, I can allow myself to have fun.  If I have fun, everyone else seems to follow suit.  Today, though, I had a few minutes of awkwardness as I paid total attention to myself and my performance. 

Luckily, I was able to let it go after those few minutes, and soon I was singing again with gusto.  Sure, my singing stinks, but I haven’t heard any of the moms who sing like angels, either.  Perfect voices are not what infant storytimes are all about.

5 thoughts on “That ol’ ego”

  1. It’s kind of like being a writer, reading your work aloud for an audience, and watching the guy in the front row drop completely off to sleep. Mouth open, the little snore, a twitch now and then, drool. Never take it personally.

  2. Welcome to the ‘tone-dumb’ club. Yup, it really does kind of suck to open your mouth with great expectations and have THAT come out. And then there are the people who can sing up a storm who take it all for granted.

    I’m glad that you got it together and recovered (shades of Brooke White – nudge, nudge, wink, wink) – that too is what it is all about.

  3. Jean — …or like being a preacher and watching someone drop off to sleep while you’re preaching. The difference is that as a preacher, you get to see the same people week after week, and usually it’s the same ones who doze off — so yeah, you can’t take it personally.

    Except that when you’re a preacher and you see three or four people’s heads nodding who usually don’t doze off — then you know to take it personally.

  4. Guess I’m lucky that I’m singing to toddlers – they’re way too active to nod off mid-storytime.

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