Thursday, January 01, 2009

My child is Simon Cowell

I have always been extremely self-conscious about singing in public. This is mostly because my elementary-school music teacher spent six years yelling at me on nearly a daily basis about how terrible my voice is. As a consequence, I spent most of the time just lip-syncing through all of the school programs, because I was convinced that I was screwing the whole thing up. Never mind that we were a group of seven-year-olds wearing paper sheep costumes.

The thing is, I actually like to sing. I secretly longed to be in the choir, and I mean the good choir where the kids got to wear matching uniforms and get out of math class to travel to music festivals and things, not the "anyone-who-wants-to-be-in-choir-gets-to-be-in-choir" choir, which is where I usually ended up. I sing all the time when I am all by myself, but I vowed to never sing in front of another human being, because I am obviously so awful.

Then I had WCK, and I wondered what I was going to do, since, as a mother, you're required to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and things like that. When WCK was a few months old, we started going to a baby and toddler music class led by a delightful woman who encouraged all of us to sing to our babies. "It doesn't matter what you think your voice sounds like," she'd tell us. "Your baby thinks you have the most wonderful voice in the world!"

That really encouraged me. And sometimes I just have to sing in front of WCK, because I usually have a Mr. Stinky Feet song stuck in my head that I just can't get rid of unless I sing it. Lately, though, WCK has grown tired of my songs.

"NO, MOMMY!" she'll shriek. "STOP SINGING!!"

For a while, I had chalked this up to three-year-old moodiness, but today I finally asked her why she wanted me to stop singing.

"Because," she said patiently, "you are just not a very good singer."

Oh, that hurts. Now I know why rejected American Idol contestants cry.


The Mama Monkey said...

OMW...I feel the same way you do! I NEVER sing in public. My trauma was church any rate, I did sing for the first time in public here...Japanese Karaoke to Love Shack with a bunch of people who would not remember my performance come AM anyway! It was fun, but will NOT ever be a repeat performance!

Jen said...

Oh! Poor thing!

If it makes you feel better, I completely can't sing. Even at church, I sing really softly so I don't offend the people around me. And somehow I was in Swing Choir and all that in jr high and high school...I always felt it was because I would smile on stage - and our class had enough great singers to offset my bad voice!