I knew that my maternity leave would be filled with lots of different baby groups and I was looking forward to getting involved and clapping and singing whilst making a bit of an idiot of myself. But what I didn't anticipate was sitting in a church filled with mums and babies whilst listening to classical music and to be honest, living my best life.
It started with a coffee morning at my friend's house. We arrived and instantly set about warming the food, making the tea and helping each other out with our babies. I've mentioned these girls before in another post but as someone who didn't do NCT (therefore missing out on the mum friends bit) I have still managed to find two of the best women to work through motherhood with.
We stopped to take some pictures of our babies who seem to be growing up so fast, I want to make sure we have as many photos of them all together as possible. It's lovely to watch them start to recognise each other, although we still don't know if they quite get that they are babies together.
What I love is that there's none of that competitiveness that some mums have. I think because we all became friends when we were pregnant I look at their children like they are my own, cheering every success even if they happen to master something before Rosie (who is the oldest of the three). They've all got their individual strengths.
I've also found that it's very difficult to hold a conversation when we are all tending to our babies, so the coffee morning is more about us eating some food whilst we can and less about the calibre of chat at the moment. I made some brownies to take along, somehow managing to make them the night before. I bake when I can!
Once we'd had our fill of brownies and pastries we headed out, another friend joining us so we looked like quite the mum squad, the four of us with our prams walking down the street towards the church. Of course Rosie is going through Leap 4 at the moment and is hating being anywhere but in my arms, so she cried the whole way there. She fell asleep as we got to the venue, just as I needed to get her out of the pram of course.
The concert was held at a church in Walthamstow , St Michaels and All Angels, and was a brilliant for the acoustics. It also meant it was more than big enough to accommodate all the prams, children and parents that had come along to listen.
We took a pew and settled in, being snapped by the photographer, snatching five minutes peace whilst we could.
The music was brought to us by Philip Smith and James Cheung on piano. The theme of the concert was Bach to Broadway and we were serenaded with an assortment of genres and styles.
Firstly the classical, with Philip singing Bach, Mozart and Handel as the children sat around the piano at the front listening intently. This all changed however once they broke into 'The Entertainer' and everyone stood up to have a little dance. Children dancing makes me laugh so much, they basically just jump up and down on the spot.
The audience then all broke into song for a Sound of Music medley, voices soaring together for 'Do a Deer' and 'Edelweiss'. There's just something about Edelweiss that sounds so beautiful when sung in a chorus.
We were also treated one of my favourite songs from one of my favourite musicals, 'On the Street Where you Live', from My Fair Lady. This made me a bit emotional (what doesn't?!) as I thought about how I'm going to be able to introduce Rosalind to all the musicals that I love, just like my Mum did.
The concert finished on the jolly 'Let's Call the Whole Thing Off' and some nursery rhymes so the children could join in at the end.
The whole concept is such a wonderful idea, introducing babies and children to lots of genres of music from an early age and they love to hear the repetition and cadence. I didn't hear one crying baby the whole time we were there.
I'm lucky enough that because I live in London these types of baby activities are readily available to me but it's worth checking out their website here to see where your closest one is because I don't think it is ever too early to start introducing babies to music and it's a really nice setting to do it in. I'm looking forward to taking Rosie to more as she gets older and can have a little dance/sing along.
They've got a Christmas one in December which I can't wait to go to!