It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Music Hath Charms…

“Hey, guys! Circle time! Come sit with me!” I pat the floor in front of me, and the tots come pounding from every direction. We love circle time! They arrange themselves in a circle a blob around me mostly in front of me. At any rate, they are all looking right at me – it’ll do!

Anna’s not quite ready, though. She stands up. “I sit in lap!” she declares, and plops herself down on Timmy. Timmy responds to this with an ear-to-ear grin (and if you remember Timmy’s ears, you’ll know just how big this grin is…).

We commence to sing.

We start our circles with “Hello, Everybody”, or “The More We Get Together”. Then we move through our repertoire. So far it’s only about half-a-dozen songs and chants. It will gradually grow over the next year, till they’re overflowing with songs, chants, and nursery rhymes.

Our current favourite is “Three Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree”.

Do you know that one? It’s a chant, and a great favourite. Goes like this:

Three little monkeys swinging in a tree
(hold three fingers at head-level, pointing to the floor, and swing back and forth)

Along came a crocodile
(make biting motions with one hand, fingers straight, tapping on thumb)

As quiet as can be. (continue biting motions, and whisper this line)

The first monkey said, “You can’t catch ME!” (shake finger side to side; shake head, too. Then pull your arms wide apart, and…)

SNAP!!! (CLAP your hands together)

Next verse is “TWO little monkeys”
Then “ONE little monkey”, (yes, macabre, I know), but in the last verse, after the “SNAP!!”, the monkey calls out “MISSED ME!!” in a nyah, nyah voice, while you wiggle your one finger in the air.

Okay, so great fun. Off we go. Timmy twiddles his fingers, bobs and nods and flings his arms about with the rest of us, peering out from behind Anna, who really is perched right in his lap.

Then we come to The Very BEST Part of the ENTIRE Song… The children spreads their arms as far as they can fling them…

“…you can’t catch MEEEE…….


And Timmy brings his hands together – WHAP!! – one on either side of Anna’s wee head. Because of course, she’s IN HIS LAP. Which means she’s smack dab in the middle of the CLAP trajectory. What’s the boy supposed to do??

And Anna, bless her laughter-prone, social little self, ROARS with laughter. Whether it’s because she likes having her ears boxed, or whether she just loves to SNAP her own hands together, and hasn’t noticed that Timmy’s just smacked her upside the head, I don’t know, but she LAUGHS… Oh, how she laughs.

She laughs through ALL THREE VERSES. And with every verse, she gets her head whacked.

And then, she laughs for ALL THREE VERSES for the SECOND rendition, because Mary HAD to get her camera and record this! Had to! ALL THREE VERSES!

At the end of the day, I show the video to the parents.

Anna’s dad’s eyes widen as we watch the first frame. “Did he just hit her in the head?”

“YES! He did!”

Dad snorts. “Can you play that again?”

“I don’t have to! Here’s the second verse.”

“He did it AGAIN! And look at her laugh!” he chortles.

“Want to see the third verse?”

“There’s MORE? Hell, yeah!”

And we fall about the front hall laughing. Because we’re loving and nurturing people. The children are magically drawn to our howls of laughter, and shriek their delight at our feet. What’s so funny? Who knows? Who cares? There’s some kind of PARTY going on, and they are SO THERE!!

And when Timmy’s mom arrives, we get to do it all over again.


September 12, 2007 - Posted by | Anna, daycare, Emily, music, the cuteness!, Timmy


  1. Read you all the time. By far the funniest story something that would happen to my kiddos. I just had to explain to my Kindergaten expert 5 yr old why I was laughing so hard.

    Comment by Heather | September 12, 2007 | Reply

  2. We used to sing that song, which so adds to the imagery of this post. Bahahahaha.

    Kudos to Anna for her “it’s all in fun” spirit. How many people (child or adult) would respond with such enthusiasm to getting popped upside the head for three whole verses? (Oh Lord, mosh pit just popped into my head.)

    Anyway, good on you for thinking to record it, sounds like the parents loved it and no doubt are grateful.

    Comment by Sheri | September 12, 2007 | Reply

  3. Heather: Thanks for commenting! I’m only disappointed I can’t post the video here – too funny!

    Sheri: Yup, Anna has that “it’s all in fun” thing down pat, something lots of children don’t really get for a few years yet. (If ever…) She’s a great little kid, that one.

    Comment by MaryP | September 12, 2007 | Reply

  4. Haha, the toddler used to love a slightly different version of that rhyme, too. We took him to the aquarium and sang that song when we got to Mr Crocodile. It’s great you got it on video. I’m hopeless at that!

    Comment by Kat | September 12, 2007 | Reply

  5. Too funny! I couldn’t do what you do, but it sounds like you get a lot of laughter out of it.

    Comment by Florinda | September 12, 2007 | Reply

  6. Not only is Anna a great kid but she obviously has great parents who understand fun.

    Comment by ann adams | September 12, 2007 | Reply

  7. Oh my gosh, that sounds so funny!
    Plus, now I’ve learned a new chant (okay the only chant) that I can sing with Jeffrey! He’ll love this one.

    Comment by Dani | September 13, 2007 | Reply

  8. We do this one a lot. Today my little nuthatch guy in honour of your post decided to slap himself upside the head twice!

    Comment by mo-wo | September 13, 2007 | Reply

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