Tone Deaf

I like to think I’m a pretty great singer.

The only problem is that nobody in the entire world agrees with me. The words “tone deaf” seem to get thrown around a lot whenever I try to belt out a classic or join in a sing-along.

Luckily for me, for the past two and a half years I’ve had a captive audience – a tiny little person who appeared to enjoy the dulcet sounds of her father’s voice. That little person would stare lovingly up into my eyes as I sang lullabies, or Beatles classics, or even the occasional Peter Coombe hit from my childhood. She would listen intently as I sang tunes from my teenage years – Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Presidents of The United States of America, Blur. She would even join in when I attempted some of the modern classics… like Baby Shark…


Until now.


For some reason, something has changed in the past few weeks. Instead of listening attentively, the two-and-a-half year old now has different ideas.

“Stop singing daddy” is the gentle but firm response I get when I begin to belt out a tune now. When I ignore this polite request, it is generally followed by a “STOP SINGING DADDY”. If I dare choose to ignore this, it is simply repeated with increasing frequency and volume until I am drowned out or I relent and stop. The toddler can be very persuasive.

I don’t think that the problem is my singing.

I think the problem is that Hannah is a child of the instantly available generation. She has three Alexa-enabled devices dotted around the house, each of which she can ask to provide her favourite tunes from Spotify with a simple spoken request. In days gone by, my slightly-off-key singing wouldn’t have mattered, because it would have been all Hannah had. Nowadays she can have the Wiggles pump out Baa Baa Black Sheep in perfect harmony, at will.

At least there is still one time of the day that Hannah is willing to let me sing – bed time. When bed time rolls around, the cuddle and song is very much mandatory. In fact, sometimes three or even four rounds must be sung before she is ready to go to bed.

The last few times Hannah has even sung along with me… matching my off-key tune perfectly.

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