My son is a bit of a legend with my touch screen phone. He has, by accident I think although I’m not totally sure, shown me how to put icons on the desktop of my phone to enable me to get to my apps a few steps quicker. I spent years working in IT and I’ve been shown how to improve the functionality of my device by a 3 year old. Cool. Thanks son.
One of the icons on my desktop is that which takes me to my music player. And this I love, because my entire music collection, album covers and all, is on my phone. Who would’ve thunk that the 16 year old boy who used to carry lots of tapes in his rucksack, so he could listen to different things on his Walkman, could carry his ENTIRE music collection on his PHONE in a matter of years. That’s pretty astonishing. If you’d told me that when I was 16 my mind would’ve blown away. Nowadays, as technology advances, I feel more and more like Catweazle.
So, I like music and T likes music, and T usually likes the music I like, but there’s one album he really loves, because of the cover artwork. The Best of David Bowie, 1969-1974. The cover artwork is thus, and T finds it fascinating.
He’s asked me about the man. We’ve listened to the music. He’s interested in the songs. He likes the music. He actually really likes the music. He’s made me a little playlist of the songs he likes, which I listen to lots because T made it. He likes the little bird thing that Bowie’s doing with his hands. He finds this picture fascinating.
As a boy I remember watching the Ashes to Ashes video on Top of The Pops and I found it a bit unsettling. But T doesn’t think like this. Something in this picture he finds interesting and he likes ‘David Boney’, as he calls him.
Last weekend he wanted to see this album cover on my phone and, a sudden thought came into my head. I’ll photocopy the CD cover for him so he has a copy to look at whenever he likes. I put the cover into the printer/copier and 30 seconds later he was holding a colour photocopy of the album cover in his hand. He was as pleased as a dog with two tallywhackers.
And then K screamed.
She ran out of the living room and ran to my front door. She sat down, put her shoes on and was banging at the front door with both fists.
“NO DADDY! NO! NO! SCARY SCARY SCARY!”
I went to comfort her. “What’s wrong darling girl?” I picked her up in my arms. Tears were flooding down her cheeks.
“NO DADDY” she screamed. “SCARY MAN, SCARY MAN”.
I opened the door and thought a change of scene, a trip to the playground might be a good idea, and I put K in the pushchair. T put his shoes on and showed K his picture which he was incredibly proud of.
K flailed her arms around her head. Covered her eyes with her hands. “NO. NO. NO. SCARY MAN. SCARY MAN.”
T tried to comfort her. “No. He’s not scary. He makes lovely music. His name is David Boney! He sings lovely songs!”
“NO NO NO NO NO! NO DAVID LAZYBONES!” screams K. “DAVID LAZYBONES IS SCARING ME!”
I suggested to T that we put his picture in our bag. But later, when the two children were at home, K spotted the picture on the sofa, retrieved from the bag so he could show his mummy that he has a picture of David Boney, and K screamed again. But one louder.
“NO. NO. SCARY MAN” and she ran to her mummy and buried her head in her legs. Hiding her eyes from the photo. “Scary man” she said softly.
I suspect David Boney has now been consigned to the bin. When I saw the children the next day K reminded me how scary David Lazybones was, and T reassured her he’s not. He makes lovely music. But K ain’t buying it. “That man is a scary man” she said to me later in the day, pointing a sandwich in my general direction in order to emphasise her view.
The fact that T likes this and K doesn’t is fascinating to me. I can see WHY she might find it unsettling, but I think I can also see why T finds it appealing. Because I like it perhaps, whereas K just finds it scary and, to be fair to her, it IS a bit of a scary picture.
And it’s not some power thing either. T doesn’t wield the picture to scare K. Apparently, when my mum and my aunt were growing up there was a picture in an illustrated version of Alice In Wonderland that they had which frightened the holy crap out of my mum. The picture of Alice falling down the rabbit hole. It scared her so much that once my mum took a crayon to it and tried to cover it all up, but got told off for wrecking a very expensive book. And, after that, apparently, my aunt would open the book on that page and wave it in front of my mum’s face whenever she felt like it. Childhood games, and power, with a soupçon of cruel. I get it. I understand this.
But T liking this picture isn’t like this. He just does, and K just doesn’t. And then some. And T tries to share with her something he likes, but it’s sadly something that fills her with total terror.
I’ll introduce T to more David Boney as he gets older. It’s stuff that I love. But maybe not Tin Machine eh? I think I’m the only person in the world that liked that particular project, so if he ran away screaming after listening to the first Tin Machine album then he’d only be doing what millions of other people have done.
Is there anything similar that you can share? Any similar experience of one child loving something just as much as the other is scared by it? Movies? TV programmes? Pictures? CD covers? Any similar tales are welcome in the usual pigeon hole.
And thanks for reading.