Archive for December, 2009



This, I grant you, is not the sort of mealtime discipline you’ll read about in a Dr.Spock book, however here in our happy little home it can be the difference between meal fulfilment and malnourishment.

“It’s true isn’t it,” said my wife grimly as she finished her umpteenth crossword puzzle, and yes dear reader, yes yes it was true. Because earlier, at dinner, the pre-schooler sat up straight, dropped the monkey-business and finished her dinner quickly. The offer she’d received from me but 10 minutes earlier was not one she was going to pass up. Wisely. Because as much as I ¬†fancy myself a secret powerhouse of frontmandom, pretending to be Judas Priest’s Rob Halford from the ‘Screaming For Vengeance’ era armed with nothing but a pink echo mike and plenty of timing is not the sort of thing I can really pull off.

The teenager readied his camera-phone as I let ‘The Hellion’ play first, a 44-odd second intro song which allowed me to ‘warm-up’ in her bedroom before striding onstage as Glenn Tipton hit the first notes of ‘…Eye.’ I secretly cursed not having my mirror-shades handy, but as-is, true artistes power on regardless, and I wasn’t about to let myself down. And as I punched the air, as I sang the opening bars, as I strode the stage back and forth (a mere coffee table separating me from the sold-out house) the pre-schooler was beside herself with delight. She LOVED IT. The music. The performance. It was all I could do not to start squealing with delight and skipping around the room like a big blouse, but again, professionals that we must be, I stuck to my task and diligently finished. After which she requested…an encore performance…”WITH MAMA! AND THEN ME AND DADA AND THEN ME AND MAMA!!!” This girl/knows how to rock (sorry – Saxon). And we did just as asked. First Mama and Dada, in glorious harmony I might point out, hitting every note with the right move, before Mama and daughter out-stripped the whole affair by taking matters to the next level, with high-kicks and all, until the pre-schooler cracked the top of her foot off the underlip of the coffee table, when it all came to a grinding halt.

“Don’t worry,” I said cheerfully, “the singer of Judas Priest used to ride onstage on a motorbike, and one time he rode it straight off the stage and into the orchestra pit!”

“Can I see him on the bike onstage?”

“Absolutely.” And so I You Tubed some action of Halford on bike and she was suddenly tear-free and enthralled.

“Is that a girl?” she asked of the mysteriously-lit Glenn Tipton, hair sashaying in the lights and dry-ice. “When I’m a little older I wanna go with you to see them…”

It isn’t just Judas Priest. It’s Rob Zombie, Misfits, Beethoven, Leftfield, Massive Attack, Bowie, Killing Joke, Notorious B.I.G., Sean Kingston, The Beatles, Joy Division, Goldie (drum ‘n’ bass Goldie), Metallica, Abba, a whole plethora of sounds and styles and songs and tunes and riffs. It’s the color, the action and the energy of them all which grabs her in a way she doesn’t even know yet. She marches around the house playing a harmonica, and I swear, she has not the slightest clue what she’s doing but it still sounds a damn-sight better than I do when I try playing the thing! She likes performance, she likes music, she likes pagentry, she likes costumes, she likes theatre, she likes energy.

It is hard (occasionally) not to let the mind drift 15 years on from now and have a guess as to what she might be doing. It is every parent’s pitfall. I never did too much with the teenager, and in all fairness now we’re halfway through his 17th year, I can’t remember an awful lot from when he was 4 and a half (aside from a rather incredible fascination with Nine Inch Nails and Trent Reznor which saw him wearing a pair of wellington boots with shorts and stomping around screaming ‘head like a hole/black as your soul/I’d rather die/than give you control’…a tough one to explain at the sandbox). But it seems to have turned out just fine. So even though I’ve had the experience of knowing that such thoughts are not going to give you the answers you either expected or perceived, you still cannot help yourself when your children show such a fierce lean towards specific paths and directions.

And so whilst such things are the mission of fools, based on our daily car-rides and ipod flogging, based on her love of singing and dancing and color, and based on tonight’s performances, I will stick my neck out and say that it would appear accountancy is not in her future. Of course, it isn’t too hard to work out why…

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