I gotta say, though, whilst those things are hard, I’m aware of them, accepting of them even, and able to be okay (mostly) with the fact that they’re occuring.
One thing I struggle with, though, is the music.
I always swore I would never be one of those parents that said “what’s this shit?” and “you call that music”.
I also swore I would never say “never”, because never and always are absolute and there are always exceptions – or, you know, the Universe will conspire to prove you wrong and make you feel like a dick.
But I digress.
I have been, except in one instance, kept to this vow. I am a big fan of music in general. By which I mean I am well aware that music can calm the mind and feed the soul and it is a very personal thing.
I say this as I listen to Metallica and Nine Inch Nails, as they are my writing buddies. Aerosmith are another. But put anything else on and my brain just can’t do the word things on the keyboard thing and it’s … jarring and difficult.
Different music does different things to different people, and who am I to judge what anyone listens to or argue with them about how it makes them feel?
The one instance is the Middlest Child, who also happens to be genuinely musically talented. He likes to listen to gaming music. The type of music that they play in video games that is designed to get your brain fired up and trigger all the dopamines and other-mines that give you good-feel hits and keep you playing.
He likes to listen to it whilst he’s sleeping. Inevitably, he has a crap sleep. So we put a stop to that.
He also likes to play it when I’m around. And I just can’t.
It’s the one type of music that slams into my head, fucks with the synapses, and makes me feel agitated.
I have, thus far, restrained myself from uttering “what’s the shit”, and although I’ve tried to give it ten minutes or so, I have to ask that he turn it off. It hurts my brain.
Other that that, I can cope with the Middlest Child’s music choices. There was the time I came home and he was playing some Japanese Death Metal. He was my favourite child in that moment.
More often than not, I can sing and dance along to his choices.
He doesn’t like this, and I am told to stop … and it is hard.
The Littlest One, he’s found a bunch of clips on YouTube that are songs composed and written for his favourite games; Five Nights At Freddies (FNAF), Bendy and the Ink Machine, and Minecraft.
Many of these are actually quite good.
I can sing and dance along to many of these ones now, too.
Then there’s You don’t want to mess with the Enderman which I am no longer allowed to react to. I did change Enderman to Endermum and I sing loudly and be an Enderman/Endermum and try to eat his soul and all the rest of it.
I’m not allowed to do that any more … and it is hard.
The Eldest One, a fan of the Avengers, has discovered music from decades ago.
Sadly, unlike his brother who at least has the decency to play remakes of classic mid-1980s tunes that I know the words to and actually like, he has gone about a decade early.
Which is Music My Parents Listened To, or, if not listened to as a rule, songs that were played incessantly on the radio.
Songs that I wasn’t particularly fond of then, and am most definitely not fond of now.
There is one song I particularly loathe, and it was totally beyond my control that I walked in the door from work and yelled “TURN THIS OFF AND NEVER PLAY IT IN MY HOUSE AGAIN EVER!!!!” to he and his friends, who were getting right into a fun-filled sing along.
I didn’t mean, too. I just … can’t listen to it.
I think I scared them.
I immediately restored my calm, aided by the immediate cessation of the song, and explained. They were understanding. Which is nice.
So far, I’ve managed not to say those words, those words I swore I’d never say.
Variations of, perhaps, maybe.
Because I remember as a teenager various adults saying the same thing to me, and I hated it.
So far, despite being told to stop signing and dancing, and having to listen to songs I have disliked for decades, a walking into the house – into my home – and having my ears assaulted by sounds that are more grating and offensive than your toddler screaming, I still haven’t said “Turn that shit off!”
And it’s hard … so hard.