Monday, 10 May 2010

Listen with mother?

Happiness is .... sunny yellow tulips, a clutter-free table and my radio.

I love my radio; I crave its company when I'm home alone, and I like the atmosphere it creates when the house is busy. With its warm sound and perfect around-the-house portability it's my lovely friend who knows exactly what I want to hear, when and where I want to hear it.

I do shift around the radio stations a fair bit but my children are most familiar with Classic FM (tinkling upliftingly in the background), Thomas the Tank Engine stories on Fun Radio (if we're at home at 4pm) or rock classics on Absolute (air-guitars at the ready). I keep Radio Four for lone car journeys (very rare occasions) when I have the chance to actually hear the reports and discussions rather than my children's very important things they need to tell me that always seem to coincide with any attempt to tune in.

Buddy and Daisy are of course still developing their listening skills and are at the stage where if they are really enjoying something they simply cannot hold in their feelings about it (some people never grow out of that, I know). But happily this is resulting in some wonderfully creative responses. For example, when listening to their current vinyl favourites (we've got a just-about-working 1960s HMV record player), an old Disney film soundtrack and an ABBA Greatest Hits album, they sing along and dance around to the tunes, reminding us to flip-over the record when each side has finished. A recent audio-book craze resulted in them listening over and over to Aliens Love Underpants whilst acting out the whole story along with the narration. Hilarious.

And they simply wow us with their responses to film soundtracks. When we purchased the music from Disney Pixar's WALL-E recently they listened to it in its entirety - captivated. Buddy knows exactly what happens in the film at every incidental or full piece of music and of course shares his thoughts with us - this is when he doesn't recognise EVE - this is when EVE shows she can fly high in the sky - this is when she starts him up again and he loses his memory. If we put on a soundtrack of a familiar film now, it's usually the starting point for some fantastic imaginative play.

So, though Buddy and Daisy might not be ready for Today in Parliament just yet, they clearly love the music and stories radio and other audio technology offer, and long may their enthusiastic response last. And in the meantime I can always find an excuse to drive somewhere during Woman's Hour if I really need to.

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