Your Life As I Knew It

By Anna Cosslett

The highs and lows of family life, as a mother pieces together the effects and possible causes of her son's fairly severe autism.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Why Huw took Control of the Music

We didn't have headphones in our house and by the time we thought of them, Huw, at the age he is in the photo, had found his own way to listen to music.  This brought other challenges and potential disaster but it was better than what went before in some ways...

Everyone likes different music in the house.

'Oh, not the Grateful Dead – pleease,' Mum says one day.  'I thought we had an agreement.'

'But it's just arrived – it's an unheard live concert,' says Dad.

'Not another one.  What's going on?'

'People are advertising them on the internet.'

'This must be at least the tenth one in as many weeks.'

'I know – and there's a load more coming.  I'm collecting them.'

'If you're going to play the Grateful Dead, I'm going to play some opera.'

'Oh, no,' says Dad.

'I mean it,' says Mum, 'every time you play one of those tapes, I'm going to play a whole CD of opera favourites.'

'Alright,' says Dad.

Dad puts on the tape and Huw bounces to the music.  Lucy comes downstairs.

'Oh Nooooo,' says Lucy. She has her fingers in her ears. 'I hate the Grateful Dead.'

'They're brilliant,' says Dad. 'How can you not like them?'

'I don't like the bass line,' says Mum.  'It slithers all over the place.'

'I don't like the guitar – that twangy guitar.'

'That's JERRY GARCIA!' Dad says.

'Who's he?'

'One of the greatest guitarists ever,' says Dad.

'No he isn't,' says Lucy, ' 

She goes upstairs and comes back with her CD player.  She goes into the kitchen and plugs it in.

'What's THAT?' Dad shouts.

It is a big loud buzzing sound with yells.

'Limp Bizkit!' Lucy yells.

'It's AWFUL!' Dad yells.

'Turn it OFF!  Pleease, both of you!'  Mum has her fingers in her ears.

Lucy stops the CD player.

'And the Grateful Dead,' Mum says.

'No,' says Dad.  'It's a free country and I got here first.'

'OK, then,' says Mum, 'but you know what this means.'

'My turn next,' says Lucy.

'No,' says Mum, 'it will be my turn.  I haven't heard any opera for quite some time.'

'Well, I've got to do the shopping, anyway,' says Dad, 'after this.'

The twangy music plays and Mum shuts the kitchen door.  Huw opens it. He doesn't like closed doors. Lucy goes into the other room and plays her music.  Mum closes the door on Lucy.  Huw opens the door.  They go on like this for a while.  Huw is NOT having any doors closed.  

The twangy music stops. Mum quickly puts a CD on the player. There is a man singing very fast and then lots of people singing and the man singing again singing 'La' a lot and Mum sings with them,

'La la lalala la la la Laah,'

'What is it?' Lucy asks.

'It's from 'The Barber of Seville','

'Well I don't like Barbara of Seville, I'm going upstairs,' says Lucy.

'And I'm going out,' says Dad.

                                                                          * * * * * *

Huw masters how to operate the CD player, with some hiccups....

Dad comes home.

'He likes T Rex and The Merry Widow,' Mum says.

'I can tell by the teeth marks,' Dad says, 'good thing CDs don't break.'


CDs do break.  Huw bites a chunk out of one.





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